I got the train into Bradford to go to work today. I get the train into work a lot. Sometimes it's late, and I gripe. Sometimes it's full, and I gripe about that too, especially if it's a smelly ancient Pacer. Sometimes it's empty, and the seats are nice, and I get a table to myself. Sometimes I get the sexy driver with the long hair and beard*. Sometimes I have chats with @NorthernRailOrg
Today is the first time I have ever been on a train that hit a person
Bradford Interchange's platforms are all bay platforms, so I usually try to sit as close to the driver's cab as possible, to minimise the number of people I have to squeeze past when I get off the train. Today I was sitting at the nearest table to the drivers' cab. I was playing a game on my phone, and intermittently glancing at twitter and email. There had been a lot of emails in the morning because of an administrative error causing problems for one of my members who is attending Lib Dem Conference next month. I was checking to see if things were getting sorted out. I wasn't really paying attention to the train. The train just was
Then there was a noise like crump
and the train jerked. I think I swore. I looked across at the two girls sitting at the table across the aisle from me and was about to say
what the hell was THAT?
when a human body described a graceful arc past the window we were all three looking at.
Suddenly talking seemed a bit pointless.
The train pulled up and stopped for a while then took us in to Bradford. I texted someone I knew was in Bradford, because I needed a friendly face. As I got off the train I tried not to look at the dent on the front of it, but I couldn't help myself. It wasn't that big a dent, really. Not for a human life. There was a dead pigeon too, stuck to the rubbery bit which I don't know the name of on the front of the train.
The person I texted met me at the entrance to BDI and gave me copious hugs. They were very necessary hugs. He's a good hugger anyway, but today those hugs were especially appreciated. When you've witnessed a thing like that, any form of human contact is good, just to confirm that you're still alive and that people care about you.
And then I went to work. Because you've got to carry on, haven't you?
I have since heard that the incident was a fatality
. I hope that the person who was hit is at rest, and that their family are coping, and that the driver of the train is OK, because Cthulhu knows that's got to be a horrible thing to happen to you at work.
I have the urge to contact everybody that I love and tell them all that I love them and how valuable they are to me, but that's impractical and they'd probably just call me a soppy bugger anyway.
I'll say one more thing. The next time I am umming and ahing about doing something, and the person who has asked me to do it says to me
Oh go on, you could get hit by a train/bus tomorrow...
I'm going to have some pretty mixed feelings about that. Life is short, and should be grabbed with both hands; this is an idea I am fully on board with, and today has renewed my determination to do just that. But every time someone says that now, I am going to see a train window, and a horizontal human body curving past it in slow motion...
*Not that I have a crush on a train driver. Nope. Not me O:-)
**often enough that I can usually tell when Tim or Lindsay is the one manning the twitter account, because those two are the ones I talk to most often.