As a connoisseur of people watching, Glasgow gives you plenty of opportunities for study, especially on the Glasgow Underground. Never people watch on buses, I have learned to my cost that it only encourages scary people to sit next to you causing you to end up apologising for your very existence. I used to get on the Glasgow Underground and do the ”Oh my goodness isn’t the floor interesting” thing but I have now developed the art of looking around without actually staring at people. Yesterday, I got on at Hillhead and sitting opposite me was couple who were all wrapped up in each other. They were rockin the very carefully styled impoverished student look and sat muttering sweet nothings to each other. The sheer saccharin sweetness of them very nearly put me off my coffee, however the shoogle of the Glasgow Underground struck and in the middle of another loving word or two, I got my wish and their heads banged together. He found this really funny, she did not. She insisted she was suffering some kind of terrible head trauma and made sure that everyone knew about it. Her darling boyfriend, in between giggles, tried to console her but it was not to be and by the time the tube pulled into Cowcaddens, they were splitting up because he quite clearly no longer cared for her. There it was, a ten minute soap opera played out in front of an audience who quite frankly could not be bothered and were in fact grateful when she flounced off the train and left him sitting sobbing into his designer ripped jeans, bereft of his paramour. Well he was for about ten minutes because when he got off at Buchanan Street he called his mates and arranged to go for a pint. No doubt he needed some male bonding to get over the loss of his one true love.
Isn’t amazing how quickly things can change, one minute you are sitting there all loved up, settled in a happy life as a designer student couple then fate takes a hand and smacks you in the head. So often we trot along day-to-day, the alarm goes off, we hit snooze, we drink a pint of coffee, try not to fall asleep in the shower, drink another pint of coffee, head to work looking perfect till the wind and rain restyle us into a scarecrow, try not to fall asleep on the bus and then make it into work for yet another day at the coal face. Doesn’t life sometimes feel like a hamster on a wheel? For many people repetitiveness is what they crave, the daily routine is a pleasure and it suits them not to step outside their comfort zone, but often the faster you go the more you do not notice what you are actually doing and auto pilot kicks in. But what if you stop pedaling? What if for one moment you stop and think about what you are doing? It is only when life bangs your heads together that you realise that you are not living, you are existing. When things don’t happen when they are supposed to that wallop to your psyche can cause a bit of a wake up call and just like our Underground lovers, all change!
That aside for a moment, the question was what will my Underground journey home be like. The train was quite quiet but I appeared to be in the middle of a group of mature punks! The guy who sat opposite me had several piercings and an impressive blue Mohican, but perhaps the most unusual thing about him was that he was discussing opera with another gentlemen with similar coloured hair and a safety-pin in his cheek. The train pulled into Cowcaddens and a girl polar opposite to the punks got on and sat next to Mr Blue Mohican. The opera discussion carried on and the girl did that classic thing that happens on public transport. You are listening into someones else chat and accidentally speak out loud instead of keeping it in your head. ”You have heard Angela Gheorghiu live?” she went as pink as her coat but Mr Blue Mohican nodded and they immediately started up a chat about the famed soprano’s best performances. Ms Pink Twin Set and Pearls and Mr Blue Mohican both got off at Kelvinbridge still chatting away about Tosca and hitting high notes, even for the West End of Glasgow this was surreal.
But I guess it does just show you that if for one moment you step outside of the box, what can happen. I mentioned this to a friend on the phone last night and she said it was a bit like a broken bowl theory someone had told her years ago. When you drop a china bowl, it breaks and even if you glue it back together it will not be the same. You can go on and on about it but even if you say sorry it will not change the fact that bowl is broken and will never be the same again. She sent me the picture below and the light bulb went ping!
Change scares us! Breaking the pattern of life hurts but what if we do break it and repair it with something that makes it more appealing? So often we convince ourselves that we are happy with our lot, that we are content in the now with the way things are but then the Undeground shoogles, we get a bang to the head, a wake up call and we feel the need to get off at a different station and go have an espresso with punk. Perhaps it is time to ask a few life questions, to decide how that broken bowl is going to be mended? Does that bump to the head need an in your face Barbie pink plaster or a clear invisible one?
Me? I have some tough questions to ask myself, some breaking of plates to do! But let me tell you, there will be no invisible mending, it will be repairing with gold all the way.