I’m noticing signs everywhere.
Standing on the train platform at 6am this morning, the building across the track reminds me: ‘EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.’
It looks like it lights up at night; illuminated by the dark. A bit like me, always suddenly motivated by the sunset, the in-bed kids, the bubbling energy of knowing there are only a few hours left in the day in which to do the stuff I should have done at 10am.
It seems I’m deeply connected to the feeling of time running out.
As I wait for my train which will deliver me to another country, I run through everything I have surely forgotten. This panic has lessened over the last couple of months due to the intense amounts of travel which have served to clarify my basic needs as being only those which cannot be easily replaced:
- Mobile phone
- The entire contents of my make-up bag, gathered and refined over a LIFETIME
- My work folder which contains highly original and creative notes on this playscript that I have no memory of making and keep forgetting are there but hope to implement them as a matter of some urgency seeing as the show opens on Weds so now really is the time to remember my forgotten genius and unleash it on to the Edinburgh stage.
As I re-check my bag for these essential items an automated announcement informs us that the train to Liverpool is delayed due to it ‘waiting to remember.’ I smile. I have patently misheard it. Then it says it again; the train to Liverpool is delayed due to it ‘waiting to remember.’
And I think, eh? I think, trains ain’t got brains for forgetting or remembering. I look around, nobody else seems to have heard this oddity, or if they have, are not finding it odd, perhaps because they already know trains are sentient beings.
As I settle in seat 2, carriage B, I am still perplexed by the announcement. I google it. In 2014 a guy called Steve heard the same announcement about a train heading for Liverpool. He tweeted the rail company. They said they had no idea what it meant and they’d look in to it. Are me and Steve the only people ever to have heard this curiosity, four years apart? Is it only trains bound for Liverpool that are waiting to remember?
I must work. As the train gets moving I get out my folder. Turns out many of my ideas for the show are utterly stupid which is useful to remember at this crucial point in rehearsal. A man arrives and loiters at the seat next to me. I adopt a classic train-face which says: DO NOT APPROACH ME BRO, I HAVE A BIG WORKY FOLDER AND A GINORMOUS BAG FULL OF ENTIRELY REPLACEABLE ESSENTIAL ITEMS. MOVE ON, MOTHERFUCKER.
He moves on. Into the cubicle next to my seat. The toilet cubicle. Behind the door of which I can clearly hear him achieve many personal evacuations. I cannot spend the next three hours listening to other humans lighten their loads. This is a sign, Anna. A sign that you must remember you have choices in life, that you are not bound by pre-bought seat bookings situated adjacent to the only on-board loo. You can move. You are free to move and find a better experience.
I think how I’m the same as that Liverpool train. I’ve been waiting to remember for far too long, been heavily delayed by forgetting what I want, what I’m capable of, what makes me happy.
So I move. To a much nicer seat. There’s a booking ticket on it which I swiftly remove. Am sure I’ll get away with it.
After all, most of us fail to notice the most important signs…