This guy once said to me that he only ever felt relaxed when he was on a train. I asked him why, considering train travel seems to have evolved into a kind of torture. What could he possibly mean?
He meant that it was because when in the middle of a train journey he is free from expectations. He's not in the place he has just left, with all that entails. And he's not yet at his destination so doesn't have to deal with whatever is at the other end.
It's a sort of statis. A time when even the incessant mobile phone and internet connection is more than likely banjaxed so even if one wanted to deal with whatever heinous problem is making their life a misery they can't. Just for a bit.
Currently on a train journey and in the middle of quite an upsetting emotional problem, I know what he means.
Because right now I'd rather just stay on this train, listening to Florence and the Machine forever, rather than face up to stuff.
(Even though I'm wedged in to my seat by a very large man who is emitting an unfortunate odour. And the train is late. And I've witnessed four arguments so far over 'reserved' seats. Whatever that means for train operators. It appears to mean they send people random promises that of course they will have a seat in exchange for the enormous amount of money they've just paid. And then deny all knowledge, sit back and watch chaos ensue.)
Even though I have an almost overwhelming urge to sob uncontrollably. Even though I am exhausted, uncomfortable and heartsick, I would rather just stay on this train. Because then there is at least the fantasy that maybe everything will be ok when I reach the other end.