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Wednesday, November 23

Train my senses

I’ve always been a bit of a gadget geek, whilst most 15 year olds were spending their 'Tesco' earnings on ‘White Lightning’ cheap weed and dodgy designer wear I was still buying ‘'Amiga' Formats’ with their floppy disc cover mounts and reviews of the few games still being made for the dying platform.
Today a few years later, I find myself in the first year of the ‘real world’ (i.e. a job with pay and my own desk, which I feared may never of happened) and the free gift with that job is on a good day the 3 hours a day spent on public transport.
Now like some kind of walking branch of Mappins I find myself with a laptop, an ipod, a silly coloured music phone and enough cables to connect up a small Sky Digital Music channel. And it’s scary quite how reliant on it all I have become.
Yesterday I thought I’d lost my ipod, as it turned out it was only lodged within a copy of a mag I’d half-inched from work. but the moment of sheer fear as I thought I’d lost it was not a feeling which i would like to repeat in a hurry.
I could quite happily kid myself that it was only the concern about the material loss of something that cost enough to have made a small dent on my student loans had i not ‘invested’ it on the ubiquitous white shiny thing which though less than 4 months old is already obsolete.
rather than this whole monetary concern it was the arguably more shallow concern that I might have to listen to someone's conversation on the train. When on the train, bus or tube and I’m not alone, like a unpopular migratory bird I, never think twice about the impact of my conversation. it’s nit because I’m hugely inconsiderate or any of the people deep in the throes of conversation are. it’s not that its selfish or offensive, they’re in a public place, they can have a public conversation, there perhaps is a line that needs to be drawn, I have on occasion unfortunately been party to personal information to discussions of someone's bowel movements or the sexual conquests of a group of peoples shared but unsurprisingly absent friend. But far too often this simply isn't the problem. 99 times out of a hundred I’d much rather hear about their sisters infectious disease than the most banal of conversations occur simply because of some loose at best connection and the unfortunate situation where they’ve found themselves sharing the same train carriage.
Holidays, weather, the wedding, friends children. other similarly uninvolving silence aversion technique. Why is it that people find it so impossible to share silence, it is perhaps the same reason why as I writing this I am listening to music full blast in full knowledge that I am at real risk of developing tinititus which would ruin listening to music forever. what we hear is one of the few senses that we really have any control over our consumption. Smell is entirely based on location, sight similarly environmental (despite my best attempts to avoid eye contact by closing my eyes for all nonessential moments whilst in transit. Touch somewhat undermines my argument, though far too often I’ve found my self in bodily contact with the person next to me. (Fact fans the Portsmouth -London line seems to offer a much much pleasant spacial set up than the Brighton - London equivalent)
Perhaps its just an attempt to exact some control over the limbo period between the time of work and the safety of the public sphere, or perhaps i’m over analysing the women a few seats down soul destroy cackle.

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