So Much For Prepping…

So I’ve been preparing for this day for a while and so much for that. After finishing my day a half hour early and catching an earlier train something slowly dawned on me. I forgot to bring my passport. 

The way that the train connections work and looking at the schedule before buying my ticket I realized that it’s faster to get the train to Stafford from Stoke and then go to Liverpool. This is before I made the mistake of forgetting my id. 

It turns out that this was a favorable decision. This realization that I forgot my id came whilst standing on the platform waiting to go to Stafford. I’d been texting back and forth with Ba(r)be as Leon Bridges had played in Vancouver just a few days ago. He is now moving on to Europe and his first stop is in Liverpool. I wonder if he remembered to bring everything with him. 

As the train approached my mind raced to figure out what to do. There is only roughly thirty minutes between my arrival in Stafford and my departure to Liverpool. The traffic along the road leading to my residence can be notoriously bad. Should I chance it? What if they don’t lend me the room that I’ve booked? I don’t want to be sleeping rough out there in Liverpool. It’s still cold outside and even though the sun came out after the rains that swept through the area it will rain again according to the weather report. 

The ride to Stafford took for ever even though it didn’t. It felt like a long time as I contemplated my move. I looked in my pocket to see how much cash I had. All the bills have been spent and only some change remained. I’m gonna need a crash point. Luckily I know where one is at the station. 

There were thirty minutes before departure as I stepped off the train. The seconds ticked away as I walked to the stairs to get off this platform and up onto the gangway to exit the station. I still hadn’t made up my mind. I started to go up the stairs two at a time as always before I hit a wall in the form of a large couple dilly dallying and struggling with their one piece of luggage. That skirt and those tights left an impression on me that I’d rather forget as quickly as I can. Just a few more to go and I passed them quickly and made my way to the exit avoiding the little kid with no care in the world. Where is his parent?

The cash point is just outside the exit and the taxis are not too far from here. The first one in line is one of those iconic cabs that are numerous in London but rare here. The cabbie was a grey haired chap with a few days growth and a stained sweatshirt reading the Daily Mail. 

“Do you think you can get me there and back within thirty minutes? I need to catch this train.” I enquired. 

“I don’t know mate. It all depends on the traffic.” 

“How bad do you think it is?” Knowing full well how it can be along that road. It’s a long single file of cars sometimes that seems to stretch on for ever. I smile to myself as I walk by it on my way home. 

“It’s rush hour mate but it’s possible.” 

“Alright. Let’s do this.” The decision was made right then and there. He looks like he knows what he is doing. He’s driven these roads for years I think. 

“Getting through this central but is no problem it’s the return journey that can be a problem.” He said as he followed some obscure detour due to all the construction and roadworks that have sprung up this spring. The journey back will be the deciding factor. As we circled around the giant round about the line of cars heading back gave me a bit of anxiety. We still had to make it to the flat. 

“Just turn into the first part of the parking lot.” There was a giant moving van blocking the entrance to the rest of it. 

“I’ll just get out here. I’m leaving my bag.” As I ran up the stairs I realized how foolish that was. Where did I leave my Id? It wasn’t a hard search. It was there on top of the dresser. I’m gonna change my jacket to look more fashionable. 

“How was that for quickness?”

“Two minutes mate.” 

“Not too bad”

He turned around and got onto the road to get back. The flow of traffic gave us space to get in there. He was agressive in his driving and efficiently approached the station. The line of cars wasn’t as long as it seemed a few minutes ago. The time however was ticking away…

He parked the cab in the bus parking space. 

“Here you go mate. You can stroll to the platform.” 

“Thanks a lot! And keep the change.” Tipping is not a big thing in the UK. He did get me back in time though. I had time for a fag even and then strolled to the platform. 

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