Tuesday, 12 July 2011

I Wanna Get Off

I Wanna Get Off, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.
The French call it the 'train-train'. Or sometimes 'métro-boulot-dodo' (train-work-bed). We Brits refer to it as 'the daily grind'. Every language seems to have a term for it.

And sometimes, in my more reflective moments, I wonder about all those repetitive little motions we perform, and if we added them all up just how much of our lives we would end up having to admit we'd spent brushing our teeth, with our fingers in our nose, scratching our backsides or just pressing buttons of one sort or another.

I imagine the figures would be surprising.

Guys... between peeing and playing, fiddling and fornicating, washing and wanking, how much time do you reckon Mr. Happy has passed in your grubby little grip?

Ladies... major risk of sexism rushing up behind me here, how much time will you have spent with a hair brush or mascara applicator in your hands, a phone to your ear or a macaron in your mouth ;~S

The time we spend on trains, well, those of us living an urban existence at least, never fails to petrify me if I think about it. So much of our lives just sitting, or standing, or mindlessly moving, to get from one place to another, and yet these moments aren't dead moments; we're theoretically as alive when doing nothing or something mindless like commuting as at any other time. And yet we have a tendency to treat them as lost.

It's funny, the last time I took a picture of a train door opening mechanism I wrote a very similarly themed piece.

There must be something about train doors, and waiting to open them, which does that to me.

Did you know that the French for 'spot', as in things on your face you squeeze is bouton (i.e. 'button')?

That's kind of funny, isn't it? And I think if I had to live all of my 'button' pressing or squeezing moments all in one go, I'd have a good few months of gory gratuitous fun in front of me.

But was it time well spent?

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