On my journey into work this morning, dripping with sweat and nursing a dripping nose (heat and hayfever, what a lottery win) I noted the usual faces I share the train carriage with. The same people, catching the 8:43 from Highbury & Islington, everyday.
The young guy in the suit, who must obviously work in an air conditioned office, reading his latest book. Always a paperback, never a Kindle (currently on A Song of Fire and Ice)
The man with the ginger ponytail (who I like to think works in I.T)
The middle aged woman, who I am friendly with in that smile and hold the door for each other kind of way (She’s an Audible user)
The sulking bald guy, who will knock his mother over if it meant he got to be first on the train.
Then there’s me. The one with a tissue literally glued to her nose, with bright red headphones just in case I need to step in as an emergency beacon one day.
Ahh, these strangers. My commuter buddies.
The way home though, is different. I never see the same face twice on the way home.
I read somewhere that the people we see in our dreams, are people we’ve passed by in our daily lives and that our brain just stores this information in some tiny nook. Now that is some kind of tiny nook, but also if that is true or not, how amazing is that theory? There you are, just minding your own business walking along to the supermarket, whilst your brain sneakily screenshots everyone’s face around you.
I watched a documentary recently about Scotland Yard and their team of Super Recognisers. That is an actual, serious, crime fighting thing. People who have a talent and ability to recognise faces. Funnily enough, it was The New Yorker that wrote a piece about these super recognisers in the Met that reminded me. People watching, a required talent and skill- how about that?!
Tomorrow’s journey on the 8:43, I’ll be there, red headphones and all, squinting at my commuter buds and wondering if I’d recognise them away from our train carriage.