Sunday, February 14, 2010

The spritual side of Oyster

I am not an overtly spiritual individual. Despite an education that took in both C of E and Catholicism, I couldn't claim to practise any religion, and nor will you find me dancing round the Maypole, worshipping big stones, or getting blind drunk and running naked oe'r the hilltops in veneration of Mother Nature. So when I enter into a transaction with a train company, it is not often that I do so with the fate of my immortal soul upprmost in my mind. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I presented my Oyster Card to the gentleman behind the window at Kings Cross the other morning, attempting to diagnose the cause of its refusal to allow me though the Tube barrier, to be informed that I had an "unresolved journey."

An unresolved journey? What could this mean, I wondered, as the cold tendrils of panic began to envelop my heart with their chill carress. And how had this unassuming piece of plastic managed to penetrate my deceptively cheery exterior to analyse the darker layers within my subconscious? The cashier was regarding me with an air of mystery, as he left the statement hanging ominously in the air. In the silence that followed, it was as though my very soul was exposed to all the world, or at least that part of it currently queueing for tickets at Kings Cross St Pancras Underground station.

“You’re so right!” I blurted out, “I’m not completely happy with my career, I think I made a few bad choices when I finished University, and I’m not sure if I’m in the right path for me. I just don’t think I’ve really found my niche. And I’m struggling to reconcile the need to provide for my wife and young son with the desire to fulfil my potential as a writer and philospher. What should I do?”

The cashier gave me a long, meaningful look, and with a weary shake of his head, he uttered his momentous response:

“It says here you touched in at Baker Street the other day and didn’t touch out properly.”

Now that definitely wasn’t in my horoscope.