This is a dressing room blog, I’ve written it because I can’t concentrate on reading when it is 20 minutes before show off time.
As the Northern Line train indicator comes into view, I see that it is three minutes until the next train to Morden. I mumble a Grade D swearword.
That was the three minutes when I was going to write that opening paragraph of the novel in my head.
That elusive paragraph, the one I have been seeking for months.
The one that was going to prise open the rest of my imagination, and then the whole book would come tumbling out.
But now, this three minutes stood opposite a poster of Ben Affleck, this three minutes which the contents of Metro are not lengthy or invigorating enough to fill, has robbed the world of that novel.
This was my most vital three minutes.
When I lie dying, or standing arms looped around barbed wire after the apocalypse, I will curse the fact that I would only have needed three minutes more to sort out humanity, but that sluggish train to Morden robbed the human race of its redemption.
That three minutes of being briefly distracted by a dusty mouse, just one, Euston is not a lair like Charing Cross, whose platform can be like a cowboy jacket of scampering mouse tail tassels, was so damn important, it is worth being furious about. It is worth pressuring the blood around my brain.
The problem with the city, beyond the cannibals that hide in Russell Square, is that you can find yourself petulant and red over three minutes. They don’t even have to be three lost minutes, they can be the three minutes to read further, or even to try and think something beyond, “THREE MINUTES!”
The three minutes is only really wasted if you spend it angry about lost time.
Enraged by 180 seconds more until you get to a meeting or a film or glass of wine, and yet placid when it comes to wasting hours of the day doing so many things and getting nowhere. I waste my own time, and so much of it, yet when something else steals it by chance or bad town planning or a crumbling infrastructure, the pulsating begins.
It’s that descent into busyness that the urban are warned of, and then feel to heed that warning. You are hurrying, and cursing lost time, but as you move so speedily along, you don’t notice that you are doing fuck all anyway.
Anyway, I better start running and cursing now, just in case there are some insidious delays to me getting to Twitter and staring at Saturday newspaper suppliments without seeing a thing.
Maybe I should start writing that novel before I get to platform 3.
Next week, I am off to Oslo, Croydon, Cambridge, Laugharne, and then on to Cardiff, Sheffield, Nottingham, Goole and probably a town near you. Dates HERE
Stephen Fry has now been added to the Cosmic Genome App.