I’m not entirely surprised to learn that Kentish Town station has vanished. It always did rather lurk behind the half-closed door. Even if discovered it only said boo very, very quietly. Its purpose for all I ever knew to act as the place where ghost trains called then nonetheless there, once upon a time, then all through the night the Thameslink ran. This was very important if you lived in Borehamwood and drank in Camden. Sometimes you have to be determined to go home and not stick yourself to a nasty sofa.
“You could have gone to your girlfriends?”
Mme Roux is fishing again. She really is, with a little rod and a baited worm over a bucket of Tequila.
“I wasn’t drinking with my girlfriend.”
She would have been at a rock club, doing rock things, with big hair and boots. Since rock was then very much not Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple that wasn’t my scene, man. And drinking in Camden with fine Swedes (those not just then, doing rockkkkk) meant a close station and home. But I would fall asleep and wake every two hours to see the ghost train pull out. Once I jumped up and the train actually stopped. Only person on it. Fell asleep again but managed by luck and falling off the chair to get off at the right station. “But it was so very far,” I say.
Mme Roux understands perfectly. This was before Big Brother took up residence in Borehamwood with its regular Friday Hate, Strength Through Celebrity and a high-heeled boot slipping in a pile of sick, forever. “How far?”
“A half mile perhaps, but a very long half mile. When drunk,” I say. It was too. I had to walk and it was an effort of pure will, each step staring at a reluctant para-boot. PWEI, Carter and Back To The Planet couldn’t help me here. Step by step and I had to get home before the sun rose. I dared not rest on bench or in doorway else that was me gone and meat for the Child Catcher. Vulgarian fuck.
I apologise. I’m reminded of it only because Kentish Town station has vanished and that tickles me. No one knows where it is and they’ve looked, though everyone knows it’s gone nowhere. I get home, I live in an upstairs flat. I crawl, I really do, step by step and manage to get through the door. There and I can actually see my bed. There are but two steps and both inside the door to navigate. “I woke up not long after with my spine the same shape as two steps.”
“Of course you did,” says Mme Roux.
She has a spare rod and together we share a stool and a bucket, and later on a catch.