I walk past the Apollo and through the subway on the way home from work, the mild mannered Tracy Chapman fans place their MacDonalds debris neatly on the staircase for someone else’s children to pick up. The more inoffensive the music, the more offensive the fans. Don’t believe me? Watch Last Night of The Proms.
The couple get on the Piccadilly line and sit next to me in what must be well over grands worth of clothes. He’s wearing one of those thin stripy scarves that are everywhere and carrying a small stiff paper carrier bag with rope handles, ribbon and gold lettering. It’s more like a handbag than anything else. I think about what could be in it, a pair of cashmere socks perhaps or even new stripy scarf, but then realize that it doesn’t matter. I try to read but am fascinated by their conversation about the lost eight grand, the insurance and other details of the disposable income. Following them off at South Kensington I can’t help but notice his bald patch, far worse than mine but not as bad as someone like Phil Collins.
Mandy’s out all evening so it’s to M&S for some Salmon and potato fishcakes, delicious. There’s loads of push pigs in there grabbing the ready meals and elbowing me out of the way, thank god I’m not single. One particular push pig has her heels stowed in one of the above mentioned cardboard bags and wears trainers with a smart suit. Ridiculous, wear a £500 suit to work then get changed into a pair of Reeboks under the desk before sloping off. A soon as she has kids that’ll be it, the same toweling tracksuit for the next eighteen years of her life, then it’ll all end in tears on a reality makeover show.
I get home and switch on the box, a predictably boring Household Cavalry officer struts and talks to working men like children. They’re all from the same mold heading towards those same jobs in the city – a friend of the family, charity.
Sometimes I look at us and think we’re not so bad, other times, like last Thursday, I quite literally despair of it all.