Friday, 19 October 2012

The Waiting Room - Lisa Wigham, Preston Railway Station, platform 3/4

During the Great War . . . Three and a quarter millions of the sailors and soldiers . . . refreshments and comforts





It's Sunday, platforms seem busy with groups.

Singing, clicks of a walking stick, or more likely crutch with metallic clinks, the door closes and the singing abruptly ceases.

"The next train to arrive . . ."

Pull in your leg, someone's passing, obstructive seating.

Silent waiters wait, waiting room etiquette in between busy cafe and rest room facilities.

No one looks, all busy with their own sounds and sights.

We are in a city, travelling BETWEEN CITIES.

WE RETURN to sit and patiently wait; a friend arrives and distant voices become shared, a shift in body and they exit left, CHANCE HORIZONS visually encountered, unexpected, unprovoked.

FIRE ACTION, COFFEE SHOP, and also . . . Hot Tea

Doors clatter and bash, low rumbling engine increases, we are told the train approaching platform two is the 11:15 Northern Rail service to Liverpool Lime Street. No-one moves.

Another body arrives, increasing volumes, reducing space, patiently waiting. Singular, silent, observing and observed.

Newspaper pages turn, engines roar, coins clink and a wallet's depths are checked, then depart. Noticeable in the silent space.

"Kirkham, Blackpool North". The traveller moves slowly to embrace his folded jacket. Slow, specific movements prepare him for his DISTANT PENINSULAS. His WAITINGDREAMING over for now. A different activity is needed. He goes away, perhaps to RETURN again another day, amother time.

Two people, arrive, two leave; balance restored.

In this time of fast moving life, waiting is inevitable in these places, guided by mechanical machines, chugging, gliding.

Children; voices become raised, inquisitive, playful.

Unheard of places slip off the announcers tongue, linking them to the known, the heard of destination, echoing BETWEEN CITIES, flashes of DISTANT PENINSULAS and CHANCE HORIZONS would surely fill the eye.

Bursting, capturing images, snaps like cameras, glimpses of memory peep through, I pack to leave, transitory visit completed.


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