I was saved this morning. By a knight of the most honorable order.
I ran down the stairs, quickly glanced at the information screen and jumped onto the train. Made it. Sigh.
The doors closed and out of habit I checked with a fellow passenger: Is this the train that goes to Central. He looks up, nods, looks back at his papers. Sigh of relief.
Next stop Normanhurst. I’m antsy. My next stop was meant to be Epping. I look around for a map. I hear the next stop is definitely not Epping and begin to panic internally. I check with the man and his papers again: “you said this train goes to Central, right?”
“Yes, via Macquarie Park.”
Fold the washing, WHAT!!!!!??
I quickly realize that this train is not going to get me to Central in time to get on my
Countryhick CountryLink train and the panic rises in me. I keep a cool head though and ring My Uncle Rick (MAL’s Husband for those playing at home).
“Hi, I’ve done the unthinkable and I’ve gotten on the wrong train, I’m going via Macquarie Park”
“You’ll have to get off at Epping and get to Strathfield or you won’t make it”
“Yes, that’s what I thought”.
Innstructions on how to navigate Epping and Strathfield follow. I’d been briefed for Central, not Strathfield. I’d come into Strathfield Wednesday night and found it ridiculously complicated for my poor country brain. Off the phone, after assuring My Uncle Rick not to panic, my own panic rose in another crescendo and I looked around wildly and strained my ears to hear the crazy drunk Russian as it came through the speakers apparently telling me what the next station was. I cursed myself for leaving Roo at home. She would have made me heaps of friends at R U OK? Yesterday. Heaps. Aya
Would have known who she was too. She’s pretty famous, that kid. And she speaks Crazy Drunk Russian fluently.
Fold the Washing!!
Man and his pile of papers
Is obviously looking at me and my “don’t panic” outer face with eyes pleading “Someone folding help me!! I am lost and I don’t know where I am and I got on the wrong folding train!”
He speaks in a deep, calm and assuring voice:
“You didn’t catch the wrong train.”
“This was meant to be the express train but they changed it.”
“The board at the station said the wrong thing.”
More blank staring.
“You’re on the right train, it’s just going to take you longer.”
I realize he is trying to help me. Or possibly save himself from being late for work because of the crazy redhead who panicked and hit the fire button so she could get off the train.
“I have to be at Central for the countrylink train at 7:42, or I can catch it at Strathfield at 7:53″ I verbally throw up all over him.
He buries himself in his phone and I hope he hasn’t relieved himself of me now that he’s informed me I’m on the right, albeit slower, train and averted splattered Daisy on the tracks.
I prepare myself for getting off at Epping.
“OK” he clears his throat.
I unpress my face from the window, searching for the next stop and look at the trimmed beard.
“OK. This train won’t make it to Central on time.”
No, it won’t. I know. But this man is helping me and being panicked and a know-it-all is probably too much for this man, so I keep my “No Washing, Sherlock” to myself and listen intently for the information that I hope will follow. Man grabs his stuff and elegantly (yes, elegantly) folds himself and his ridiculously long legs into the seat next to me and shows me his beautiful Blackberry and the train information he’s looked up on his phone for me.
“So you need to hop off in two stops, get to platform 1 fast, and get on the 7:07 to Strathfield which will get you there at 7:21. Is that enough time?”
“Yes, thank you!!”
“OK, good. So when you get there, we will go into the lowest level, so you’ll need to get the escalator all the way up. ALL the way up?”
He questions if I understand. I do. My Uncle Rick had said the same thing on the phone but I hadn’t processed in my anger at my own stupidity and not double checking.
The Epping platform begins to slide into view and I prepare to jump ship.
“Thank you. Just Thank you”
I want to hug him but his suit looks so shiny and neatly pressed that I don’t want to crumple it. He obviously doesn’t think “folding” and “washing” are swear words. Either that or he has a season pass for the dry cleaners.
I hug him with my eyes (totally possible) jump off with my suitcase and bags and head for the escalators. They are so steep and high I get dizzy, but know I am on the right track. A neatly trimmed beardly, pile of papers reading immaculately pressed, Blackberry carrying Knight in a Shiny Suit told me so.
As My Uncle Rick said, Knight in a Shiny Suit was a total Rayon of Sunshine.
And yes, random and corny puns run in the family.
Sitting safely on my
And her awful experience yesterday.
Thank the lord for strangers that are Angels and people who can just see things are not OK. People who don’t even need to ask. I wish there were more people like my Knight in a Shiny Suit, or Glow’s Mars Bar Angel.
If there were maybe Glowless wouldn’t have had to feel not OK. Or maybe it would have been OK that she wasn’t because an Angel or Knight would have been there.
I’m not sure if it was because I am desperate to get home to my children, being alone in such a big place, or just how I am, but for the first time in my life I felt like the panic might consume me.
Thank you, Knight in a Shiny Suit, for battling the wave for me.
Thank you, Knight in a Shiny Suit, for not being too embarrassed or too self-involved to speak
Thank you Rick and MAL for having me, helping me and being such an amazing part of my family.
And thank you, Glowless, for making me feel that I’m not alone in wanting to burst into tears in the middle of the
Countryhick Countrylink train.