|Posted by Mark Cantrell on November 15, 2016 at 3:55 PM|
Careful how you go
A good book can get you into some situations you'd much rather avoid.
The other day I had a reminder of this simple truth.
Reading is an immersive experience. Worlds await us as we dip into the pages and find ourselves carried away, but if we're not careful the real world can take us its own merry way, as we lose ourselves in literary journeys.
So I found myself onward bound to London this week, courtesy of a good book.
My mind was elsewhere, on a distant world light years from Earth, as the protagonist dealt with the intricacies of first contact; my physical shell, meanwhile, was on a train home from work, oblivious to its whereabouts.
Slowly, reality managed to bring me back down to Earth.
It dawned on me that we'd stopped. I glanced out of the window. Saw the fence, realised it didn't look right for Macclesfield (where I semi-consciously had mapped my locality), and suddenly realised.
With a silent cry of 'oh crap' I rushed for the door, Kindle in hand, only to catch the sign for Stoke-on-Trent as the train pulled away. Next stop Euston. I was now a very long way from that alien world on the far side of a wormhole in space-time; I was getting ever further away from home too.
Oh, for one of those fictional irregularities in the fabric of the cosmos, just then. If only one could have opened up right there in the vestibule and transported me safely to the platform for my usual walk home. But no. This is reality.
Talk about a long commute and the scenic route home.
My immediate future involved the long trek to London, followed by the long trek back on the next available train, and the soft glow of a red face. Well, I'm not the first person to miss my stop; won't be the last either.
At least I had a good book for company.
Be careful where you read; you never know quite where you might end up.
13 November 2016
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