I’m not really a people person. I’m no good at bonding and what’s more, I’ve no interest in bonding. I even worry on my way to work that if I end up in a major accident with my fellow commuters, sharing such a terrible experience will bind me to them. I look around my train carriage some days and think, “I wouldn’t want to bond with some of the people on here’. If I emerged unscathed from the wreckage of an accident, would I just be able to walk off and head to work or back home as normal, or is someone going to stop me and get my personal details which will then be circulated among the other survivors? Would I be forced to get involved in the ensuing inquiry? Would I feel obligated to attend every anniversary gathering?
I always get on the emptiest train carriage, so if anything happens, I would only be in touch with the fewest people possible. I’d attend the inquiry only on the most crucial days. The survivor’s group would press for me to be more involved but I’d be mindful that being a survivor is bound to damage one’s chances with the ladies. Say you allowed yourself to get too close to another survivor. Some years later, you meet a girl, and when you introduce her to this other survivor, she’ll ask the inevitable, “where do you know each other from?” You see her face drop as your friend tells her you became close after you both survived this terrible tragedy. Straight away she’s having visions of you waking up in the middle of the night, terrible flashbacks, screaming, cold sweats, kicking her in the bed. If we’re ever in an accident, and you see me walking away from the wreckage, just let me carry on walking. Please.
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