Over the weekend there were engineering works that shut us down from LES to LIS which normally means that the bus replacement service acts as a filter for the “oversleepers” and other entertaining individuals that inhabit the Tube towards the end of traffic hours. My first half consisted of shuttling between LES and EPP and I wasn’t expecting much until I got to DEB WB the second time. As I pulled in I could see a curly haired gent clinging desperately to the stairs and only after I’d opened the doors did he release his grip, stagger across the platform and onto the train.
I didn’t notice him get off before we reached LES and as I changed ends I found him sat slumped forward in one of the cars so I gave him a pat on the shoulder and told him where he was. He slowly raised his head like some strange inflatable, flashed me a grin that would not have been out of place on a psychiatric ward and then slowly deflated again. Over the years I’ve come to recognise when further interaction is pointless and as I had a few more trips left before I put the train away for the night I left him to it.
I kept an eye out for him and spotted him staggering off the train at BUH EB. He took a few steps onto the platform, turned to face the train, leant against one of the pillars supporting the canopy and began struggling with his flies. He was still struggling when I left the platform but as there was no telltale puddle there when I returned I have no idea whether he attempted to relive himself on the spot and failed or was simply letting some fresh air in
As I always say, it’s all glamour in this job.