Love in the time of public transport

Meeting someone on the Tube may seem like an impossible undertaking, with each station offering your paramour a readymade escape route. This week, Subculture Sleuth declares, challenge… accepted.


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LADIES and gentlemen, step right up. You may be used to Subculture Sleuth providing random insights on the weird and wonderful cultural fascinations that come with living in the UK, however today will be a little bit different and exponentially more practical.

Allow me to explain. It has been a regular topic of conversation within our social circle that meeting a girl on the Tube and having good enough banter to pick her up is a near impossibility. You have to deal with almost insurmountable variables, not the least of which being the unknown amount of time that you have to perform.

It had become a personal challenge to prove that it can be done. I came close once, on a late night trip home from Brixton. That attempt collapsed when we were told to follow our target to a “rave in Acton… or maybe Alperton…” and the realisation that we just weren’t up for that kind of adventure hit us like a ton of bricks. Nevertheless, the near miss proved it could be done and only served to spur us on towards our destiny.

It happened one Sunday on the Piccadilly line. After a boozy day by the river, I jumped on the Tube at Piccadilly Circus with no intentions other than to head home. I collapsed into a seat without thinking, staring into space for three stops before inspiration struck. The train jerked to a stop randomly, and the leg of the person next to me grazed against mine, prompting me to turn… and there she was.

She was cute, big brown eyes and olive skin. I turned away out of awkwardness, and then I noticed something: in the reflection from the Tube window, she was smiling. I looked at her again, and turned away. In the reflection, she smiled again. This was it. This was my time. I began smiling and suddenly we were both smiling and anyone watching would have thought that we had both gone mad.

Conversation came next – stilted since it turned out that she was Italian. I will be the first to admit that my banter wasn’t in top form, but it didn’t seem to matter. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that my station was fast approaching and time was of the essence. I had to strike.

I took her phone, I put in my number and she gave me hers. The train slowed as it pulled into the station and I stood to leave. I leaned in for the hug, the European kiss-on-both-cheeks and then the lips, unexpected and out of the blue.

I walked onto the Tube as a mere squire. I walked off the train as a man fulfilled. If I do nothing else with my life, I have accomplished the task that I set for myself. Destiny is mine.