Can we share more than space?


Tomorrow morning commuters across the country will read the news about Gary Speed.

They probably already know some of the story, but the established press, the disposable freebies, the iPad-enabled newsstands and reading over a neighbour’s shoulder will bring us all a little closer to the full tragedy of his death.

And yet only the tiny minority might express any reaction or emotion to it for the length of their commute. Sure, we’ll start talking once we’ve arrived in the office. It may not amount to the sincerity of mourning, but at least in the workplace there’s a semblance of sharing. In a commuter carriage we share silence.

In the UK depression affects 1 in 5 older people and British men are three times as likely to commit suicide as British women. Gary Speed’s death, the nature of it – suicide by a man respected in his field at the top of his profession – has caused shockwaves and, if these statistics are to be believed, has no doubt hit a very personal nerve among many people across the country.

I find it disconcerting that strangers will come together on occasions to mourn, to protest, to celebrate, but strangers brought together by this particular circumstance do not. The commute can be a lonely place, made lonelier still by the constraints of etiquette. Or is this just my experience?


2 thoughts on “Can we share more than space?

  1. Paul

    Thanks, thought provoking!

    I from time to time suffer depression and urges to die by own hand. I don’t talk about it even at home, so it is strange that a blog should allow me the space. With Mr.Speed we know not the trigger but for me strangely it has often been that things are going well, a reality that confuses me and those around.

    When I am ill I’m told I am really unpleasant to live with and push away those that can/would/ want to help and I push hardest against my wife. Who can she talk to I hate people knowing and in truth friends dont really want to know “oh my husband bought me a new car, I think the depression making him manic” no they just wish thiers would by them a car and they really don’t want to know about the regrets and recriminations that follow.

    So we/I sit in a bubble isolated, alone and insulated so don’t you dare burst that bubble because we/I will fall to the ground and there is no memory foam crash mat, just a stone cold floor that never opens to hide my embbarisment.

    Words echoing through the brain, “See I caught you, you are a failure you always will be, thats right cry sissy you will never amount to anything!”

  2. The “commute” is when humans are most unhuman, more animal. I just can’t do it. It’s cost me many 100;s of 1,000’s , but I’m me and have happiness. Look forward to talking “commuting”

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