It's a funny place, Loughton station 9.28 on a weekday morning.
Men and women hanging around nervously looking around. The odd furtive glance upwards, but mostly avoiding people's eyes. If they were teenagers, the police would be called.
Today there were two police standing behind the barriers. Much more purposeful they looked. Perhaps there has been trouble before
Above their heads, the station clock quietly ticking away. Tick, tock, tick, tock. It heads towards 9.30. As the hands move round, there is a palpable tension. Should a train arrive in those precious two minutes you can see the flash of frustration - cheeks become reddened, a look of despair. Watches are checked.
At 9.30, they all suddenly turn as one and march through the barriers. Most rush along the passageway and up the stairs to the platform. Five minutes until the next tube rattles along headed to West Ruislip.
You see, it's cheaper to travel after 9.30
Do you know where you were on 9/11? This year's anniversary made the middle pages of the press. The media has short memories, even if that one cataclysmic event changed the course of history. My memory is shorter than most. I'd remembered listening to the news in the office as it all unraveled, but not later. I was reminded today. I had gone for a pizza. A friend I hadn't seen for many years, but met for lunch today says he has a very clear memory of our evening eating pizza that night. What did we talk about? I have no idea. I can't imagine. Could we have spoken about anything other than the events in New York that day? It seems unlikely. I wish I could remember.