'Cheer up, love. Might never happen!' He yelled, as he got right up in my face, before turning to his friend and snorting with laughter. He had a big pot belly, which was barely covered by the old faded T-shirt he was wearing. His jeans looked grimy like they needed disinfecting and his eyes were covered by a washed out red baseball cap, which he hid behind when he looked away.
I instantly felt small, miserable and insignificant. This emotion was quickly plastered over by a bout of rage.
Who did he think he was?
I didn't smile at him (which could well have proved his point), but instead, I tightened my jacket, and gripped my handbag for support and kept walking on to the tube. Truth is, his words hit me a little like a slap around the face.
Did I really look that miserable to the outside world? Okay, so this scruffy bloke who thinks he had the right to openly judge strangers just minding their own business, doesn't hardly constitute the world, but you know what I mean.
I thought back to the past couple of weeks. I hadn't been quite myself, that was true.
"Are you okay? You're not quite yourself today - a little thoughtful perhaps?" A friend at work had asked as she strolled past reception last week.
"I always know when something is up with you, you go all quiet." Said another of my work colleagues, one who rarely speaks to me.
My life had become a bit of a routine. My work days were full to the very brim of commuting, newspapers, post, trays of coffee, transferring calls, and stationery catalogues. The most exciting thing that happened each day was realising I had walked quicker than usual to the train station, meaning I could take the earlier train and didn't have to rush to get a seat. If finding a spare seat on the tube excited me, then no wonder people at work had noticed something was wrong.
But it was the person who knows me best, who was perhaps the most perceptive.
"You haven't been writing much lately, have you?" Liam had said.
I'd walked in from work and slumped onto the sofa, putting my head in my hands and letting out the biggest sigh. I was surprised he'd brought it up. He, who hates my Twitter account, and gets jealous of how I have a tendency to put my relationship with my blog followers before ours sometimes in the evenings.
Can you put your phone down, and stop checking your blog - for just one minute? He'd sigh and remind me again that we were trying to have a nice meal together.
"No, I haven't." I replied. "In fact, I haven't felt like doing many of the things that I love, recently..."
He came over to the sofa and bear-hugged me, squeezing me tight against his chest so my ears got all squashed. I love it when he does that. I like the way his voice sounds all gruff and echoey through his rib cage. He didn't jump in asking questions, he let me speak, as he always does.
I trundled through each grumpy, indifferent, frustrated emotion I'd felt over the last few weeks. Each day had felt like it needed to be 'done' just to get onto the next, to then finish that day in order to repeat the whole process again. When it suddenly clicked that the thing I looked forward to most in each day was sleeping, it was there in my living room, wrapped tight in Liam's arms, that I decided I had a problem.
"It could be that nothing much at the moment inspires me, pushes me or challenges me." I offered.
I'd gotten used to the monotony of my daily routine. I thought about how I had begun to walk faster to get to each destination, not stopping to notice things around me, how I regularly tutted at people who crossed my path, or those who walked too slow in front of me. I'd started buying into all the consumerism; the caramel macchiatos, the fancy clothes, the posh meals out. It had become ashamedly easier to slob in front of the TV after getting in from work, rather than get my watercolour paints out to create a picture, or set my mind to write a story. All very fickle. I narrowed my eyes and spoke very slowly and seriously. "I think I might have finally become a Londoner."
Liam thought this was hilarious, and whilst laughing, said very pointedly, "Well you do know what you're going to have to do about this..."
"Move to Brighton?" I asked, hopefully, teasing him slightly.
"No -" He rolled his eyes at me. "You need to put some effort in to make things change. You can look for a new job today if it's not exciting enough, you can plan to do things that will inspire you."
I didn't want to admit he was absolutely right. I had become lazy. Too comfortable in my routine to even think about having the ability to change it. I had become that miserable face on the London Underground I'd always hated. Me.
As I sat down to write this post, switching my computer on and logging in to Blogger, I saw my familiar home page flash up, and a wave of excitement flew through me as post after post popped up from my favourite bloggers.
Wanting to read them all at once, I smiled as I remembered that familiar desperate need to be creative, come sneaking back to me. And I suppose I wasn't half surprised I hadn't blogged for a while, I couldn't really call myself a light in London when 'a little lost in London' might have been more appropriate.