Dear Tube Train,
I'm worried that this is going to come across overly harsh. Honestly, I don't mean it to. I do appreciate all of the hard work you do. I completely understand that you are getting on a bit (what are you now, like 100?) and that you didn't sign up for the volume of work that's been thrust upon you. And my God would I miss you if you weren't around.
But we need to talk.
Don't panic; I'm not breaking up with you. I know, I know - I may have flirted with the odd bus journey, and once in a blue moon strayed from your loving embrace in favour of a black cab. But you're my first love; it's you that I turn to first, forsaking all others, when I need to get around town. It's just - you and me - I'm not sure it's working. I'm not sure either of us is happy.
Let's talk about your punctuality. Do you have any idea how irritating it is to be left standing, waiting, watching the minutes tick by as I wait for you to arrive? How soul-destroying it is to know that an entire city is rushing around above me, enjoying life, while I stand still and wait for you? And when you do finally grace me with your presence, you do so without a word of apology, just a list of the same old tired excuses.
Like 'Signal Failure'; if your signals are as prone to failure as your frequent tardiness would suggest, may I advise that you buy some new ones? Or how about, 'A Defective Train Up Ahead'. That's a classic, that is, one of your favourites. Then there's 'Flooded Stations', 'Crowd Control', 'Passenger Alarms'. I've heard it all, and you know what? If you don't want to see me, if you don't want to pick me up, well don't bloody bother. Just don't shower me with these transparent and quite frankly insulting excuses.
Did I say insulting? Well yes, yes I did. The excuses with which you attempt to pacify me are insulting in how obvious it is that they are false. Don't think I didn't notice that, after being stuck in a tunnel for 10 minutes due to overcrowding on the platform at Farringdon, we arrived at said station to find nobody there! Not a soul! And while I'm at it, you should know that I've noticed that your signals tend to fail whenever it rains. Coincidence? Ha! I think not! Look, none of us likes getting wet. None of us likes tripping through puddles and slipping across station concourses, but we do it because we have to. And what's more; we're not made of metal. You should be laughing in the face of the Great British Winter, not hiding from it!
I don't know, Tube. Where did it all go wrong? You're not the same as you once were. I can hear your unhappiness. I can hear it in the creaking and groaning of your carriages, the exhausted wheezing as doors drag themselves apart. I can see it in the dark and dusty tunnels and the weak and flickering lights. I just wish it hadn't got this far.
I won't abandon you. Not yet. I just needed to get this off my chest and let you know how I feel. And now that's done, I'll leave you alone as you probably need to think. Please don't doubt my affection for you; I hold you in such high regard, in such warm regard (as warm as the Northern Line on a summer's day, in fact). I'll see you in the morning.
Yours in anticipation of a happier future,
In honour of Halloween, here I am dressed as a frog. A drunk one.