I felt inside my (oversized) handbag. There is was. Smooth and cool.
My iPod was there, but the earphones weren't. Somehow, it doesn't seem to matter how large the bag is: I still manage to forget something.
I sat down (with a disgruntled sigh), and became aware of the interaction between a mother and her daughter now beside me on the platform.
They, like I, had descended the escalator just a moment too late to catch the train and watched it hurry northbound into a tunnel. The little girl looked perturbed...
"Not to worry.
It doesn't matter.
It's not worth getting upset about.
There'll be another along soon.
- her mother said calmly.
I was mesmerised by the child's curiosity provoked by the novelty the scenario presented and, just for a moment, transported beyond my been-here-a-million-times-when-will-I-learn (this particular lesson: that from ticket gate to platform takes more than 1 minute).
I was reminded that, it didn't matter, and reassured by her statement, that another (albeit on the wrong branch meaning I would need to change) would arrive shortly.
...Which it did.
We boarded together. And took our seats. She with delight and excitement. Me with relief. I started calculating how many stops I had ahead of me, and the chances of arriving on time. I was soon distracted by the little girl's wonder. It made for a far more pleasant journey. After all, what did I think I was going to do having worked out I was now running late?
Regardless of whether I find the errant headphones, I may travel with my ears open more often.