Last Saturday I managed to board a crazy busy train from Manchester to Nottingham. I found myself sat at a table seat with two very interesting characters opposite me: a Jamaican British man who had just visited his eldest son in prison and a White British woman who had just visited her daughter at university. Both were in their late 40s but the three of us seemed to share some sort of connection.

Firstly we were all outraged at the fact that only 2 train passenger cars turned up and everyone was crammed in. Secondly we were all lucky to have actually gotten seats whilst other passengers were crammed in like sardines or on the floor.

‘We can be expecting a lot more of this now that the Tories stayed’ I broke the (conversation) ice.

Both agreed with long sighs and then went on to lament about their lives. The woman lamented as she and her husband couldn’t enjoy their lives as they were financially supporting their daughter studying architecture. At the same time, considering the high tuition fees and the 7 year length of her daughter’s course she was also concerned about their investment paying off in the long run. (As her daughter would find herself in a 80k + debt after graduation)

The man lamented about the system that put him in prison for 12 years and taught him several skills such as tiling, repairing, painting, plumbing which proved worthless when he got out as no one was willing to employ him due to his criminal record. ( he was also diagnosed as psychotic) Whilst he was content with the benefits he was receiving he was concerned that other kids of him (he has 11) might follow in his or his eldest’s footsteps.

‘If they brand me as psychotic and as a public menace and then no-one will hire me how can they expect me to not go back to what I do best – selling drugs?’ he exclaimed.

I didn’t really know what to say so I just nodded in approval. After a few moments of awkward silence, the woman got her kindle out and I took a book out. Sapiens by Yuval Harari.

‘That any good?’ The man asked me grinning.

‘Pretty good actually, it’s about the evolution of humans as a species’ I replied enthusiastically.

‘Oh right yea I know that stuff sounds great’ he replied ‘unlike other bollocks about man coming out of monkeys! I mean, you don’t see any monkeys turning into humans nowadays do you?’ He continued laughing like a young boy.

‘Well I haven’t seen any’ I replied chuckling.

‘They say we’re all marsupials don’t they?’ The woman intervened.

I was a bit confused for a few seconds by her answer but then I got it. ‘I think you mean mammals’ I replied

‘Yea yea yea, just like me!!’ the man replied enthusiastically as he was taking his wallet out . ‘Look at my last name, it’s ‘Dolphin’!!! he exclaimed in excitement as he took out his bank card and showed us his name.

We all burst out laughing. From there the conversation took unexpected turns.

‘You know they say there’s this time called The Dark Ages, like in the 1200s , for about 300-400 years that no one knows about. I mean no one knows what happened during those times, there’s no data, no evidence no proof of anyone having lived in those times’ the woman told us on a worried tone.

‘Oh I think there’s plenty of evidence’ I replied. ‘They’re just hiding it from us’ I continued.

‘Exactly!’ the man approved. ‘Just like the moon landing which never happened!’he continued. The woman nodded in approval.

‘Ah man, I can’t believe I lost my phone today. An IPhone 11 Pro that cost me £1400’ he changed topic. ‘But it’s alright, I locked with my fingerprint so no one else would be able to access it. And then I’ll claim it on my insurance and get a new one’ he continued. ‘Although this fingerprint system is not very good. My missus used my finger to unlock it while I was sleeping and caught me chatting with other girls. Then woke me up in slaps!’

‘Why don’t you use face lock?’ I asked.

‘That wouldn’t work bro, I sleep with my eyes closed’

‘Ok I know! Why don’t you use your toe to lock your phone? I bet she’d never unlock that then! ‘

*Bro Fist* ‘My man, I will definitely do that! What a great idea don’t know how I never thought of it!’

‘Although if you were out and had to unlock your phone, would you take your shoe and sock off to unlock it?’

We all burst out laughing again.

‘Ah bad idea, bad idea, I think I’ll just stick to being honest.’

‘Now that’s a good idea!’ I replied.

As he started lamenting the train was late, and the could not let his girlfriend now about it, Ana offered him her phone to text her.

‘Is it ok if I call? You see, I don’t know how to write cause I can’t spell.’

After he finished the phone call, Dolphin kept on talking about his life. He quickly jumped from one topic to another , from his mother that abandoned him to only came back eventually to ask for money, to his past life filled with violence, to the ridiculous high amount of benefit money he was currently on. It was hard to differentiate fact from fiction as both seemed to blend seamlessly in a novelesque urban modern tale.

It was hard not to feel sorry for him and blame the system for how he and his eldest son turned out. But it’s hard to tell, as there’s always two sides of the coin. The last Touch ID Iphone Apple produced was the IPhone 8, in 2017.