Philosophical Reflection on the Return Ticket

There is a problem with booking in advance. One has to decide. One can’t act on impulse – unless one decides to be out of pocket.

It’s all very well living in the here and now, but as far as tickets are concerned, one cannot avoid the moment of contemplating the future. One has to book in advance. One has to decide.

Does one want an open return? How very flexible. Enough rope to hang oneself while keeping an end fixed to a point in time, when it will be yanked – and there one is.

Does one want to return at all?

Two singles are often cheaper than a return.

Why does it cost more to come back than it does to go? Why does it cost more to come back on a Sunday? Is the increased Sunday fare a penalty for being foolish enough to return at all? Or is one’s sense of moral responsibility to return from the pursuit of freedom on the 11.16 Pendelino to Manchester Piccadilly before ones absence is discovered on Monday morning, when the world return to normality, being exploited by the train companies on behalf of their shareholders?

The fact is, however, when one considers it carefully, that the routine responsibility of the original return, absolutely, inevitably, unquestionably, actually, becomes the routine responsibility of the present here and now, of what had been previously the destination. Or to put it more simply, everyone needs clean knickers and breakfast eventually.

To return is, after all, only geographical, not temporal, and one can decide, perhaps, whether it be emotional or psychological.

However, just to be on the safe side, I’ll book two singles.

Ruth Shadwell, Novemeber 2010

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