Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The 7.39 and its parallels to real life

The second part of The 7.39 was played out tonight on BBC1.  For those who missed it, a short summary: Man is happily married with two children, but stuck in a rut.  Man meets pretty Woman on his daily train commute.  Pretty woman has dim but loyal fiance.  Man and woman have an affair.  Man and Woman are found out by man's wife.  Man is kicked out of family home.  Woman finds out she is pregnant by fiance, but tells him about the affair.  She leaves.  In the end, Man and Woman do not stay together; Man is accepted back into the family nest; Woman is accepted by (yet) another man, who appears to agree to raising her child.  Ergo - happy ending.

Apart from the ending - messy situations like this cause too much hurt to end so smoothly - the drama held many parallels for real life.  The guilt was apparent, but so was the lust between the two of them which overwhelmed them - particularly him.

I remember being in his position.  Not sleeping.  Unable to think of anyone else but that other person.  In the middle of the day I would sit - just sit - for up to half an hour at a time, day dreaming about him.  I recognised the panic when David Morrissey's character couldn't immediately lay his hands on his phone.  The mobile phone - the one conduit to someone who has made you feel alive again.

And when Morrissey was beaten up by the Woman's fiance, and taken into hospital...that pressed buttons for me, too.  The boyf had an affair with me, and recently he went into hospital.  I couldn't get to him, so I had to text his ex wife and ask her for help.  We had that conversation - but by text - that Olivia Colman and Sheridan Smith had in the hospital corridor.  I was Smith - the shitty one, the one who had crapped all over another woman, a black mark to the sisterhood - and his wife was Colman, hurt and bitter and angry.

The other scene that stung was when Morrissey's character had to tell his children what he had done.  Telling your children that you have bollocksed everything up, that you have hurt the other most important person in their lives - is truly awful.  It is then when you realise what a complete arse you have been, how selfish and stupid and impossibly shit.  When your kids look at you, uncomprehendingly, and then start to cry, nothing else means anything.  Your behaviour comes swiftly into focus and all your excuses fall away, are meaningless.

Because generally, affairs do not end well.  And while adults recover, the consequences of our affairs live on with our children forever.

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