Thursday, March 23, 2006

7.31 On Time
There was a scruffy youth smoking on the train.

I took a couple of deep breaths and told myself to calm down.
He'd only just got on, he was bound to put it out.

A sideways glance.
Smoke was still curling out from his sneakily cupped hand.
I told myself to relax, the conductor would be along in a minute, he would say something.
But what if he wasn't? What if he didn't?

Out of the corner of my eye I could still see that smoke.
I gave the boy contemptuous glance and turned to stare ostentatiously at the "No Smoking" sign.
My heart was thumping, I could feel the blood rushing to my face in anticipation of what I would say.
In situations like this it's no good quietly seething is it? You have to stand up and be counted.

I took one final look - just to confirm my outrage.
Very, very, fortunately, this time I realised that what I'd seen as surreptitious puffs of his ciggy were actually delicate sips from the cup of steaming coffee he'd bought from that new machine in the waiting room...

The Fitzgerald - Richmond Fontaine


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