Walking down the platform I spotted my adversary, standing in his usual place. I'm speaking of the protocol violator that chose to sit directly opposite me the other week, ignoring thousands of other free seating areas. Now I know why he did that. Every morning we get on the same carriage and he always sits in the same seat, facing away from the direction of travel and taking a keen interest in anything the commuters around him do. He'll read their papers, scrutinise the covers of their books, watch them tap away on their laptops, gaze lustfully at their mobile phones.
This guy really irritates me, I've seen him every day for the last few weeks, and I've had enough. This morning I decided to get in the next carriage so that I wouldn't have to put up with him, even though it is not in the perfect position for my stop (i.e. when the train stops the doors are not directly aligned with the platform exit). I simply had to take decisive action. Witnessing him daily inflicting misery on his fellow commuters is slowly driving me mad. Proper mad, not Jord mad.
For some reason our train stopped a carriage-length further up the platform than normal. This meant our usual carriage was directly in front of me, and my adversary had to scurry up the platform. A light bulb dinged above my head, a beautiful thought came to me, angelic voices in my head sang songs of unalloyed celebration. I would steal his seat. He deserved it. It would be a crime not to pounce on this perfect opportunity, mess with the mind of this heinous villain and inject some excitement into my monotonous commute. I did have some doubts, it could go horribly wrong, what if he flung his coffee at me in a caffeinated parabola of destruction? Imagine the headlines.
"Train rage strikes again, man douses fellow commuter in coffee".
Ignoring the doubts I stole his seat. He rushed into the seating area seconds later. He looked at me sitting smugly in his seat, blinked and looked again. He had the dejected expression of a child that was expecting a mountain bike for Christmas, but had instead received an extra-large knitted jumper adorned with a reindeer. He wandered reluctantly into the next seating area and sat in the equivalent seat - this guy loves his backward-facing window seat and he found a seat that was as identical to his usual one as possible. I could feel his glare penetrating my skull.
When I got of the train I stole a glance in his direction. I couldn't resist. He glared at me menacingly. A look like that could kill a thousand cats. Tomorrow I'm going to get down the platform early and steal his seat again. The fight is on.
A Little Girl Feeding Some Baby Crocodiles, 1932
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