In which we meet a special specimen
The Tube rage swells with every screech of rails.
He’s stood at the end of an aisle with a backpack the size of a 1990s television hanging loosely from his shoulders. He’s getting repeated glances from those nearby, presumably because their teeth are rattling from the sound of the bass vibrating from his incongruently tiny earphones. Or possibly because he sniffs every three minutes, with a lengthy snarfing sound that makes it seem entirely possible that the entire carriage might disappear into the damp recesses of his nostrils. It’s possibly due to his cold (or allergy, or drug habit).
He’s doused himself in enough aftershave that nail varnish on the hands near him is starting to bubble and peel. A spark could result in conflagration, tearing through the wavering field of scent that surrounds him like a boxy Christmas pudding.
He’s got both hands out to grip a span of three hand holds, butt swaying back and forth with every crash from his thudding accompaniment. His backpack has been ramming repeatedly into the man behind him, who has apologetically slid closer and closer to the seat in front whilst attempting not to thrust his own crotch into someone’s face. His gymnastics have not been enough to save him from those hip thrusts.
Maybe backpack guy’s got rubbish sight. It would explain the blank way he ran his eyes over the woman next to him who’s been trying to reach a hand hold but has been forced to stretch on tiptoe because he’s still holding on to the grip in front of her. She’s too polite to say anything, she just keeps on stumbling backward and forward while he keeps right on looking through her.
He finally gets a seat, much to the relief of the guy behind him and the woman next to him. As their frowns fade to relief, backpack guy plants his bag on the floor and promptly flings his thighs out to the sides. His elbows follow suit.
He gives an almighty snort-sniff of contentment.
And begins to hum.