Thursday, May 12, 2011

Strangeness on a Train

A few days ago I was riding a Central Line train out to Ealing for a real estate appointment. Across from me sat a youngish Indian-Briton in jeans and a purple hoodie. I was reading Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Heartily amused by a passage in the book, I looked up smiling. The man opposite me apparently mistook my smile for an inviting gesture. He moved across to my side of the train, two seats down from me and proceded to look at me. He wrote something on a slip of paper and placed it between us. I didn't pick it up, rather I focused on the events of Shandy, Book V. After a minute, with big sweeping dramatic movements, he picked up the piece of paper and ripped it to shreds in front of me, throwing the fragments on the floor and moved down the train car. It's for the best, really. In addition to the insurmountable obstacle of our differing orientations (un-sir-mountable, one could jest), I very strongly dislike litterbugs.


  1. Just reading back 'issues'. Hmmmmmmm. Going on the "ignoring it so it will go away" theory? Did you ever consider the option that the note might have said something else? Like "I was in the movie, maybe you recognize me"? Or "I've lost my wallet, can I borrow a pound?" Or "aren't you Simon Pegg?" Or "who cut your hair?" Would you have read a note from a woman? After all, she would have had no more 'chance' with you than he did. Or did you pick up the pieces, put them roughly together and decipher them? Hell, weren't you curious?

  2. Yes I suppose I missed an opportunity. Perhaps my fly was unzipped or I had a bit of my breakfast in my beard, and he wanted to tell me in an inconspicuous sort of way. No a note from a woman other than my wife would have been similarly ignored. But in the future, I should endeavor to read these notes. Thanks for the correction.