Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Silent scourn refusal - The greatest human being ever

On my morning route to the train station over the past few days, I've noticed the increasing number of fellow commuters who feel the need to run to part of the way to the station.

Yesterday morning the familiar sound of quickened footsteps could be heard over the music from my headphones. The rapid beat of firm shoe heels on the asphalt accompanied by the sound of a tuppaware lunch box rattling within a bag and the jangling of keys and coins in a trouser pocket. I turned around to see from where this cacophony of sound effects was comining from. Very slowly a scrawny kid who couldn't have been no more that 23 years old, feebly ran right passed me. He had longish- almost gingerish hair, and his right foot pointed in a different direction than his left one. As he passed me I noticed that the back of his trousers had started to fray ever so slightly because they were just that little bit too long for him and were getting worn down on the pavement. He had a dark brown corduroy jacket and a over sized leather satchel. I had never seen him at the station before. He looked as if he was the sort of person who was picked on at school. Interestingly the corduroy jacket made no significant noise that I could detect.

He stopped running about twenty five metres ahead of me, clearly out of breath and broke into a walk. I continued to walk at the same steady pace, and within a minute or two I had over taken him. I felt no remorse and inwardly I punched the air victoriously.

We all have our talents and one of mine is being able to walk faster than most.

As I continued to walk towards the station under the huge beech trees' shade in the middle of the road, I looked back and he was almost out of sight.

As I grew closer to the station, another road adjoined to the one which I was speedily galloping down. More commuters joined the race. It is usually at this point I decide to pick up the pace. I didn't this time as I could see there was no queue to worry about.

Suddenly, and surprisingly the runner slowly ran passed me with his tired thin arms flailing about, his head back with his mouth open. He looked as if he was on the final stretch of a marathon. I couldn't help but admire his never say die attitude and his lack of inhibitions. Cruel thoughts entered my head and I could feel myself increasing my walking speed. Soon I had caught him up and we were side by side for nearly twenty seconds; me walking and him running. I felt I had toyed with him enough as we entered the Station's grounds and I slowed down, giving the runner some dignity. He lolloped ahead breathing heavily. I though to myself that I am perhaps the greatest human being of all time. Dignified, strong and yet merciful. I just hoped to God that he wasn't going to pay by credit card or cheque.

As i walked into the station, the runner was being served by the ticket seller, and had difficulty explaining where he wanted to travel to due to his breathlessness.

'A single to Brunswick'

This is the very next station on the route and I couldn't help wonder why after all his efforts he didn't just walk there himself as I and most people would have surely done. No doubt he had his motives.
When the ticket seller printed off his ticket, the runner quibbled with the 95p asking price- repeating it with a hint of disgust in his voice.

I noticed he had a southern accent. Possibly Kent.

Once he'd gone the ticket seller shook his head in contempt and I felt protective for the little bugger and refused to join in with the silent scorn.

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