The Domino Effect

4 Mar

I apologise in advance for yet another story that takes place in the tube but it can’t be helped. I spend over an hour every working day on the tube, with the majority of the time passed staring into space or focussing in on a particular ad (when I’m really trying not to look at the beautiful man in a suit). From this, I conclude it’s only natural to have some stories to tell from the vantage point of this transportation. I hope you agree.

Now that the apologetics are out of the way, let me describe for you an event that unfolded a couple weeks ago, which I didn’t—for whatever reason—write about at the time.

The tube is packed. People cling to the poles that run from the top of the car to the bottom while others grasp the ones implanted in the ceiling. Bodies rock back and forth in timing with the stop, start and shudders of the tube.

I stand. Thinking. A boy donning an impeccable school uniform stirs me from my reverie.

“Excuse me miss but what you like to sit down?”

Heads glide up in timing with the question.

“Are you getting off soon?” I ask.

“No,” he returns. “But I thought you might like a seat.

I don’t take him up on the offer but his action stirs something on the train.

The woman across from me notices a woman with bags under her eyes and a deep frown laden with shopping bags.

She taps her on the arm, asks her if she’d like to sit.

The woman accepts. Plops down. Smiles.

Another offers his seat.

And another.

The whole carriage is laughing and smiling.

One middle-aged man cries out: “No one ever offers to give up their seat for me!” Some people laugh.

Now, I don’t know what one can gleam from this story but I will say that I left that tube ride feeling a little bit happier after the journey.

And the good will lasted me all the way until the next morning when I was pushed and shoved on the tube by fellow travellers all trying ot get to work on time.


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