Sunday, 12th October 2014

by Joshua Gaskell

On the tube I experience a perfect instance of schadenfreude. We’re on a street-level section of the District line and the man opposite me is speaking loud Spanish into his phone. As we approach the point where I know the train will go underground, I watch him in silent anticipation. We enter the tunnel and he continues to speak, unaware for ten seconds or so that his interlocutor, not having spoken (as far as I can tell), is no longer listening either. I watch the man as he realises he is talking to himself. He takes the phone from his ear and looks at it accusingly, as one looks back, having stumbled, at a root-loosened paving stone. The crest of his expression droops and falls, along with the phone to his lap; and I return to my book in peace, smiling seraphically.