A Meeting of Strangers - Excerpt
When the man sat beside the woman on the train, he made everyone nearby look at her in sympathy when he clumsily swung his carrier bag into her knee with a metallic clang.
“Sorry, darlin’”, he said, taking out a can of beer.
It was not clear why he had sat next to her, as the train was only half full at that time of day and there were many empty seats where he could have sat alone. After drinking noisily for a few seconds, he turned to her and said “where you getting off, then?”
“Just picking up a few things from the shops.”
She looked out of the window. He belched loudly, said “scuse me”, then opened another can. He slurped the contents, drinking like a crow that cannot lift the can but only manoeuvre its tongue.