Skip to content

Under The Ground 3: Personal Contact

August 8, 2010

He starts by washing his face, cradling an imaginary flannel in both hands and, given the circumstances, making do without water. Hmmm. Possibly some kind of simulated wake-up-and-rinse ritual. Next a quick right-handed check for stubble. This requires the pulling of a quizzical, thoughtful face, as if considering whether a supplementary shave might be called for, presumably in the carriage itself. The nail of his index finger is now pressed into service as a makeshift toothpick, and every crevice thoroughly searched for stray morsels which might later, or even now, yield a second breakfast. Much smoothing of eyebrows and rubbing of knuckles deep into corners of eyes. Teeth employed again to clean under the fingernails. Sly nosepick. And now the finale: a finger is inserted into his right ear and vigorously shaken up and down for a couple of minutes. What benefit, or indeed substance, this might produce is hard to estimate from my seat across the aisle. Grooming complete, he relaxes into a position that now suggests under-employment and invites appraisal. I do in fact want to congratulate him, and would offer to shake his hand. But I decide not to.

 

From → Under The Ground

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: