I heard a familiar clicking sound. It sounded like a toenail clipper. But I'm on the commuter train, that can't be.
There diagonal from me across the aisle a man is clipping his fingernails. A pile of nail clippings accumulating on the floor.
Let that sink in. He wasn't trying to hide it and no one else seemed to notice, or else were doing a great job avoiding it. I was in shock. How disgusting!! I know that there is a weird exception to the public/private divide on trains and the tube. Somehow people see it as a transition between being at home and being in the public eye and conduct all sorts of business that is usually saved for more private spaces. Make-up application, arranging very personal appointments, and uncomfortable child-rearing are just a few examples. But this seemed to push the line a little too far.
On my return journey at the end of the day, there he is again.
I sat down at a table and as I settled in realised it was the same guy. Directly across from me. I didn't know what to do. It would have been a bit awkward for me to then get up and move. And then it became more awkward. He recognized me. He comments on the seating arrangement so similar to this morning. I smile and mumble something about commuting. I can't help but sneak a look at his nails. I'm surprised by the neat job he made of it this morning.
If he starts untying his shoes I'm making an emergency exit!!!