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  • I boarded the 19.20 train. I was late because I stayed back to complete a report that I promised by the end of the week and it was Thursday. My health is failing me and I am tired.

    I sat down and placed my shopping strategically on the floor, holding it tightly between my ankles, so it does not actually touch the floor of the "vomit comet" as trains are so beautifully referred to in London; and started scrolling through my phone.

    We started moving along.

    At the second stop, an elderly couple boarded the train. It was crowded and many were standing; but without even thinking about it, I stood and motioned for the elderly woman to have my seat. No one here gives their seat anymore. It is a phased out act of kindness. She thanked me and so did her husband. He thanked me again when I stepped closer to his side, trying to manoeuvre my damn bags . His eyes had many laugh lines in the corners; I think they're also known as crow's feet. I don't like the comparison, although I can see the shape of the lines. Now that I too am aging, I understand the naturalness of it all. He has smiled many more years than I have, squinted from the glare of the sun many more years than I have, looked pensively at something or someone many more years than I.

    We reached another stop and someone near to me rose from their seat to alight. I smiled at him and told him to take the seat. He said, "That one's for you." I said, "No, you have stood many more years than I have and you should have it."

    "That's right. I have more than fifty years experience of standing on I do it better. Please sit."

    So I sat.
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