“The old man rose from his hard-won seat and offered it to the old lady. A tiny recoil - repressed suspicion - was followed by a grateful look as she took his place. The ”yoofs” thought it was hilarious.
“Is that the best you could get off with Granddad?” was one of their more printable remarks. The oldster was imperturbable. “Courtesy to others is how we nourish the bonds of our community” was his short response. This irritated the pair - they did so hate to be patronised. “Eff-off, you f***er” was delivered with real menace as their mood turned.
Not to be intimidated, he replied thus. “I do not address your present selves, for I see that you are beyond considering what I am saying. I speak only to plant a small memory for your future.“
At this, they eased themselves from their seats and roundly kicked the living sh*t out of the senior. As he lay on the floor of the train, clutching his ribs and spitting blood he choked out: “We get crushed by falling rocks and judge it an accident of fate. Perhaps you two are only an accident of fate. I spoke to you as one does not speak to rocks, because there may, now or in the future, be something human in you. But I could be wrong: some seeds are cast by the wayside. It is a possible outcome, and not to be complained about.”
Whether the old one died or not is immaterial. He had come to terms with all possible consequences of his situation.”