Pushed

You’re riding the escalator to the Sbahn platform. Your friend is a step above you. You’re chatting back and forth.

Almost at the crest, a young man shoves aggressively past you on the left causing a momentary awkward bottleneck for everybody at the top.

You shout at him, something like, “Hey, there’s a baby here.”

He doesn’t turn; he’s wearing expensive headphones.

The blood rushes to your face as you feel a surge of anger. So you yell more sharply, something blunt and expletive-laden, thinking he can’t hear you.

There’s a little chaos trying to clear the escalator. The dude, 20-something, British accent, turns to tell you that, well, maybe you shouldn’t have been blocking the way, to which your friend points out actually she was the one blocking, and yo, you just don’t shove a woman with a baby.

Dude looks at you, “Well maybe you should, you know, focus on being a better rolemodel for your kid.”

Aha, because of the swears.

But before you can retort something smart like, “Oh you mean like modeling that it’s okay for some rando guy to get all shovey,” the guy makes a dash for the Sbahn car boarding next to you, just as the doors are closing—and he collides with the glass with a wonderfully satisfying smack.

Train departs without him.

Boom: KARMA.

Meanwhile, your hands are starting to shake because you’re normally a confrontation-averse introvert, and the wave of adrenaline is now giving way to acute shame-feels. You’re mad at yourself for reacting in anger.

Your fellow introvert friend knows what you’re thinking and is like, “No, fuck that guy.”

A woman hands you your baby’s sun hat which fell off in the altercation.

Headphones guy is nowhere to be seen.

A few minutes later, heading homeward aboard the Sbahn, there’s a comical conversation lag where you’re trying to regain your composure.

Your friend: “Soooo, any plans for later this evening?”

You: “Oh not much, you know. Probably just going to replay this over in my head a few hundred times. And then probably bed.”

Ah, shame spiral.

But man, it did feel good to watch that guy miss his train.

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