…to an almost

Your abuse began on the platform, where you yelled and swore in our faces. Your speech was so slurred from the bourbon you held in one hand and the beer in the other that I still do not know what you said.

The dog you dragged along with you looked at us in apologetic resignation and then made a beeline for the tracks as the train approached. His attempted suicide gave us a head start and we moved four carriages away. You followed, shoving Zeta over as you passed. Clearly you were looking to start something.

You are not the first unhinged person I have met on the underground, and I am certain I will meet a few more, but thus far you certainly take the prize. In every category including intoxication, belligerence and stench.

A fetid forcefield of excrement accompanied you and settled in the carriage, a noxious and nebulous insult to the nostrils, so pungent and suffocating that it was more akin to the fetor of decay. You left the heavy taste of putrefaction in the air.

The itch to retch was overwhelming. I could feel my esophagus convulse and though your malodour was bad enough from a distance, you decided to get closer.

I do not take well to being threatened. If you were expecting me to back down you picked the wrong commuter. You toed the line, figuratively and literally; sizing me up but so inebriated the only thing that kept you standing was the support bar on the train.

I gave you fair warning to get out of my face. I tried not to breathe in the smell of your gangrenous liver that bubbled up with every menacing word you misarticulated. Had you touched me you would have ended up on the floor sooner than you had planned.

The other passengers intervened.

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