Wrath by Jorge Aldegunde

(Look carefully. There it is, underneath a shallow varnish coating)

It’s raining –nothing too surprising in a cold winter morning–. It all starts on an early train, one of those that daily vertebrates London periphery with the great city. I can draft a detailed portrait of commuters –including my own– within the forty minutes’ duration of our trip. I see sleepy countenances, hidden behind newspapers and tabloids. I realise numerous expressionless faces, barely showing indolence or indifference for the most part, whilst few exceptions belong to those absorbed in reading –striving to hunt for the piece of news that will make their day–.

London Bridge station becomes a destination for many travellers. An endless human tide that rises on its own account, invades the surface and crosses the conspicuous bridge –unheeding the gusting wind– on its way to one of the world’s financial hubs.

The City is a swarm; pedestrians take over the damp sidewalks. One can barely hear footsteps –their dull sound being quenched by traffic and pouring rain–.

Monument Station falls behind, as I make my way to where Gracechurch st. and Fenchurch st. meet. I stand there, waiting for a traffic light to turn green. I set my eyes upon a businessman: his pale grey eyes seem proud; his look wanders here and there. He wears an impeccable dark pinstripe suite; carries a leather briefcase and expensive gloves and shoes. A delivery lorry rushes from our left, failing to slow down –albeit the signal is about to change–. The vehicle won’t stop –our businessman knows well– but he will step forward, nonetheless. Time freezes for an eventful millisecond: out of the window on the driver’s side there shows a surly guy wrapped in a woollen hat. All of a sudden, the man in the suit grows a look that’s hostile and full of anger. Fuelled by indomitable wrath, he drops his briefcase and jumps up to the lorry’s side door –on which he holds as the vehicle blithely sails past–. Stuck in fragile balance, our executive kicks the air and fiercely punches into the driving cab. I stare, hypnotized, as an automated crowd crosses by.

Lorry and businessman move away until, at some point, the driver’s door swings open. Our businessman bumps on to wet asphalt, where he remains motionless. Besides the briefcase, he’s lost a shoe and a glove –both lie drenched in a cruel battlefield–. I can still catch a glimpse of an individual struggling to stand up and slowly limp away.

I follow suit and cross the road –stealing timid glances at the attaché-case–. A few steps later it’s gone, blended in with a blurry contour.

Then, I just softly give in to my business as usual.


The above is an adaptation of a short story originally written in Spanish. If interested, you may read more: Rabia.

As I read now, it strikes me that, perhaps, indifference is the dominating feeling, rather than wrath.

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