“He’ll be an athlete in training,” whispered one passenger to her neighbour as they glanced out of the train window this morning.
I couldn’t see why she came to that conclusion: today the racing man was running as sprightly as usual, but not with the traditional use of his arms that runners have. Instead of that pumping arm movement which opens up the chest, racing man was treating his arms as if they were aeroplane wings, transmuting himself in the process into a high speed jet which was flying over the reed ponds and rivulets which fed the lake.
Whether he was on a bombing mission or just intending to terrify the wild life I couldn’t say: but I could understand why my fellow commuter thought that here was an athlete in training, even if his arms weren’t following the traditional training motions. As he continued to flail around the lake, his splashing and thrashing causing havoc in those early morning swan nests, he reminded me of that old joke. Q: why do aeroplanes leave smoke trails in the sky? A: To help the pilot find his way home.
Rather than being a matter of training, racing man was clearly trying to get home the quickest way possible. Whilst he hadn’t yet mastered the art of beating the train on foot, perhaps today he thought would have more success trying to fly home instead.