I intervened and possibly stopped someone getting the shit kicked out of them yesterday evening while I was on the bus. The guy who would have been on the receiving end of said kicking was behaving and speaking in a way which appeared like he was trying to wind anyone up and to get a reaction out of them, and it was clearly in danger of working.
I'm not sure why it felt safe enough to intervene, but it did. Just one of those judgment calls I suppose. Plus I didn't want my evening spoilt by the prospect of yet more violence on the bus, I was on my way somewhere nice. Thankfully the other guy who sounded ready to deliver a beating listened to me, and nodded his acknowledgment when he got off.
I'd made the assumption that the one doing the winding up had some sort of condition: he didn't appear drunk but his behaviour was obviously inappropriate and rendering him vulnerable to violence. He now started roundly and imperiously denouncing me, I told him I was having nothing to do with him or his conversation and I moved further away from him. Not that that deterred him, he carried on more loudly.
The last thing I did though was ask him a question, and out of the resultant babble of slurs and accusations that uttered forth he did let slip that he had a condition. I suppose it could have been this that made me feel safe in the first place in terms of intervening, the assumptions I'd made put me into work mode: I felt calm and didn't let him get to me.
I did go on to have a lovely evening, but I carried a sense of weariness at the back of my mind: too often there seems to be needless aggravation of one sort or another, and I'm sick of it.