Back For Good

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CC Image courtesy of Ross_Angus on FlickrI don’t know if it’s because Lucy says she doesn’t think I’ve heard the last of him. Or because Attractive Witty Lawyer doesn’t rock my world and when Fred Astaire kisses me on the Overground I’m not really sure I’m feeling it. Or because I’m reading Love In The Time of Cholera which basically says it’s OK to devote your entire life to someone who might have forgotten you exist.

Or because I’m currently on a plane bound for a city which can’t help but make me think of him. He’s not there anymore – he’s back in London. He didn’t tell me; I read it on Facebook. For a week I was down in the dumps before picking myself up and… going to his place of work.

I’d been meaning to check out the dance classes for a while. And when I say a while I mean getting on for three years. And it just so happened that they took place every Saturday in the building where VP was working.

The chances of running into the guy were close to nil. I suppose… it will sound silly (and I do think Gabriel Garcia Márquez is partly to blame), I wanted to walk where he’d walked, go where he’d gone before me. Is that weird? Maybe, but at the same time I was dancing again and that could only be a good thing. He’d made me dance once before and now here I was again, dancing. And who knew where it would lead?

CC Image courtesy of fd on Flickr

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Quiet Carriage

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CC Image courtesy of pareeerica on Flickr

No mutual friends, apparently.  I scroll through the photos.  He looks nice, intelligent… why not?  We match and start chatting, despite technology’s best efforts to lose my messages in the ether.  I can’t know for sure that he’s not deleting them on receipt, but ever the optimist I apologize and send fresh replies.

He suggests drinks.  I get flu.  We reschedule.  I’m forced to cancel once again, and the next day ring to apologize/reassure him I am a real (and female) person.

In the meantime, I’ve entered his first name into the search bar on Facebook, expecting to draw a blank.  But there he is, top of the list, 1 mutual friend.  Huh?  And not a scary mutual friend either, but someone I added out of genuine Platonic – he’s gay – affection.

I click on my match’s name, and start reading.  It’s one of those painstakingly detailed profiles, chockfull of likes and interests and groups and more likes.  There’s nothing to dislike, it’s just a bit worrying how much I know about the guy.  I’ll have to watch what I say.

The phone conversation goes without a hitch.  He’s… great, but I don’t get too excited.  He might be a dwarf to my 5’10, though the photos – and statistics – suggest this to be unlikely.  More to the point, and this is irrespective of height, he might not pass the acid test.

Saturday arrives.  Now that we’ve spoken, I’m less concerned about letting something slip, but still…  And then there’s the blog.  My track record on that front isn’t good.

I needn’t have worried.  Occasionally I volunteer a comment or remark, or fragment of personal information, but for the most part I listen and nod and smile.  I wouldn’t have minded (so much) had he looked like this:

CC Image courtesy of Nostalgia-domas on Flickr

Or this,

Or if his chat had put

CC Image courtesy of DPMS on Flickr

To shame.

But he doesn’t, and it does not.

I pay my share – not bitter – and he walks me to the station.  We say a hurried goodbye and I stride off in the direction of the ticket machines.

Through the crowd I see a familiar face, and my expression brightens.  I run over and give my brother a gigantic hug.

‘This is a nice surprise!’ I say, giving his arm a squeeze.  ‘I thought you were getting an earlier train!’  I rest my head on his shoulder.  ‘I’m so happy to see you!’

And I don’t draw breath until we reach home.

CC Image courtesy of Kai Hendry on Flickr



Socks and the City

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It’s 8.50am.  Commuters at Embankment station funnel onto the escalator from all directions, heading for the light.

This morning, I’m carrying pudding for a Thanksgiving supper.  A fellow commuter – attractive, suited – glances over at me.  I look away, and back.  He smiles faintly.  We board the escalator; he is just ahead of me, revealing, with each step, a flash of colourful striped sock above his Oxford brogues.  I’ve always liked statement socks…and Oxford brogues.

Escalator #2.  Normally I would walk up on the left hand side, but Stripy Socks is standing to the right.  He half-turns:

‘Have you made a cake?  Do you make a cake every day?’

I laugh and explain what it’s for.

We get to the top of the escalator.  I like him, but I’m not sure what to do next.  I never know what to do before 9am.  I feel it’s my turn to say something, but what?

‘I like your socks!’

He looks stumped.  I’m too embarrassed to say anything else.  Probably for the best.  The ticket barriers provide a welcome reprieve, but then we’re out the other side.  I root around in my bag for my iPod, all the while praying that he will give this pudding-laden sock-fancier the benefit of the doubt.  But no.

If you like the whole cake/public transport combo, check out this MBE classic.


Severe Delays

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My friend and I are stood on the station platform, waiting.

She is waiting on The Banker, with whom she shared a passion-filled couple of hours last Friday.  Snow White over here is awaiting the verdict on Saturday night’s first date.  It’s been forty-eight hours of radio silence.  Another twelve and I’ll be eyeing up the rails.

‘Maybe he’s busy?’ she says.

‘You know what I think of that: if you’re having to make excuses for a guy, it’s no go.’

‘But at least you’re the one making the excuses, not him.’

‘Huh?’ 

I haven’t been awake long.  Less Snow White; more Grumpy, Sleepy and Dopey.

‘He isn’t making excuses.’

‘No,’ I say, ‘he isn’t doing anything!’

The train comes.  As we board, I turn to my friend:

‘Maybe he is busy.’



Unexpected Turbulence

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It’s happened twice this past week, a guy asking if he’ll make the final cut.  The first was a teenage crush turned friend; I’m saving him for the book.  The second was a complete stranger at thirty-thousand feet.

It took courage on his part.  I had my headphones in, notebook out, and was doing a convincing impression of someone who neither knows nor cares that their neighbour is, well, gorgeous.

‘Can I ask what you’re writing?’ he says.

This is a first.

‘Errr, I have a blog…’

‘What’s it about?’

‘Err…’

Help.

‘…men?’

He laughs nervously. ‘Will I be your next post?’

Wow.

Maybe.’

Two hours later, we touch down in London.  I’m on cloud nine, think I’ve met my soulmate: all fairly standard.  The man at passport control must think I’ve been at the vodka minis.  Soulmate now knows enough about me to either a) commit identity fraud, or b) get in touch and arrange a second meeting.  His parting words, accompanied by a glance at his hand on which he has written the URL for this blog:

‘I’ll take a look!’

So I’m guessing he didn’t like what he found.  Vodka, please.  Single?  Looks that way.

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