Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Humanoid Boogie

The other evening I was on the Heathrow Express travelling back from a week long business trip to Romania. Work has kept me busy these last few weeks and although that's not the only reason I've not been updating the blog it is certainly a contributory factor. Anyway, there I was, quietly reading Uncle Vanya in preparation for the book group meeting next weekend. I looked up, to stare pensively into the distance as one does occasionally when trying to absorb Russian literature. My eye caught that of a young lady who had been looking in my direction. She quickly averted her glaze. Almost immediately I found her attractive. Black jeans, pointy boots, nice top, big brown eyes and long, thick, dark, shiny hair. Physically, she was, I guess you'd say, larger than average but it was all in perfect proportion and just so very right. I went back to my play and she went back to her mobile 'phone conversations, obviously catching up with people as it appeared she had also been away for a while. I could not help overhearing her half of the brief conversations which were engaging, considerate and jolly and only confirmed to me that she was as appealing in personality as I found her to be in appearance.

For the next fiften minutes we continued to exchange eye contact. Sometimes I looked up just to see her look away, and other times she caught me doing the same thing. It wasn't some weirdo stalker-type staring thing. I'm sure it was mutual. Somehow, it just felt right.

The train pulled into Paddington and we both got up to leave our section of the carriage. I fould myself helping her to remove her large case from the luggage rack. Smiles were exchanged and then we found ourselves walking almost side-by-side up the platform into the melee of people on the main concourse waiting for their trains. I was heading for the taxi rank and I felt sure, that with such a large case she was going in the same direction.

I never talk to strangers. But now, as I weaved through the crowd I said to myself "I'm going to talk to this girl". All I had to do was think of the right opening gambit that might lead to a conversation. Nothing too witty or that might lead her to think I was in the habit of eyeing and chatting up strangers on a train, but nothing too cheesy either. Soon I would have to tell her I worked in IT and on the scale of cheesiness, that's right up there with the Stinking Bishop. In addition, her body language suggested a certain shyness and I did not want to appear too forward.

I knw my moment would come as I walked down the corridor that leads out to the taxi rank There would be the inevitable twenty minute wait and somehow things would develop. I exited the corridor to find a phalanx of taxis waiting, no queue, and thirty seconds later I was aboard and pulling out of the station.

The moment had been lost. This has been bugging me all weekend. I'm 43, single, but enough of an optimist to still believe that someone is out there for me. In those last twenty minutes I had concluded this was a moment not to be lost. Opportunities like this do not arise very often and if they do, I rarely feel so compelled to want to act on them but here I am idly wondering all weekend what might have been.

I suppose the best I can hope for is that somewhere out there, is a pointy-booted, black-jeaned, dark-haired young lady who also thinks, perhaps on that Friday evening in West London, a moment was also lost. Which is why I guess, we all go on.


Rob said...

Gosh, that's a sad story. Reminds me a bit of Arthur Dent's meeting with Fenchurch (in HHGG series 4, I think), where she writes her phone number on a raffle ticket he's just bought. And then he wins the raffle and by the time he realises why he can't find her number, the tickets have all been destroyed.

It also brought to mind this poem, which has a similar wistful sadness.

I think you need a cheering blast of Bachelor Johnny Cool now.

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