Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ships Passing Nicely.

I have a confession to make (for those who don’t already know.) I smoke. What’s more, I roll my own so I smoke on the cheap. And although smoking isn’t the healthiest of pastimes, I have no problem with it because, as a favourite character said in a recent TV drama I watched: ‘whatever gets you through.’

So, today – having been through two days of tedium during which nothing worth reporting happened – something mildly interesting did. (Although I suppose I should let others be the judge of that.)

I was standing in the market place rolling a cigarette. In front of me was a bench on which was sitting a late teenage girl – pretty, black hair with purple highlights, slightly hippie-ish clothing, funky glasses; you know the type. I could see out of my peripheral vision (which, being an inveterate observer, I’m quite expert at using) that she was watching me. Eventually I looked back. She smiled nicely and looked away, as did I. But then the old pv caught the stare again.

‘Excuse me,’ she said after a respectable pause, ‘could I trouble you for a cigarette?’ I moved towards her, at which point she held up a big bag of crisps and said ‘You can have a crisp in return if you like.’

That’s the funny bit. At least, I thought it was funny.

I declined the crisp, gave her the tobacco and papers and invited her to make two cigarettes, one for now and one for later. The one she made for now contained the normal amount of tobacco. The one she made for later contained at least twice as much, and I suspect she was planning to split it between two papers and have two cigarettes later.

I suppose that’s the sad bit.

I continued standing behind the bench on which she was sitting while she engaged me in conversation, and then she said ‘You can sit down, you know. It isn’t my personal bench.’

That was the endearing bit. And so I sat, and she continued to engage me in conversation until it was time to go back to work – in a shop which sells slightly hippie-ish, individual items of clothing which are not exactly inexpensive. She said ‘It was lovely talking to you’ as she crossed the market place, while I sauntered off for a cup of coffee. And neither of us asked the other’s name, which adds an extra little degree of charm because it’s a bit like waving to a ship going the other way in the middle of the Atlantic and which you feel reasonably confident you’ll never see again

Rather nice, don’t you think? I do.

And isn't it odd that just when I decide I should stop talking to strangers (see earlier post), a stranger should insist on talking to me. I really don't know what to make of this life sometimes.

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