I walk to work because I like to walk. I used to cycle to work because I like to cycle, however my man-berries requested politely, via a G.P’s cold hands and a very public ultrasound, that I cease cycling to work. So I walk to work.
It is also the case that my eye sight is mediocre and that I do not remember people. Neither faces or names. It is not that I am simple, or aloof, or that my mediocre eyesight interferes with my ability to recall. It is more that I have many, many things on my mind and to make space for those things my subconscious insists I forget other things. Namely people. This is the explanation I have given to the many people that I have politely introduced myself to on our second or third (and sometimes fourth) meeting. There is nothing more embarrassing than introducing yourself to a person who replies that, yes they know who you are because they were at your wedding. Embarrassing for both parties I can assure you.
All the above information accounts for the monumental embarrassment I walked myself into this morning on my morning walk to work……
As I absent-mindedly strolled my regular route, happily taking in the morning air, a blue car pulled up at a junction about 50 yards ahead of me and stopped. The driver was (I think) a nice blonde lady. Nice blonde lady wound down her window, waved and enquired whether or not I would like a lift? I could not put a name to her face (or indeed a nose to her face as the distance was too great for my astigmatisms) but I think she was smiling.
However it was irrelevant. I have in the past declined such kind offers because I enjoy my walk and dislike car journeys. Particularly when I am expected to talk or be remotely sociable. So whoever she was, my intention was to turn her down.
As I took a moment to ponder the particular phrasing of the thank-you-but-no-thank-you response I would use, and another moment to ponder who the hell she was, she voiced her offer once more. This time with the wavy hand gesture of come on then. So I panicked. I panicked and acted on instinct. I am an adult and have experience of interacting with people successfully. On some occasions (and some not, but I was trying to be positive). I can do this I thought. So I shouted back…
I’m okay thanks. I had a big tea last night and I need to walk it off. How are you anyway?
As the final syllable of the final word had left my mouth. As my eyes fixed on hers. As the sides of my mouth turned up into a quizzical smile and my eye-brows raised in a question inflection, a school boy ran past me. He ran past me, up to the blue car and got in the passenger side. Blonde lady looked left, looked right, looked left again and then pulled out. As they drove past me, they looked at me perplexed. Both of them. They didn’t smile. They didn’t mock. They just looked at me as if I was mental.
I was alone on the quiet street once more. I blushed and asked myself this simple but pertinent question…..
Unless that schoolboy was a ******* mute, why didn’t he just shout back, rather than silently running past me like a ****** ninja?
So if I ignore you in the future. Blame the silence of a ninja schoolboy.
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