I HATE blog posts that start like this but …
“Recently I was on the tube” standing directly over a man in his fifties. He was sitting down.
I first noticed him because he practically stabbed a well-dressed woman in the tits with his briefcase to get a seat. After that, I didn’t dare do my ‘can I sit down?’ face because it’s 2010 and that just doesn’t wash. Anymore.
The man had grey-silver hair and a ruddy complexion. I assumed he was a drinker and probably quite handsome ten, maybe fifteen years ago. He was well dressed in a smart suit and overcoat. I dare say he sits atop the hierarchy of a reputable company somewhere in the city.
As the train sped, stopped and started between stations, the man became noticeably impatient. Hufffing and puffing, rubbing his face to blushing point, tapping his fat thumbs on the back of his blackberry as if doing that would suddenly give the train turbo-speed. There was nothing in his face that said he had to be anywhere for any serious reason. This was hyperactive impatience and a suspicious case of restlessness. I looked around me to see if others were thinking the same – like, calm down?
Then, I caught him checking out the female talent on the carriage, paying particular attention to the line-up of women’s stockinged legs, most of which seemed to be touching the leg of the woman beside them. This is a free country and a man’s eyes may land on whatever and wherever his penis desires but, having caused a smidgen of a scene already, his lecherous gaze was by this point a tad obvious. OK dudey, I thought, you’re a horny bored man on your way to work. But there was more to it. He wasn’t just bored.
There was a shade of fear in him too – as if he was on the run. He was up to something. Sly. His eyes brattish, reminiscent of a boy I used to know whose eyes took on that same doughy /glazed appearance in the face of danger (i.e. someone telling him off for being a dick). He was behaving like a naughty child. A child running scared who’s been up to no good. In secret.
And then, mainly because I was staring at him but also because I’d made a funny noise with my throat, he looked at me.
We were staring at each other. I don’t know what face I was making, but it definitely wasn’t my normal commuter face. I suppose it was a face of disgust because I’d convinced myself that he was up to something bad, something immoral. We were still looking at each other as I took off my hat. And still after that. It was then I said to myself: show him you know. Show him you know with your eyes!
So with every last droplet of expression vested in me, I decided to do exactly that. And with mine eyes, I said ‘naughty boy’…
And he got off at the next stop!
I shit you not.
So, what I’m desperate, and on the brink of popping, to know is, does he really work in Canada Water??
Did he receive my eye-message?
I’m not religious or particularly spiritual either but, when you get a hunch like I did, it’s almost as if you’ve been taken over by a higher force. Ever see someone and think, I know your story mate?
I may have scared him off the train for no reason. He may be as innocent as my mum. But he wasn’t. I just know he was a shit.