I dedicate this post to the fabulous Sass, the girl who taught me to blog. Not for its relevance, it is just my way of saying thanks and goodbye. She said her goodbyes to the Blogosphere last week. If you haven't already, pop over there to say farewell.
The motion of the traffic soothed my soul, a soul in tatters after missing the bus. It was all rather picturesque really, traffic dancing along to the dreary tunes on Starbuck's play-list. I sat there nursing my damaged sensibilities, sipping a coffee and scoffing a so-called “breakfast panini”. A skanky breakfast panini, and it cost me three quid too, which in the grand scheme of things was a kick in the teeth. But I was hungry enough to pay. Besides, I had half an hour to kill.
The door swung open. Not violently, not gently either, but firm, forceful, purposeful. A soldier strolled in. I say soldier, what I mean is some bloke in full camouflage gear who may or may not be a soldier. Army boots, bulky hiking rucksack, one of those army caps that made his head look like a tin can.
Cool, I thought, there are only two of us in the café and one of us is a soldier, a real man. Or was he? It dawned on me that he was a tad old to be a soldier. Home Guard, perhaps, but he was blatantly over 50, probably pushing 60. A colonel, possibly, but he had no stripes, no sign of rank. He did, however, have an incredible moustache, one which would have driven Lord Kitchener mad with jealousy.
He had a swagger abut him, not an aggressive “I could thrash you using only my pinky” sort of a swagger, but rather a careless nonchalance. His age and nonchalance gave me doubts. He was either a nutter or a colonel without his stripes. (I use the term “nutter” lightly, not for one minute forgetting the phenomenal toll taken on our troops.)
He ordered his coffee, and as he stood there James Blunt came on. The tiresome, ubiquitous James Blunt, the man whose dreary whining haunts us everywhere we go. The soldier starts to tap his feet, gently creasing one knee as he croons along, on his face an expression of intense ecstasy.
Tell you what, he can't have been a soldier. No soldier worth his salt would tap feet to James Blunt.