Flippant, inexplicable and determinedly puerile. Unprovoked he swung round, cocked his head back and grinned. An evil, leery grin. To be fair it wasn't really a grin, more of a grimace or a snarl, almost like that of a cartoon villain. I knew exactly what he was about to do and I couldn't believe it. Only seconds before I was on the bus...
...all alone on the upper deck. Outside it was raining heavily, the bus was damp and bitterly cold. Did I say damp? I mean it was wet, very wet. Puddles formed and vanished with the motion of the bus. Drips on my head, drips on my book. I could barely make out the world outside. The windows were misty with droplets running down. Buildings loomed with dark, eerie windows. Eerie, the whole thing was eerie. It was a bit like a scene from a zombie movie but with a noticeable absence of any zombies.
Had I seen him before? Nope. Did he look dodgy? A bit. Was I doing anything other than minding my own business? Not at all. Yet here we were in torrential rain, facing each other like a couple of cowboys. I wasn't scared or even feeling uneasy. I just walked towards him while looking him in the eye. Such a surreal moment in comparison to the lonely and peaceful setting just moments ago...
...where I pumped out the tunes through my mammoth headphones, I had the whole top deck to myself and it was lovely. Sure it was wet, cold, miserable, damn miserable, miserable as the little sodden leaf that clung to the window beside me, but the solitude was strangely refreshing. Lights outside flickered through the droplets on the window. Brake lights, traffic lights, street lights, police lights. Watching them made me dream, thoughts that no one could understand. Hooded and tightly wrapped in my coat I felt comforted. Nothing compares to the comfort of a good coat. (Apart from perhaps a good clean poo).
I stepped off the bus and headed home. I love listening to music while walking in the rain. In the distance I could make out the shape of a man. He walked slowly so I gained on him quickly. He was lugging a huge shoulder bag, wearing a baseball cap and one of those bomber jackets that were slightly cool fifteen years ago. I was five metres behind him when he swung round.
It was the bizarrest thing that has ever happened to me. He was standing the other side of a massive puddle. That's when he grinned, snarled, grimaced or whatever. I knew exactly what he was going to do. The bastard. He, a total stranger, was going to drench me from a puddle using the schoolboy method, i.e. cause an airborne tsunami with a slow, swinging kick through the puddle.
He pulled his leg back slowly as if he was teasing. I picked up the pace and charged morosely at him. I was too wet to care and besides, any retaliation would require puddle-side positioning. He got the timing all wrong and soaked himself. The idiot. As I closed in on the puddle he scampered away into the night.
It's like I've always said. You can never trust anyone in a bomber jacket.
P.S. Libby if you stop by again - you missed an absolute riot at Kings Cross on Friday and I even had to confront a total prat on the way home...
A Little Girl Feeding Some Baby Crocodiles, 1932
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