Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Well, I'm back from a holiday London - apologies for the silence, which I know has persisted for longer than I have been in London. There are good reasons for it, the most prosaic of which are work and being tired and not having had a creative thought worthy of a follow-through for a while. I may blog about some things later.

Anyway. Yesterday, something happened which was rather mystifying, somewhat eye-opening, and a source of confusion even today. I don't simply mean the act of travel, although it is like that also. I mean what happened when I was sitting, a little worn-out, before the closed door of the departure gate, minutes before the security girls appeared to check our passports and shoo us to the plane.

I had settled down for what I thought would be no more than a few minutes. A few minutes passed. My eyes misted over with memories of London. Little things about my surroundings brought me back - the gradual sparse arrivals in the little lounge, the out-of-place guy standing on the left, the.... out of place guy standing on the left who had been looking around him, the only person standing... and who then looked straight at me as if he had intended to all along, and then smiled right at me and shyly and firmly walked over and knelt down on the floor in front of me.

He reached into his pocket. "A trick." The eyes. The smile. Maybe Italian? Maybe Eastern European with a tan...? A pile of coins. Two little containers of metal. His smile. His eyes directly on mine. The coins go into one container. He puts it into my hand and closes his hands around mine, ever so gently, still smiling at me. And I am expecting slight of hand, flicking between his eyes and his hands, no movement. Just his smile. Everything else stops. London is forgotten. I haven't felt this way in a year. His smile says he meant this. He must have meant this.

He could physically yank the damn thing from my hand and I still wouldn't notice, so it is hardly a trick. But the coins in my hand have disappeared from the container. Of course they haven't, I think. It's a trick. But the childish amazement comes back and I clap and grin and smile at him and he laughs quietly too, and leans towards me, and brushes me with his hair, and touches me and said "...see you..." and touches me again and walks right out of the gate and down the long corridor back to the main airport and never looks back.

I sit there, dumb, and think: he's not on my flight. This gate is miles from the others and everywhere else too. He meant this! Should I run back?

So then, of course, all the closeted-in-public gay and bi guys on the flight had noticed this and had to sit near me on the plane. And flirt, in silent Northern-Irish ways. But that wasn't the point.

Who *was* he?

If you're reading this, I was in the yellow t-shirt, and I think you have beautiful eyes, and I know those coins were fake. Totally.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Welcome back! I've missed you *hug*

That was a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it. I'd almost forgotten how completely you can transport me to another place and time when you try... clearly it has been too long since your last post ;)