Working together as a team, the forces of random chance and unusual coincidence are conspiring to make me go "Wha-?". On Sunday, also on the way to work after viewing the kite flying (for those of you who are compiling a comprehensive timeline of my movements - don't be ashamed, stalking's what the intarwebs was invented for), I was sitting at a bus stop at London Bridge station, waiting for a traditional red London omnibus to transport me to work, when the woman with the buggy who was sat next to me at the stop starts chatting to me.
Now this is the part where I come across as something of a misanthrope. I'm a London lad, born and bred; a city boy and a decade-long commuter*. As far as I'm concerned, when I'm in transit, that's "me" time. Time for me to listen to my iPod or read a book, magazine or comic. I'm not one for starting conversations with a random stranger. Being an office worker, I can spend enough time in my week talking to people that I'd rather not really speak to**. I realise that this is the sort of attitude that adds to the general air of misery that regular and prolonged commuting creates but, honestly, I don't actually care.
I'm also not fond of the art of small talky type chitter-chatter. I don't particularly enjoy casting around for something to talk about with people I don't know. It inevitably leads to a prolonged discussion about matters meteorological when in fact I couldn't give two figs if it's a bit colder/warmer/more cyclonic today than it was yesterday.
Despite all that, however, I end up drawn into a conversation this time, mainly because I'm the only person at the stop with her and she's seems too cheerful to be deterred by my initial unresponsive responses. Of course, once we board the bus (being the only people on there) and she sits nearby, the inevitable awkward silence descends in which we mostly stare out the window and occasionally make eye contact and smile awkwardly. Eventually, my stop rolls around, a last few pleasantries are exchanged and I wend my way into the office. "End of story", thinks I. "Wrong, matey," thinks the universe.
Yesterday being my day off and dinner provisions being low on the ground, I was forced to venture to the nearest supermarket which is, sadly, a Marks and Spencers Simply Food***. I'm just about to walk through the door when who should I spot stood just outside? Yes, of course, it's the woman from the bus. We both look at each other in a slightly startled sort of a way, she says something about not stalking me and I mutter something unintelligible before ducking into the shop. Typical. I get drawn into small talk and now, in all likelihood, I'm going to keep bumping into this person and having to make some small degree of chit chat (which will in all likelihood be weather-based).
Well, I did tell you that this one would make me seem a bit misanthropic. I am actually people person at heart. I just think that the people I'm a person for should be chosen by me.
* Meaning that I've been commuting back and forth for around a decade. I haven't been on one long commute for ten years. That would just be foolish.
** If anyone from the office is reading this, I'm not talking about you, obviously, I'm talking about someone else. Probably.
*** Having waxed lyrical about Blackheath yesterday, this is one of the drawbacks - it thinks it's a bit posher than it actually is.