Sunday, 12 October 2008

Kicking myself

So there I was standing in the Chinese food place, waiting for my chunky vegs and shrimp and gazing out the plate glass windows.

A blue car pulled in to the car park. It's an unusual model, and the only one I know in that colour belongs to my sister-in-law who was obviously returning home after picking up the nefarious nephew and naughty niece from school. I could barely see her through the tinted windows of the car but I smiled and waved, and she waved back. I returned to the counter, waited about five minutes, wondering why she was taking so long to get out, and figured she must be talking on the phone. I sauntered back to the glass and waved again, smiling like an idiot. I could see her returning my wave.

My food arrived and I picked up my bags and walked out. The car was parked right in front of the door and the first thing I realized as I exited into the bright sunight was that there were no children in the back seat. My eyes dropped to the number plate and I almost stumbled: it was a strange number.

The driver, a man, was indeed talking on a cell phone. He waved at me again. I gave a half-hearted wave, barely glancing at him, and walked past.

The next day I told my sister-in-law the embarrassing story. "Oh, I know the guy who drives a car like mine!" she exclaimed. "That's..." And she called a name from my past.

See that pool of ooze on the floor? That's me. This was a man who tried pursuing me years ago, a man who thought he was a real hotshot - lots of ego, sharp suits, fancy cars, and, I gathered, very few scruples. I wasn't impressed then, and I'm not now. The closest I ever came to slamming a door in someone's face was when he appeared on my doorstep uninvited and proceeded to hug me against my will!

Now he probably thinks I'm all into him. Or something. All that waving and smiling!

Kick, kick, kick. That'll teach me to go around waving at people I can't see.


kim said...

This sounds like a book!


JJ said...

Years and years of being short sighted have meant that I'm always doing this!

Hope he doesn't start his campaign again!

Anonymous said...

The subconscious mind knows things that the concious is not even aware off and can get us to do strange things even the complete opposite of the conscious :)

I think another bear hug is on the horizon ;)

KeVin K. said...

Oh, yes, dear. One of those life moments you will be cringing about for years.

Though Kim has a point. Make the guy a ne'er-do-well with the suspicious reputation who left his small town (or medium island) years ago swearing never to return but has suddenly returned for a mysterious purpose he won't explain and the gal a crusader for social justice who chose not to accept her scholarship/fast track to dream career/fame and fortune/whatever because she knew her town/family needed her to lead the revitalization of the community after the mill/mine/factory/plantation/base/Wal-Mart closed but who has always dreamed of what it would be like to have the glamorous life everyone thinks the ne'er-do-well has been living (without the suspected criminal element, of course).

Chennette said...

well, see, if the bear hug looms again, you can use the mad waving episode to your advantage - tell him over the years you developed this habit of waving madly at random people, and it has been diagnosed as being deeply rooted in some psychological issues, drop in the term sociopath somewhere and then proceed to wave at every stranger who passes by, with the appropriate crazed smile fixed on your face.
it might be a bit involved, but use it as a last resort defence :-D

Flowerpot said...

yes definitely put this i your next book!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

It's sad but true that the higher the cringe factor, the better the material.

If you do run into him again in the near future, I would imagine that telling the truth - 'I thought you were my sister-in-law' - should deflate him.

Chumplet - Sandra Cormier said...

Oh, my goodness! That's gonna be a hard one to shake. I hope you have a peephole in your front door.

Hoodie said...

I agree with the rest. better than fiction.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I agree...this could be the jumping off point for a book. ha

wordtryst said...

Kim, that's the thing about real life - so much fodder for the pen!

JJ, he can't restart his campaign because he has no contact info for me and doesn't know where I live now. Small mercies!

akalol, I'd fire my subconscious if it's thinking I'd want to be friendly to this guy. There'd better be no more bear hugs - he won't escape unscathed a second time!

Kevin, too, too cringeworthy. I like the idea of using him as fiction-fodder, though. Oh, I don't think he's actually criminal, just unscrupulous in his 'dealings' with women. The man's a player; everything about him screams it.

Chennette, now there's an idea! Don't think he'll be ambushing me at the mall again after that!

Flowerpot, he'll definitely end up in a book if he's not careful!

Zinnia, ooh, I'll be sure to tell him that. His ego'll be in recovery for a loooong time.

Chumplet, I don't think he'll find me. We used to live on the same street but I moved years ago.

Hi, Hoodie! Long time no see, as we say down here! Fiction has nothing on real life, sometimes.

nyc/caribbean, you never know... That's the thing about writers that makes people uncomfortable - you never know what - or who - will end up a book!

stephe said...

No! Oh, no! LOL! You have gone and done it now.

I agree with Kim... you really should use that. :)

Debs said...

That's so funny, although mortifying for you, of course and exactly the sort of thing I tend to do.

Matt said...

I love it!


wordtryst said...

Stephe, what was I thinking?

Debs, don't you just want to crawl into a small, dark place afterward? Mortifying is the word, all right.

Matt - okay, that's enough! Now you've got me laughing at myself.