Utopia (14): With a little help from my friend
March 8, 2008 Leave a comment
I wasn’t with Caren in private too often. She has her own partner after all. Still… I see her here and there and it’s always fun. Not only fun, but let’s stay with this word. Knowing that it sounds nearly paradox that she was the one introducing me to the woman I’ve fallen to love with. You generally don’t expect that from a woman you … ok, let’s not be rude – from a woman you sleep with.
We were programming together in pair again that day. I started to be a little unfocused at the end of working hours and Caren tried to finish her idea – and after she scored and was satisfied she asked: “Coffee or…?” and she denoted the end of the working day moving her hand. “Ok,” I replied, “rather that…” and I repeated the move of her hand. As we had a plan to go to my apartment we both used mass transport today. Actually it was the first time we did it this way because wherever we went before we went there by a car. This time Caren wanted to “experience it again after years… with you” as she said.
- “So you say that you like to watch people?” Caren is smiling at me while we’re both standing in the joint section of the bendy bus.
- “Exactly,” I’m saying. Strange thing is that while I feel here “at home” during every way home or to work I’m feeling very strange now with her. However I like her it’s sort of intrusive now. It’s not her fault at all – it’s really strange that suddenly I don’t feel so confident when I’m with someone so close to me in an environment that’s well-known to me as well. Maybe it’s because…
- “So tell me, is she here now?” Caren is asking about a girl I’ve mentioned before. During one of our countless coffee breaks she asked me how I enjoyed (or maybe why I still enjoyed) their mass transport. I said that I like to watch people and – by accident – I also mentioned one girl I liked most.
- “Yes, she is,” I can’t resist to smile. I noticed her immediately after I’ve got on and – well, let’s admit that that girl noticed my occasionally staring sights after all those days – she have smiled at me in return.
- “And?” Caren is waiting I’ll tell her.
- “And?” I’m playing dumb.
- “C’mon… I’m dying of curiosity!”
- “Caren…, just because I don’t want to let you die. She’s the… that blond one on your four o’clock in the black coat and the red thing… on the… neck, you know.”
Even during my last sentence Caren looked at her more directly than I’d like to – they even smiled at each other. I was prepared to decamp in that very moment.
- “Scarf,” Caren is saying when she looks at me.
- “Scarf… that … red thing… on the… neck, you know.” She somehow imitated the tail of my sentence. Normally I’d be angry (a little ) to her to “teach” me English in this way but this time I don’t care. And I’m pretty much sure she’s realizing that I have other things in my head than to snub her for this.
- “Scarf – whatever.”
- “Ok,” Caren is looking at me very carefully, “for how long you’ve been taking this bus?”
- “Like two months?”
- “And how many times have you seen her already?”
- “Maaan… I don’t know! Twenty?”
- “And you just smile at her and she just smiles at you…”
- “Ok, Gavin, can you tell me if you want that girl? Just before I start to kiss you here, you know… because not everyone is that liberal, you know.” Caren was pro when it came to provocations. Well, I like it after all.
- “Caren, … yes, I like her, but I don’t know her, understand that.”
- “And what you’ve done to change it?”
- “You’re torturing me!” I was smiling but I felt really cornered. It was easy to take this bus every day and smile at that girl. It was much harder – for me – to address her. I know that this wasn’t the problem of “our” culture vs. theirs. It was my problem. I wasn’t that type. I was extrovert, I was open, but I had always troubles to cross the first border.
Caren is looking at me with those sparks in her eyes for a while and then: “Wait here… or, you know, join us whenever you want.” And she turned away before I was able to tell her anything and stepped to that girl.
Girl… well, she was around 25 I guess – I became pretty bad in guessing age of women after I passed 20, really. She had nice long blond (sort of ) curling hair, probably blue eyes (I wasn’t sure, but I thought so and yes, she has blue eyes as it would turn out later) and – well, kill me, but I’m far from good in descriptions. I don’t like that b*s* about “character reflecting in lines on one’s face” and similar thing. She wasn’t exactly Miss World – but I never cared. I liked her, liked that countenance, her smile, her walk, her everything. Probably her smile in the first place – because she liked to look at me and I liked it as well. It wasn’t like we stared at each other all time long – but we looked at each other and smiled like we greeted ourselves when we met. I really can’t describe it better – neither I can’t explain why I’ve never got to talk to that girl. Maybe because until I talk to her I know there is still chance. I know it’s… pathetic not to talk to someone just to have the idea of a chance – sometimes I’m among those slower guys (although it’s hard to explain later ).
Caren successfully started conversation with her and they both looked at me from time to time – and this took like an … hard to judge, maybe minute? You can’t imagine how long a minute can be in a situation like this. But maybe even more. I waited for something at the start, but later I realized there is no immediate intention to bring me in – unless I do it. And because bus line wasn’t infinite and I suddenly saw I have like 5 minutes I decided to do something. I resigned and walked towards them.
- “Hi,” I said.
- “Gavin!” Caren smiled at me. “This is Susan.”
- “Hi,” I smiled at Susan. “I’m Gavin, obviously.”
- “Hi, Gavin,” she shook my hand.
- “I’m not sure if I’m not interrupting you while you analyze… ‘hesitating men’ behavior patterns.”
- “Oh no,” Caren was in a very good mood. “Interruptions are allowed – plus don’t think you’re the center of our interest.”
- “Fair enough,” I replied, “I’m that egocentric self-confident beast.”
- “Yeah,” Susan chuckled. “I definitely noticed that.”
- “Just for the record,” Caren said. “I’m not here to arrange your dates, you know. So we were talking about ourselves. After all I need to know her before I start that arrangment stuff, you know.” Last sentence was said to me but Caren took care that it was heard by Susan as well.
Sometimes it’s easier to fall into something headlong. And mostly it’s better to fall into something with a little help. And Caren was more than a little help in this case.