1 May 2007

The first time we met was in London on a wet day and I had just been soaked to the skin. Grey water dripped from my nose and hands and my black suit was now skin-tight. I stood still and looked skyward but remembered there was nobody up there. I looked down at my wet shoes and then she was standing in front of me chuckling. “Don’t you know never to stand next to a puddle in the bus lane?”

“Don’t you know it’s not safe to talk to strangers?”

“Well, some strangers are clearly not dangerous. Those standing in their very own puddle rank very low on my list of possible threats.”

“What about if I had a knife which I wasn’t going to use but now I’m wet and pissed off and some lady is taking the mickey and I decide that perhaps, right now, I want to kill someone and she’ll do?”

“Do you have a knife? Should I start running?”


“No? No knife?”

“ No knife. But I could drip all over you and give you pneumonia.”

She kept her eyes on mine but tilted her head to one side and pursed her lips. Then “Lovely weather isn’t it?”, she said as she looked up at the sky.

“There’s obviously no one up there. And I refuse to talk about the weather.”

“Too British?”

“Yes. And it’s a boring topic. Why talk about the weather when we can talk about football?”

“True. Great derby match last night, I really thought Fulham were in with a chance.”

“Okay, stop right there.”

“Not a footie supporter? Bit of a dubious judgement call there.”

“Well, you don’t look much like a fan.”

“No? My knickers are a big give away and I have a tattoo but I suppose that wouldn’t actually help you much.”

“Nope. Fulham. So you have yellow knickers?”

“Hmmm. Are you going to stand here all day in the rain waiting to get dry?”

“I was thinking about it. I don’t really see any point in going on if this is the way I’m going to be treated.”

“Come on, you’re not that wet.”

“I have puddle water in my belly button and, yep, look, a bit of grit in my ear.”

“Well, I’m off. Nice to meet you. Gotta get to work.”

“Hang on, wait a minute. How about a drink?”

“A drink? But you’re a stranger, remember?”

“Not really, not anymore. Just a quick one while I dry off a bit.”


“Come on. I want to know about your tattoo.”

“It’s in a very secretive place. I’m not going to show you.”

“I have a secret tattoo too. Show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

“We’ll see about that. Watch out, here comes another bus.”

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