Today I was listening to some music. I sat at the Alster and watched the sailing boats surf in circles across the pond.
Walking back, I took the route down Kennedybridge and turned right at Schwanenwik onto Eilenau, where this young couple passed me by.
The guy was tall, blond, and boring-looking.
The woman was short and feisty, in a Spanish way, with brown-but-sparkling eyes, dark locks rolling down her back past her shoulder blades, a tan, pointy face and legs revealed by the really very short cheetah-printed dress she was wearing.
I was dressed in my older brother's dress pants, which he wore one time for his confirmation day but never since, a white t-shirt and that old flannel button-down my friend Max gave me.
I glanced down my wrist, looking for my hair tie; there it was, which could mean only one thing: my wild-man's mop of hair must indeed have been in mullet-mode.
Looking back, I'd like to think that it was due to that, but her looking me in the eyes for a second or two might have been due to any other thing as well.
Her eyes sticking to myself and dripping down like honey, on the other hand, dropping deeper and deeper, almost as low as my shoes but not quite, moving up, resting, and then returning to my eyes again, dragging a sly smile of clenched teeth and slightly separated lips behind them, could not have been anything other than an expression of her desire to have immediate sex with me, if things just had been different in regards to the boring blond dude, and that could only ever be due to your pristine hair cutting job, Max.
Unaccustomed to a situation like this, I froze.
The "General Guidebook of Everyday Conduct for Functioning Sociopaths with Narcissistic Tendencies," which made up most of my adult education, never once mentioned how to respond to a southern-European woman asking you to have adulterous sex with her during blinding daylight in the middle of a street using her eyes only.
That book's a fucking scam, I say!
With the moment (i.e. them) almost passed, I made a choice, tilting my head a little, nodding towards the guy and giving her an apologetic shoulder-shrug.
She passed with a smile, and her boyfriend didn't even seem to notice me.
Somewhat dumbfounded, I stopped in my tracks and just stood there for a second.
There wasn't a single thought on my mind.
I didn't even know how to think.
And now, some fucking guy with shorts on and a massive backpack says something to me, but I don't hear what exactly, and because I don't half-ass things, I pretend that I don't hear at all. But then he says something else and I kind of understand, "Can I help you? Lookin for something?" which makes me look him in the eye. Which I immediately regret, of course. Why can't I ever seem to control these things?
"Umm.. yeah, I... Well, I was kind of looking for.."
My eyes scan the immediate vicinity for something, anything, and land on a pair of restaurants on the other side of the river.
"A, uh, rest-"
breathe in, out,
"A restaurant," I gasp.
"I'm looking for a restaurant."
"A RESTAURANT?" the stranger bellows unnecessarily loud.
"Well, walk right up!" he says, with an inviting gesture of his arms.
Of course, I don't, and thus he comes over, lays his bear's paw of a hand across my shoulder, pinches my entire frame with his trunk-like arm in a way that others might consider 'brotherly' and commences to yell recommendations in my ear.
"Yer see the yellow sign across tha' road over there?" he says.
"That one?" I point my finger.
He leans back, raching his head behind my shoulder, trying to look along my finger to where it shows.
"Yah know, I'm thinkin to tha left a bit…" he pinches his eyes, trying his utmost to read the signs.
"The 'Vegan Hou-" I start off.
"Oh, let up with those fuckturds! To tha' right, just a tad." He grabs my hand and points. "The yellow sign! Yer see?"
"Um.. 'Mattress Restaurant?" I say.
"Mattress, tha's the one! Best Vietnamese food in town, I'd betcha ma momma on tha!"
He turns around and looks at me proudly.
His crooked smile could light up an entire village.
"Well, th- thanks," I say. "I'll, uh… check it out, for sure..."
"Yes, you do that, Sir! Hey, I'aint trying ta-be bloody rude to ya, but a gotta bounce now a-right? Cheers, mate!"
All of a sudden, that motherfucker turned all British on me! Or Irish? I can't even say at that point.
People be like that, I guess.
Very confused I watch the big girl bound off down the street.
Back home, I treat myself to a nice warm glass of milk and a microwaveable dinner-plate.