Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Awkwardness is the spice of life

Some days it seems the world puts on a comical show for only you to see. The other day, as I waited for the bus, an ash blonde woman in tight white jeans and a zebra skin top approached the post shop I was standing in front of. Facing the front of the store she stared at the two sheets of glass that had joined together creating a shop front. She stepped forward. She stepped back. She waved her arms back and forth. Suddenly it dawned on me that she thought the window panes were an electric door.

"Excuse me" I said. "The door is on the other side."

Looking bewildered she smiled at me appreciatively and made her way tentatively to the real sliding doors. The bus that I was waiting for was late. Instead of the my faithful chariot, the number 13 arrived and a man put his girlfriend on the bus.

"Goodbye my darling! Goodbye!!!" he yelled while waving furiously and hopping from one foot to another. As the bus started to move he ran beside it, creating an epic love story moment, bound to be imprinted in their minds forever. Instead of watching his lover become a tiny blip in the distance as the bus turned the corner, it ground to a halt at the red light. Things became awkward.

The man continued to wave furiously, looking like his hand would fall off at any moment. His tan tweed coat flapped intensely on his body as he continued to enthusiastically farewell his lady. Bemused passengers on the bus watched on. The woman looked embarrassed and waved tentatively as she glanced between the red light, and her over excited, tweed wearing boyfriend. The hopping from side to side continued, and finally, finally, the light turned green.

My bemusement was short lived when last friday, after a long work week, I caught the bus home. It was absolutely packed. I pushed the buzzer at my stop and struggled through the mass of people to get to the back door. Something horrific happened as I stepped off the bus. The doors closed. In the split seconds before the final shutting two thoughts ran through my head

Step forward, get off the bus, the door is closing!
Step back, stay on the bus, the door is closing!

Due to the conflicting thoughts maximum awkwardness was achieved. With my head lurched forward and my body tentatively hovering back, the door closed. My head outside the bus, my body in. Two boys walked past, their mouths gaping at the comical decapitation of my head, alongside any self respect I had for myself.

Everyone on the bus started yelling furiously at the driver who quickly released me from my headlock. My head (and neck) burned with shame, not pain as I stepped off the bus. I turned around and faced the passengers. Everyone stared at me. There was nothing left to do but walk home, head hung low, and revel in how awkward, bemsuing, strange and wonderful life can be.

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