Sunday, 20 July 2008

brief encounter

I was meandering about Brizzle the other day. Outside the Commercial Rooms, formerly a Very Posh Club for city merchants and now a Wetherspoons pub, I had to negotiate a cloud of smoke coming out of the kitchen vent. It ponged rather of old cooking oil and pub grub.

The tables out front are a popular hanging-out place for men who appreciate cheapness in their lager, and who don't spend too much time worrying about their appearance.

There's a big chap sitting there with his lager and a face that's recently been severely modified with hostile intent. There are some very serious scars and bruises. He seems cheerful enough though. Our eyes meet.

"Where's all the smoke from?" he says

"The kitchen," I reply, "that's your lunch on fire"

We pause and consider the billowing smoke

"If I say something, will you be offended?" he says

I go into mild defensive mode. Here it comes, I think.

"That depends on what you say," I reply.

"You're really pretty," he says

I am relieved, and a little touched. And charmed. So he's an visually-impaired alcoholic. So... He wanted to say something nice and I was glad he did.

Two lonely people....

I smile and thank him, and continue my way with a bit of a bounce in my step.

Onwards and upwards.