Seal the deal

59. 10am. Top deck, halfway down on the left.

‘I’ll tell you something: my tolerance levels of eating have gone right down. Honestly speaking… Yes, water, I’ve been drinking a lot of water… I’ve eliminated fizzy drinks. Just juice – I love juice, you know me… but I know I’ve been drinking more because my toilet water is as clear as snow…’

Across from me a man was speaking loudly on his phone. His half of the conversation led me to believe he worked in something to do with the Premier League – selling tickets, or perhaps merchandise. At any rate something that required him to work most weekends. He wasn’t complaining, though: he was making hella overtime and counting every pound. He seemed to be one of life’s born statesmen, peppering his speech with oratorial flourishes such as ‘let me tell/ask you something’, ‘honestly speaking’ and ‘you know me’. He also didn’t seem to mind sharing his private life with everyone on the bus. Here is what he is up to in May:

‘Is that QPR? That’s time-and-a-half! I’ll be taking that, thanks very much! Thanks for reminding me. Anyway I’ve booked Amsterdam… Yeah, big guns, but on the Monday so by then she’ll be down about nothing happening so it’ll be like kaPOW. I saw a ring on Rings of London. £250 down to £60! You know me, I love a bargain. I don’t want to do a dinner or anything, it’s always the same. I want to take her to, you know the Shard? WHAT? You know, that new building by London Bridge, that big one, really new, glass, the NEW ONE man, where we used to work, seriously my friend, the SHARD, pointy, big, the SHARD [etc etc for about two minutes] … Yeah, anyway, it’s £25 per ticket. I want to take her for the latest view, for all the lights and what-not, and do it then. You know how she loves taking photos. I’ll take her to the theatre on the Saturday, and probably there won’t be time so Shard on Sunday. She’ll be quite down by then so, whoop there it is, big surprise… Then the flight at 6.20am on the Monday. You know me, I like those early flights… £37! To go all the way there! I was thinking of taking the coach but it takes twelve hours… No, no, you only live once, that’s what I say. So Monday is sightseeing, then Tuesday for any last bits and bobs. Just what will fit in hand luggage – I bought one hand luggage, one check-in, it didn’t seem worth it… change of clothes, toiletries, that’s it. You know me.’

I feel like I do now, friend! I hope she says yes.

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