Eeek! As a bit of an introvert the thought of meeting up for coffee with a whole blog-load of strangers as well as my usual phalanx of virtual friends terrifies me, but I’m sure once I settle down and see how nice you all are I’ll start to feel much more relaxed… I hope!
Being a typical Brit, I like to nibble on a biscuit of some sort with my hot beverage – generally I drink loads of tea, but when meeting up for coffee I do usually have coffee, so today mine’s a large latte and a slice (or maybe two, because I’m nervous) of crumbly, buttery home made shortbread… mmmm…!
I’ll probably worry about talking far too much and far too fast to begin with (also because I’m nervous), and being mindful of not causing offence to anyone will try to keep our discussion away from discussing any potentially contraversial topics such as parenting, politics or religion, and I’ll inevitably be thinking… help… what should I say… how do I start this conversation?
We’ll maybe break the ice by talking about the recent change in the weather, because that too is a very British thing to do – it’s a common point of reference in our temperate island climate – and I’ll suddenly remember an odd incident that happened on my way to my GP surgery early last week and will immediately forget my anxiety at the thought of being in the company of strangers…
It was an unseasonably warm day for mid-to-late-October (unlike today, which is decidedly cold and damp and miserable) so even in the thin T-shirt and crop jeans I was wearing I already felt hot and uncomfortably sticky walking swiftly along the street to my appointment. I was thinking to myself, it’s England in the autumn, and by now it’s usually blustery with a distinct nip in the air, how strange for it to be so mild this late in the year…
And just before I reached the surgery, lost in thought, the soft movement of a door opening slightly caught my eye to my right, and in my peripheral vision I saw a figure standing there, quite still, half-hidden behind the door. Without thinking I automatically glanced over in that direction and was somewhat surprised to see a grown man, completely naked and motionless in the half-open doorway, looking off down the street in the direction I’d just come from.
The weirdest thing is, it didn’t seem weird at all at the time – I mean, he was just standing there, naked, apparently absent-mindedly waiting for something or someone, as if he wasn’t really aware of either his nakedness or of me passing by quizzically only a few feet away. He had a nice body, too – taut muscles and relaxed genitals, not sexualised or in any way potentially threatening, he was more like an al-fresco life drawing model; a real-life still-life.
In a hurry not to be late for my doctor’s appointment I just carried on walking along the street and put it out of my mind, and would probably have thought no more about it until our impromptu discussion about the weather jogged my random memory and my nervousness prompted me to share it. Nakedness doesn’t bother me, so I wasn’t shocked, then or now… more curious and intrigued by why he had no clothes on in the middle of a weekday afternoon? 🙂