Today I found myself quite sitting opposite a most spectacular character.
He was tall, rugged, and dressed all in black, with the exception of the bright red scarf, which looked like he'd spent 10 minutes in front of the mirror trying to position it perfectly so there was not a crease where one shouldn't be, and the ends were perfectly positioned as if he'd just come from modelling it for a catalogue photo shoot.
I would imagine he was aged around 40.
I was immediately struck by his eyes and mouth. Despite his height and broad shoulders, the aforementioned facial features looked so delicate and soft, almost feminine.
This is all irrelevant to the story, but I thought I'd give you a physical description. Just cos.
It's not unusual in London to see people talking to themselves. It's also not unusual to see people who you think are talking to themselves, but actually it transpires that they're just a posh nonce with a hands free kit (slight tangent, but I love seeing people in public having arguements on the telephone using a hands free kit. It always makes my day, and I can't help laughing hysterically at them).
This man wasn't talking to himself. He was clearly having a conversation in his head, but his lips weren't moving.
There were sympathetic gestures, raised eyebrows, shocked gestures, nodding, the "I'm listening" head tilt to the side, even though he didn't make a single utterance.
I confess, I do occasionally chatter away to myself when I'm alone (or at least I think I am), most particularly when I'm driving. Or when I'm hungover and I know I've behaved particularly appalingly the night before, I'll have an extravagant conversation with myself to try and distract my brain from remembering throwing up in the Belsize Park region. I do sincerely hope everyone reading this concurs, or I may have overshared, and I'm at the point of a pending laymans diagnosis of "nut."
I will even occasionally go to the point of such elaborate facial gesturisation as I witnessed today. Especially if my imagination is running wild and I'm fantasising about such things as accepting the oscar, receiving my honours from the Queen for my outstanding services to... well, just being an amazing human being and the day that Sharleen Spiteri and I get married (she will be mine, oh yes, she will be mine).
However, I'd like to think that in public I can maintain an inner monologue (I haven't just been defrosted you know) and keep my facial expressions to ones that befit my current situation (which living in London is pretty much a permanently fixed scowl). If anyone notices that I behave otherwise, please notify me.
It leads me to wonder what was going on inside his head that would make him produce such clear and distinctive facial expressions in public, while not moving his lips? Had he just come from a listening skills course and was practising his "I'm listening, honestly" faces? Was he re-enacting his scarf modelling photo shoot in his head, and feeling particularly sympathetic towards the state of his over-talkative scarf-positioners life? Or had he just got twatted last night and puked in Belsize Park and couldn't deal with the embarrasment in his head?
Or was he simply trying to give me a straw to clutch at so I could try and write something at his expense?