Oh Stranger, Aren’t Thou Lovely?
There he comes again. I have seen him before. I am almost sure, I have. Wasn’t I sitting at the same seat? And didn’t he sit just in front of me then too? Just like he did now? I give just a quick glance his way and find myself not looking above his chin. From the corner of my eyes I can see that he is wearing sun-glasses and even if I were to look at him, I wouldn’t be able to see his eyes.
I can’t really say what it is that makes me want to look at him. I find myself fiddling my fingers, fumbling my bag. I try to keep my hands clasped together, so as to concentrate on myself. But what is wrong with me? I find myself looking out the tram window and then, before a second has passed, I find myself looking at him — of course without giving him any hint that I am attracted. He sits there…so close, his knees just inches away, his hands firmly clasped together, his eyes hovering above my head. I don’t know if I am imagining but I get a feeling that he is looking at me. He ought to. Attraction is always mutual. Now, isn’t that consoling? But I have found it true.
As he squeezes in to sit right in front of me, I feel this male aura, something like the fragrance of a perfume that stays long before the wearer is gone. Then different thoughts churn in my head and I start writing a love story, as I always do. I find myself saying, ‘this is lovely. It is not every day that you find a man attractive.’ A man has got to have an appeal and it is not always his looks. I am sure women got to have that too. And some men, like this stranger who is sitting right in front of me now has the appeal spreading around, like a forerunner of the man himself, sending messages, attracting people, making people want to have just one look at him. It is not quite always the way they dress too. But this man has a fashionable sense of dressing too. Last time too, I noticed the way he was dressed.
I agree that some men would exude their attractiveness through rough appearance such as ruffled hair, shabby, hanging pants and talking a little too loud and making people know that he is there. But often, it is the neatness of men that attracts women. You see a man like this one and you find yourself quickly stripping him to details. I notice how the sweater he is wearing is clinging to his chest, while the jeans tug so tightly fit on his thighs. What also makes such a man more attractive is his calmness, his bearing of total insulation from the rest of the people sitting around him…the way he does not walk with pomposity as if to announce that he is coming and people should notice him. This man has the quiet, sizzling appeal of a stream that would wake your senses if you were to dip just a tip of your toe.
Then I get to my stop and I get out. And because the two seats in the tram facing each other are so close, there is not enough space to take my feet out. My knee brushes against him lightly and I find no voice to say, ‘excuse me’. I find this ridiculous but I am still writing stories in my head and I have not yet come out to speak in the real world. However, I squeeze out, get out in the street and I walk around, bouncy, and hopping. If people must look at me, they must find me funny. But that is what happens to me. It is like I am in a trance. I am smiling to myself. I just can’t control. I feel like a three year old child who has learned to mimic an adult’s life without knowing the pain and sufferings they go through, totally carefree, only seeing the playfulness there is in life. If people will find me crazy, they will. I love this playfulness that I get to grasp and be a child again. And here I am, a child again. And I love this game.