Upbeat Cynicism

what do you mean i lost my mind?

Brief Encounter

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I was walking west on Nanjing Road, passing Plaza 66, when I chanced to look up. She was blond. Wore a hat and wore it well. Had glasses. With nice, thick, boxy frames — the kind I really, really like on women. She was giving a small, warm smile. To me. (?)

My contacts might have been a little fuzzy, so I checked. Nope, nobody immediately behind me. She was looking at me. (?)

When I turned back, she was still looking at me, (?) but the smile was no longer small. It was broad and bright as the sun. She was most amused.

She waved. At me. (?)

Now, at the best of times, I am a klutz around lovely women. Yesterday was not, alas, the best of times. I had been brooding, and now here was a blond throwing sunshine my way. It took me until the wave to remember how to work my face.

That knowledge recalled, I employed it to give her a small, questioning-but-receptive smile in return.

Or possibly I just looked confused.

Her smile, if possible, grew brighter and merrier. I tried to make mine even more questioning and even more receptive. Which likely means I bore a stark resemblance to Forrest Gump.

Finally we got within three steps of each other. The coin dropped. Comprehension dawned. All became clear. She said, “Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t know you!” and touched my arm as she passed, laughing at herself. (It was a lovely laugh, darn it.) I tried to reply with “It’s OK,” but it came out more like “skay” than anything. I kept going.

Thirty yards later, I managed to mumble “It’s not like I mind getting smiles from handsome blondes.” She was long gone.

Twenty minutes later, the proper reaction finally occurred to me.

I should have said, with mock offense: “Oh, you think ‘sorry’ will get you off the hook, do you? You shamelessly toyed with my feelings and expect that to be enough? The least you could do is buy me coffee, you heartless wench!”

But I’m slow.

So it looks like I have a twin in Shanghai.

Which more or less means I’m the evil one, doesn’t it? Otherwise, she wouldn’t have been so happy to see the one she thought she knew. 😉


Written by [IMH]

13 November 2006 at 11:23 am

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  1. I learned recently that there’s a term for that:
    L’esprit de l’escalier



    24 June 2007 at 11:33 pm

  2. Cool, though I think I prefer the German term, Treppenwitz. More evocative of the thing, I feel. 🙂


    25 June 2007 at 8:01 am

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