As with most working people who are in regular employment, my daily routine is pretty much set in stone, from when I wake up in the afternoon to when I get home and go to bed in the morning. There is a bus journey to and from work and there is a fair amount of walking involved. There are, of course, many others, living out their own little, ritualistic almost, regular day to day existences, and life goes on. There are people that I see and recognise and, I'm sure, they, some at least, are aware of my to-ings and fro-ings, and again, life grinds on.
I DO try not make eye contact with my fellow drones for two very good reasons. Firstly, the last thing I need is some miserable so and so demanding to know "what the feck 'r' you lookin at?" and secondly, I don't want some woman thinking "that weird old buggar who looks at me" of me, and so, in the interests of peace and tolerance, I keep my head down and go about my dailies as unobtrusively as is possible. It works for me. Well, it did up until a few days ago.
There's one particular woman who I see most mornings, I don't know anything about her nor would I want to, it's quite amusing actually, we both seem equally set on not looking each other's way, as though if either of us looked at the other we might turn to stone or something, anyway.... one morning last week, we'd almost drawn level with each other, within a metre or so, when I saw a cyclist rapidly approaching from her direction. Now normally, when this happens, I try to make it as obvious as I can that I'm walking on the inside of the path, distancing myself from a narrow grassed strip of land that runs between the road and the path, and then the cyclist just sails on by, no problem.
Well, on this particular morning I couldn't do that, the woman had taken the inside lane, leaving me with no option but to stop dead in my tracks and let the cyclist pass by. She wouldn't have been aware of the cyclist until he'd passed by, would she have understood why I'd acted how I had? I haven't seen her since and that's a worry. Did I startle her? Has she stopped walking that road because of me? I hope not, I shall never know.
And now, to what prompted me to start this sorry tale and a happy ending. This morning as I walked that road, I could see a woman approaching, as I have many times before, in her fifties I would think, same as same as, she was quite some way off actually, thirty meters or so I guess, when as I moved as closely as I could to one side of the path she did the same, we both changed directions twice before she broke into a fit of giggles and we had a right old laugh about it. I raised my hand and yelled sorry then, as we passed each other, she said something to me , in good humour I think, I didn't hear a word of it unfortunately, my hearing is getting worse, but we both laughed it off, and went on our merry way.
And now I'm wondering how I should handle seeing her again as I probably will some time in the future.
I DO hope I haven't given that other woman any cause for concern though. I really feel bad about that.