A terrible thing happened to me on the bus yesterday afternoon.
While on my way home from work I bumped into one of my best friends from school.
Now, I am an avid follower of what people from school are doing, I really am, but I have no desire to find out from them in person. Instead, I like to occasionally creep on their facebook profiles, as well as their profiles on any other social media platforms they may frequent (which is, like, none. The people I went to school with are shockingly bad at the internet and I cannot understand it at all. It’s almost as if they’re out talking to people face to face, or something. Sickos.) and suss out where I stand in my own invented rankings of ‘Post School-Era Success’. To give you an idea, I currently fall somewhere between the honest-to-goodness, actual stripper, and the honest-to-goodness, actual mathematics PHD student. Not too shabby, either way.
Anyway, my bus journey started so well. I correctly predicted exactly where the driver was going to stop so I could be right in front of the doors, I blocked an old lady who was trying to push on before me but was actually not yet old enough to warrant that kind of treatment, and I got a seat on the ground floor. Is it a ground floor on a bus? I’ve never once considered this. Answers on a postcard, please.
I sat down, feeling smug. Then, I happened to glance up, and I spotted a school person getting on the bus. My heart dropped into my stomach, and my first instincts were:
- Freeze. For a brief moment, I admit, I confused my old human friend for the T. Rex out of Jurassic Park. And let me tell you, humans can definitely see you, even if you sit dead still.
- Think ‘Oh, it’s OK. I chopped all my hair off at the weekend, so he won’t recognise me’. But, genius, you did not chop off the face that he sat next in every single lesson, every single day for two years, did you? Man, those A* GCSEs were really not worth the paper they’re written on.
In a shocking turn of events, neither of those things helped me. I suddenly felt the need to become very involved in untangling my earphone wire. This was despite the fact that, for once in its miserable, plastic, tangly life, it was perfectly fine.
There was a tapping noise on the glass partition, which I studiously ignored. By that point I was starting to come to terms with the fact that I probably wasn’t getting out of this without making at least some small talk, but I was determined to delay it for as long as possible. I figured if he questioned me about why I didn’t look up I could claim I thought I was being very unsubtle-y harassed on the packed bus full of commuting types. Every weirdo’s natural pickup location.
“Nicola”. That was the final, dreadful moment when I knew I’d been rumbled.
Did I look up straight away? Of course not.
“Nicola. Nicola. NICOLA!”. He always was persistent.
So, randomly bumping into old friends. Kind of a treat? Or social minefield? I know which one I’d say. But then, I apparently think people have the same characteristics as CGI dinosaurs so, really. What do I know?