People you pass in the street

It's easy to bump into people you know in this oh-so walkable city of ours. In fact being "walkable" is probably only second to being "windy" when people come to write about Wellington.

Sometimes popping out and bumping into people you know is a little lunchtime joy. Other times it's a complete pain in the arse (or "'arris" as my father sometimes says). Both joyful and arse-annoying bumpings can even be with the same person, all depends on the mood. I might be in a mood to chat and be sociable with other human beings, I may want to go down to the harbour on my own or simply loose myself in the library/bookshop.

The mornings, and to a lesser extent the evenings, are also prime 'people bumping' times.

These though are the regular bumpings and can feel a little like work - perhaps because they generally involve the people you see every morning as you trudge (or skip) to work.

Lately I've noticed a growing number of my regular skip-to-work colleagues (yeah, right) are starting to raise the corners of their mouths to me which is nice. A little recognition that we're all in it together. I, of course, reciprocate with a twitch of the mouth.

In fact, one lady seems attempting to reinvigorate a past relationship.
Stop! Do not think smuty thoughts! I am talking about a work relationship, nothing else.

I think we we both suspect that we know each other but the knowledge has faded into the mists of time (cliche #24). We could be wrong.

She's is an elderly lady that possibly worked at the Department of Corrections many years ago - as did I. Having left that place of employment and experienced a memory-wiping time in Sydney I'm not totally convinced.

I like bumping into her because out of everyone else I see she's the most interesting.

Whilst the coffee girls are chatty and cute, the regular #31 bus passengers harmless and sometimes pleasant and the beautiful girl I pass by the National Library brightens the walk they have nothing on, on ... no name comes to mind, shame.

It's hard to describe her as she wanders down Molesworth Street without sounding patronising and coming over all age-ist. I'll try.

She is generally very well presented with sturdy and well made clothing. The clothing is 'of an age" but classic with it. I'm thinking along the lines of 1940's British film stars in romantic movies such as Vivien Leigh, Jean Simmons and the like. She'd look perfectly in place on the set of Brief Encounter.

I also like to imagine that she's 'above' the rest of us street trudgers/skippers. Possibly because she walks slowly and with purpose. She waits for cars to let her cross without making them by stepping out. She waits because she knows the life isn't a race. She's unlike everyone else I see.

She almost always has a wonderful glint in her eye and a smile on her face. The sort of smile my Nanna would have when I went visiting. It makes me smile and diverts my soul onto worthwhile musings.

See how much you can imagine from a 15-second passing in the street. I wonder how wrong/right I am.

Today was a milestone in our morning greetings. We've been through the smile, done the raising of the eyebrows and moved onto the combo smile/eyebrow manoeuvre.

But today we said, "Morning".

To be fair I had Active 89FM playing in the lugoles and can only assume that's what she said to me. Then again, what else could it have been?

But I most certainly did a low-level almost whisper, "Morning" with the smile/eyebrow combination to back it up. A "whisper" whilst wearing headphones is always a subjective thing of course.

What next?

We'll probably raise the volume until one morning one of us will have to stop the other. Then we'll truly find out if we knew each other in a past life.

And even if we didn't maybe it'll be the start of a friendship and we'll have a coffee.


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