Archive for April, 2015

April 26th 2015

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Profile…

The crowd lazily leafed through the stacks of best sellers and classics on the dark mahogany round tables in the four corners of the bookshop.

Absentmindedly, the middle-aged man glanced through the blurb on the back of a great American classic. His focus was on other customers, seemingly looking for someone.

Straightening his chequered beige and black blazer, he approached a fellow lazy leafer. “Excuse me; sorry to interrupt,” he said, almost whispering.

The tall, blonde woman raised her green eyes from the the first page.

“Could you take a photo of me with these bookshelves, please,” was certainly an unusual request.

He handed her his mobile and she took a couple of snaps.

Feeling awkward, as he sensed her slight baffled feeling, his nervous voice explained, “it’s for a dating site; I wanted a different profile picture!”

The green eyes were even more baffled, as the Sunday crowd sauntered from one stack to another.

Peace and love,

Ja‘far

April 19th 2015

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

A pitch on the escalators…

The rush hour human traffic moved along the escalators in rows of two, dipping and rising almost in unison, like the iron bar that turned steam engine wheels.

Not two steps ahead of me was a middle-aged chap that seemed to be halfway through a film pitch. His listener was an intelligent and attractive looking young woman that appeared genuinely interested in the story.

“And then they hop onto a bus, and at the moment when all seems average, he does something that makes her feel extraordinary.”

Asking him what I wanted to query too, “but what does he do?” she said in a sweet Spanish accent.

“Ah, well, you’ll see when you read the script.”

Fair enough, I thought.

“When will you send me the new draft?” She was certainly interested.

“Well, I think…”

I couldn’t hear the remainder of the conversation, as they’d reached the bottom of the escalator and were heading towards a platform, when on the opposite side , an elderly gentleman fell backward, and was about to take a tumble on the escalator, if it weren’t for the hand of a fellow passenger that grabbed his jacket and halted his fall.

The steam engine swung into action, and a few guys ran up the iron stairs to help, with someone even throwing his rucksack on the floor while rushing to the emergency shut down button to stop the escalator.

Shaken by the incident, and obviously fearing for the safety of the  other commuter, the young woman reached for the nearest wall to steady herself. Her companion assured her that the gentleman was fine.

He went to the bottom of the escalator to make sure that the gentleman was not injured.

“He’s OK. Don’t worry!” he attempted to calm her down.

As they got on the train, I could hear her whisper to him, “you’re my hero; you kept your cool and checked that I was OK, and made sure that the man was not injured!”

He was happy to take the compliment, though he did protest, not forcefully, it has to be said, that he hadn’t done anything.

Thinking of the commuters that came to the aid of the elderly gentleman, and the humanity and compassion they demonstrated, not to mention the storyteller and his young companion’s care for their fellow passenger’s well being, I felt proud to be a Londoner.

Peace and love,

Ja’far

April 12th 2015

Monday, April 13th, 2015
Lunch offerings…
“I would get him something like a modern classic; a Philip Roth, maybe!” the young woman suggested to her phone, taking meandering steps in the sandwiches section. She was clearly disappointed with the offerings, for she busied herself with studying the pattern of her pink and white summer dress, which she wore beneath a white cardigan.
A slight commotion nearby provided a distraction; three women of a similar age to her were more vocal in their discontent with the lunch snacks fridge.
“I mean, you get here at 1:35 and all the decent stuff’s gone!” the one in a dark navy skirt suit said, with the palm of her right hand turned up and pointing to the empty fridge shelves. Her leather black handbag reverberated with her indignation. Her friends were equally unimpressed; “shall we head to Pret?”
“Yes, I read her; a bit dark for dad, don’t you think?” she asked, examining the ingredients on the side of a plastic soup container.
Walking back to the office in the spring sunshine, I spotted the three young women, each now carrying a small paper bag from the sandwich chain.
Across the street, the woman held down her pink and white dress against a sudden gust of wind; with the other hand, she carried a small plastic bowl of salad.
Peace and love,
Ja‘far

April 5th 2015

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Walk-through train…

“Well, I did it, didn’t I?”, the tall man with a leather jacket, two days’ worth of beard and an unforgiving face, said to his shorter, chubby friend.

As they both tried to steady themselves in an  unusually choppy ride on this band new walk-through train , a thirty-something formally dressed woman stared at the man seated next to her, expecting a reply.

“Am I right?”

Lost for words, he took a sip from the paper-covered bottle that I took to be beer.

Three men close to retirement age seemed to have just attended an end of service  celebration for a colleague, for they were in that introspective and yet rowdy state that follows such events where, aided with alcohol, the past is reminisced and relived at length, if only to avoid the present and the future.

“You’re too good to be true… can’t take my eyes off you…” the older of the trio began to sing. His two comrades joined in – they clearly had consumed more of the sauce.

“Well, it’s now or never!” he said, peering down on his friend, one hand holding the iron bar above, while the other held the lit screen of a mobile phone.

“Oh, **** it!” said the other, and he nodded. His friend started the stopwatch, and he was off – running through the train all the way to the front.

“What a twat!” he said, grinning, and monitoring the stopwatch.

The singing was somewhat drowned out by the woman almost shouting, “‘you make me feel like a *****, with the way you treat me,’ I said to him!”

The man took another sip. He was lost for words.

“I love you baby, and if it’s quite all right… I need you baby!”, he joined the three, encouraging others to have a “I am Spartacus…” moment too.

“How was it?” he said panting.

“Six seconds longer than me!” was the unsympathetic reply.

“I had traffic to get through,” pointing to other passengers.

“Not my problem!”

The short one seemed to gain in height and he grabbed the head of his towering friend/nemesis, half in jest, but also in semi-concealed anger.

“I love you baby…and if it’s quite all right…,” the tall one joined in, half joking, but as a way to end the head-grabbing episode.

Peace and love,

Ja’far