Shopping was definitely the most arduous task, not for the hours spent going to various stores to purchase the things I needed, and on rare occasions- wanted, but it was the interaction with others that proved most strenuous. I definitely am not a social butterfly. I’m more along the lines of social train-wreck. I don’t like people, and they don’t like me—but regardless, I would have to interact with them to move things along quicker. And I value efficiency. The thing is, along the footpath required to get to store B from store A, there lie the most interesting of people. On an ordinary day, I would walk past countless beggars and homeless, and the occasional busker. I’d stare into their eyes as I casually ignored their pleas. But today was different. Today, I experienced something I would never forget.
I turned the corner of George Street, past the commotion of carefree shoppers eager to throw away their hard earned money on commodities they didn’t really need- things designed for the lazy man of the modern age. Fucking kindles come to mind. I only had to buy one more Christmas present- for my nephew, and I could finally go home. Concerned for my schedule, I checked my phone. 1:32 PM. I slid it back into my pocket, but when I looked up…
The street was awfully empty; I had never expected to see the city in its slumber before, especially not during peak hour. A few stragglers could be seen meandering about the end of the street, but other than that, the street seemed… desolate, dark, cold… In a panic, I backtracked, fearing that I had lost my way before realising that there was absolutely no way I could have gotten lost. I was on George Street a second ago. Suddenly the sights and sounds of the bustling city of Sydney came alive again, relieving my anxiety and giving me an opportunity to assess what had just happened. I loitered on the street for a moment, leaning against the wall—to my immediate right, the corner. Two steps away.
Inhaling frequently and thoroughly, I consciously took two steps to the right, and braced myself, cocking my head cautiously. Normal. It was completely and utterly normal. The birds tweeted as they glide through the sky, humans doing the same- twittering away, their phone in hand, dangerously taking long strides forward with their face down and masses of shopping bags flailing as they bump into one another. I navigated the footpath with grace, trying to see how far I could walk before bumping into somebody—I’m sure we all do this. I made it 42 steps before embarrassingly bumping shoulders with a beautiful blonde whose blue eyes shone with the tenacity of grand oceans, her cream-coloured hair billowing in the wind so majestically it appeared to be in slow motion. I quickly put away my phone, but not before checking the time. 4:19 PM.
I was at a loss for words, but hers I remember as clear as day.
“May I have a moment of your time?”
I nodded nervously, feeling as if I had broken into a cold sweat. I wanted this exchange to go well. If I pay attention to her, maybe make a few jokes here and there, she may agree to go on a date with me. Chicks dig funny guys. I was sure of it. “Sure”
In a voice so polite, she hesitantly looked into my eyes, but spoke only two words.
I was leaving for home by the time I was able to fully recall what had happened just a brief moment ago. It was getting dark, and as I approached a red light, I checked my phone, fearful that I had wasted my entire day shopping. 6:10 PM.
It had only been 2 hours, but I felt much older. And then it hit me.
“May I have a moment of your time?”…