I’m invisible, it’s true I am. I could get all dressed up on march up and down Grafton Street and nobody would notice, not a soul. Well actually the truth is when I do get ‘dolled up’ I tend to look like Drag Queen. I could walk into a room full of men and simply disappear into the wallpaper, I’m just not girly. I wish I was but the sad truth is I’m not.
Nor have I ever mastered the art of flirting, to be honest I’m sure if someone flirted with me I’d even know it was happening. I’m not socially awkward and can chat easilywith most people, the truth is I love to chat. I believe everyone has a story to tell, while some are funny and others can be rather sad, but I chat and I listen, truth is I should be Oprah, it’s unfortunate that I’m not, I’d be good at being Oprah. or maybe I’m just good at being myself.
I enjoy coffee shops, I love coffee and I particularly enjoy sitting in a coffee shop people watching. I often meet friends and occasionally clients for coffee it’s a particularly pleasurable experience for me.
There’s a piece of Paris in Wicklow street, a small dark coffee shop with the most delicious coffee.
So sitting in a back in of dark coffee shop on my phone waiting for my lunch to arrive. I’ve not idea how the French can make an avocado so delicious but they do. I had that funny feeling, that odd sense that you get sometimes, as though someone were watching me.
Glancing up from my phone I caught him, looking at me. He was he looking at me, he caught me catching him.
He nodded in my direction, I nodded and returned to my phone.
‘They’re very lucky whoever you’re texting’ he offered as a conversation opener.
‘Indeed’ ok I was polite that was as far as I was going
‘Do you mind if I join you, I hate eating alone, don’t you’
Yes I minded, I just wanted my French lunch and coffee in my favourite coffee shop. Alone.
He stood up to pull out the other chair at my table, that’s when I saw him in all his glory. He was clearly a fan of the sixties, I could tell by his retro attire, or as my grandmother would call them ‘secondhand clothes’. Today we call them vintage. His sixties attire, which in fairness was sorta cool, but his love of the sixties also extended to the sixty strands of his hair which he had tied back into a small oily ponytail.
‘Sean’ he stuck his fist forward as though he expected me to do the same back.
I just sat with a vacant expression on my face, not at all sure what to say.
‘Hello Sean’ I spoke after several seconds.
He was glaring at me from under his eyebrows.
‘Why would a beautiful women like you be all alone’
I was intrigued by his hair, or lack of to be honest and simply could not stop staring at it.
‘Sorry’ I’d not idea what he was on about, I think he was trying to catch me up.
‘You, you’re a beautiful woman’
At this stage the girlies at the next table were trying very hard not to laugh out loud.
‘Excuse me’ I still couldn’t believe what I was hearing. By no stretch of the imagination was I beautiful, even in a dark café, even if he was drunk.
French waiter appeared with my lunch and coffee..
‘Madam for you’ French accent
‘Oui madam’ he beamed as he started to arrange my lunch on the table
‘That order was to go’ I declared rather too loudly
‘Yes that order was to go’
‘Ahh.. ok’ the poor French waited disappeared with ‘you bitch’ expression.
Gathered my bits up and struggled to my feet, he stood up as well, panic filled me only because I though he was going to leave with me.
‘I’d love your phone number’
‘Huh’ I’d no plan how to deal with this, nobody had asked for my phone number since 1982
‘But I wouldn’t ask a lady like you for your number’
Oh thank god for that I thought. As I moved away from him he held out his hand and I reached out to shake his hand in return, there was something in there.
‘Call me, that’s my private number’
It was his card in my hand with his ‘private number’ and it was grubby. I expect I wasn’t the first middle age woman he’d tried to slip it to. Only now I had it, in my hand.
‘Cheers. Ah thanks’ I shuffled out as fast as I could.
I was at the other end of the street before I realised I’d forgotten my ‘to go’ lunch.
The Joy of Flirting my arse.
I like being invisible.