Striking Down A Conversation

May 8, 2010

The waif-like Asian who sat in front of me on the bus had already made a good impression by letting an older fellow enter before her. Noticing she had a pine needle lodged in the hair on the back of her head, I pointed it out and removed it after she’d made a few fruitless swipes. Handing it to her, I joked that maybe she could now use it as an accessory.

By coincidence, we ended up getting off at the same stop on top of Queen Anne Hill. Since I was heading to Trader Joe’s, I decided to ask her for directions. I of course knew the way, but wanted to exchange a few words. To my surprise, it turned out she was going there too!

Things should have taken off at this point. After a couple of cold mid-week days, the weather had turned spring-time perfect. It was a Friday afternoon. No reason why a guy and a gal could not have had a nice, three block chat. Instead, my escort began walking at a blistering, almost Olympian pace, not saying much of anything until we turned the corner after the first block. There, she explained how I could catch the #2 Bus that would go closer to Trader Joe’s. That turned out to be her only real contribution to our conversation. As we reached the store and walked in, I artfully disengaged, saying “I’ll let you get to your shopping. Thanks for your help.” Then I bought my snacks and left, walking down Queen Anne Hill to my hotel. (I am at present paying a monthly rate at the Mediterranean Inn on Lower Queen Anne.)

It’s clear my little would-be friend was uncomfortable for some reason. Was PBS airing that special on Pacific Northwest Serial Killers again? Gosh, all I was trying to do was talk with her for a few minutes. There were no murderous or even lascivious intentions on my part. Honest.

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