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This morning was great. What initially seemed  like clouds tossing off billions of flakes of dandruff turned into a white cover all – cars, roads, trees, everything. It was like Nature went into her photo editing software, de-saturated stuff, increased contrast levels. Oh it was lovely. Those silly little giddy flakes giggling down, swirling and settling about gently, tickling my face as I part walked, part glided and part slipped to the bus stop. (One went right up my left nostril).

In the train today, there was this lovely girl sitting opposite from me. What made her so lovely was the perfect image she made on this wonderful morning. She was fresh faced, with creamy flawless skin and she had just dabbed on some blush. Her features were not sharp or striking but very gently appealing. She had dark hair. But this really isn’t about her physical beauty. It was all the colours she wore, and the texture of everything. An offwhite lacy blouse, covered with an olive green sweater and over that a soft, red hoodie jacket. She had pink wellies on her feet, with white polka dots. She’d taken off her light brown faded, worn coat and it was lying about behind her. She had a black cloth bag on the seat next to her and a small grey soft backpack on her lap. Her little red and yellow umbrella held on to the Overground’s bright orange rod with its curved handle. After she’d dabbed on her minimal rouge (and thank godness for no garish eye make up), she put on her black rimmed glasses and took out an old, yellowing book and began to read it. It must have been very funny because she kept suppressing laughter. The colours and the general softness of this image were all so appealing – I could barely look away. I really wished I had my camera with me so I could ask to take her picture. I’m not sure she would have appreciated it though and besides there’s that golden rule on the tube, thou shalt not attempt conversation with a stranger. Nicht. This made me wish I could paint or draw, and envy those who can.  Seriously, looking at this scene had literally given me the same feeling I get when I look at a painting that I love.

There were other people opposite as well who could have also potentially complimented the composition. A couple of seats next to “the vision”, was a young couple, very evidently tourists given their plastic see-through folder holding maps and paper prints. They spoke Spanish and the girl had on a red backpack which they must have opened a million times to retrieve and store back a piece of paper with directions on it. After a few stations when they got off, they were replaced by a nervous teenage girl in a pink raincoat. To the far left of the frame was a man dressed in black who seemingly didn’t care about public scrutiny and happily took photo after photo of himself with his i-phone, smiling and tilting his head this way and that.

You know that feeling when time takes on an elastic quality and makes you feel like you’re floating slowly. It also lulls you into believing you will be the only one to show up at work today given all the disruptions that Dave and Lisa have been going on about on the breakfast show on radio. Of course when you get to work, everyone’s already been there for an hour and it’s a full house. Shit.

The vision and I got off at the same station and she went off into the crowd in a different direction. As I waited for the next train, an excessively painted,grumpy woman stood next to me, dressed all in black. Stark contrast. Ugh. I wasn’t ready for this after the unexpected dose of beauty.

 

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