A key indicator that I’m feeling better in myself is when I start noticing my surroundings once again. On Friday morning I actually noticed the woman on the bus who managed to make “Excuse me” sound offensive – at least partialy by running it together with “D’ya-wanna-shift?” when asking the perfectly willing young man to vacate the buggy seat on the bus. And twice toward the end of last week I noticed a phenomena at one particular bus stop on Oxford’s High Street.
The first day – I don’t know which it was – there were a lot of people about dressed as if they were going to a wedding. At the bus stop were three such people – mother, in a pretty dress, heels and a fascinator, father in a suit with buttonhole and a boy of about 9, in a mini version of father’s attire. Mother and father stood casually and comfortably side by side. About a metre away and directly beneath the bus stop lamp post, son, in his suit and buttonhole, was standing en demi plie practising a port de bras. He looked distinctly skilled.
On Thursday evening last week I spotted a young couple at the same bus stop. At first I thought she was just especially graceful and stepping towards an embrace, but as my bus slow opposite I realised that they were, in fact, both engrossed in a series of Argentine tango steps, legs entiwining and releasing to some unheard music. I only saw a couple of moments of dance, but it was wonderful.
What made these events particularly memorable was the fact that the rest of the world seemed completely oblivious to the dancers – they had no crowd, and no-one else on the bus seemed to register what was going on. I did, briefly, wonder whether I should add hallucinations to my list of symptoms/side effects!
So, what is it all about? Is Oxford the target of some fabulous new guerilla street dance craze? Has the Lord of the Dance (but not the scary one (quote, anyone?)) been released on the High Street? Or is this a clever marketing ploy for a local dance school (if not it should be!).
On an entirely different note, as I approached the canal bridge this evening there was a shirtless yob, beer can in hand, yelling obscenities at a “bitch” down the road. He was clearly inebriated, swerving somewhat… and as he turned and spotted me (having finished shouting now) his expression changed. He lurched toward me and slurred:
1) Whatever made him think that, having just heard him abusing another female, I/we would have been slightest bit charmed by his offensive
2) How many of me was he seeing??