While standing in the queue to board the Panjim bus, a hot and snazzy guy boarding the bus caught my attention. I slurped and sighed and boarded the bus myself a few minutes later. I found my seat with some difficulty as my bags weighed me down and made me look like the ugly version of Atlas carrying the globe on his back. Along with my seat I found the hot, snazzy guy sitting next to my seat. Perhaps, I slurped a little too loud and God was feeling generous. And to my surprise, he got up from his seat and helped me settle the globe I was carrying on my back in the cabinet. I took a good look at myself, in my mind’s eye, saw a very tired face, worn out hiking boots, dull and faded jeans and to complete the look I wore an ugly sweatshirt with a Kangaroo pouch. I couldn’t get more unfashionable than this. Usually I douse myself in perfume thus, inflicting unconsciousness to others and self. As my luck would have it, this time I didn’t even bother to wear a Deo. I wore a look of an old hag and sheepishly sat next to the snazzy guy. Gosh! He smelt great.
I turned my face away to avoid contact. The snazzy guy was also a gentleman as I witnessed just a few minutes ago. So he initiated the conversation, “too much traffic today eh?” and waited to hear my sweet voice or I would like to think so. Then I croaked timidly, “I know” looking away and suddenly showing a lot of interest in “what’s happening in the world outside the bus.”
After a long awkward pause I mustered the courage to say:
“So, are you from Goa?”
Snazzy guy: “No going on some work and you?”
Me: “Going to attend a workshop on Reptiles”
Snazzy guy: “Wow!”
I scored some points here, I thought.
He continued “you know I have two Turtles at home?”
Before he could finish I said “you know it’s illegal to have Turtles as pets right?”
His face fell at once.
So my score went down to 0 while his score was at 10
To make up for the damage caused I asked: “what do you feed them?”
To which he replied: “dried prawns and chicken sometimes and they seem to love it”
Without much delay I added, “there is a rehab center I know.”
Snazzy guy interrupted me mid-sentence and said “I have no intentions of giving them away, just in case” still being polite
With this he was at 11 and I was at -1
Me: “No, I mean, at the rehab center Turtles eat vegetables and fruits, that’s what I was going to say.”
After this debacle I decided to shut my mouth and save myself some rude comments.
I know I have damaged the teeny-weeny chance of coming across as a nice person beyond repair.
After an awkward silence of 30 minutes or so, looking outside the window, deep in thoughts, I decided to blabber again. After all, he was good looking.
Me: “So, what do you do?”
Snazzy guy: “I’m an industrial designer.”
Me: “That’s cool! You must be a creative person!”
Finally something nice and sweet, phew!
So my score shot up to 0 and his to 12 for the industrial designer thingy, whatever that was.
Me: “what do you have to do as a designer?”
Snazzy guy: “We create plastic models for…”
I didn’t let him finish and blurted once more, “you know plastic is not good for Earth right?”
Just then the conductor appeared out of nowhere and handed us plastic bottles of water. He timed it very well, I must say.
I said no thanks to the conductor and looked at the snazzy guy waiting for his response.
Snazzy guy took the bottle with a lot of discomfort. However, he didn’t drink the water from the bottle in my presence.
And that’s how I murdered my last chance of coming across as a nice person.
And then people wonder why I’m still single.
I was only too glad that he didn’t swap his seat.