- Sorry, excuse me - this guy flashes me with the whitest of teeth.
I return the smile automatically. Is this normal to have such bright teeth though? He probably never had a cup of coffee in his life. And apparently doesn't know how to use a map. As his next line is:
- How do I get to a Tiller Road?
"Looser", I think. I fight the wicked need to make a silly remark about his over-confidence and proper use of articles (who am I to judge anyway?)... Instead, I smile politely and say:
- It's not too far away, all you need to do is follow that path, and then... - using the usual "reassurance, followed by a light smile, ended up with a short set of directions" technique which always works.
So it did this time. He thanks me and goes away. I instantly feel like a better person. Isn't helping others fun? And only after a while I realise what he actually said. "Thank you, ma'am."Ma'am?!" I quickly check my outfit for today. No, it's not the uniform day, I have my casual clothes on. So it's the age. I'm screwed. And visibly old. All of a sudden, helping others sucks.
10 minutes later, while I'm still in my thoughts on aging, a lady approaches me on the street. I am not even trying to guess her age after this ma'am incident of mine; but she is most likely older than me; much older in fact...
- Excuse me, would you be able to help me, dear?
"Now, that's better. Dear is better. Pretty much everything is better than... you know what." I think, and want to say "Yes, of course".
That doesn't happen though. She doesn't really need my reply. She just goes on:
- Do you think I look better in pink, or in blue? - she asks, holding both scarves in her hands, one in the boldest magenta colour one could imagine, another in cobalt taken directly from Vincent van Gogh's paintings of Auvers...
- Blue, as it compliments your eyes and brightens your face - I answer almost automatically, without really thinking why and how she got to asking me that question. In the middle of the street. How odd! Then again, I act weirdly sometimes. So does anybody else then.
- Thank you, dear - she says and goes away.
What is happening though?! I look at my phone screen and suddenly come to a conclusion that I haven't used a watch since... I mean, for 11 years now; taking somebody else's habit of not wearing a wrist watch and using a phone instead seemed natural back at the beginning, and something I got used to - ironically - as time went by... But now, it's me again... I should buy myself a watch! That announcement is nothing when compared to the shocking fact it is 10am. 10 sharp! Which would be nothing unusual if not compared to another fact: my Mini-Man and me, we're on our way back from school. Where the Easter Bonnet parade took place. We watched it all; it ended at 11am! I looked at my phone when leaving so no mistake here... What is happening???
I check how my Mini-Man is doing: all seems to be OK there; he's in the buggy, having his favourite cookie, one of many favorites (a proud sweet-tooth owner, just like his mum), wearing his sunglasses whatever the weather; apparently he listened to that shocking report I had on last month, about the UV protection to be applied 24/7 to any human being, toddlers included...
I'm confused but not beyond norm. Maybe it was 9:30 when we were leaving... Which makes no sense since the parade started at 9:45 but then again... I didn't sleep well last night. Meaning, the 'I'm Gucci with one coffee' rule doesn't apply today...
- Excuse me - this time it's a man. With the most sunny face I could ever imagine. OK, this one's going to be interesting...
- How do you find the newest discoveries on the Moon? Curious, isn't it?
I'm starring at his face, and probably look like that looser I met earlier, the one wanting to know his own personalised way to get to that street, I forgot now which one it was. Nor can I remember why he was a looser in the first place. I definitely look stupid.
- What? - I say. That is all I can say.
- The Moon. You know - he says and smiles.
That didn't help. But I do my best to collect the leftovers of me.
- What I was meant to say, why are you asking me this question? I mean, I live near the 0 longitude, but... - And that's about it in the "let's make a stunning first impression" department. "Longitude". Seriously. Who uses such word in a conversation anyway? Not to mention, I probably mispronounced it heavily...
- You really want to know my opinion? - That is me desperately trying to make a stunning second impression. Helpless. "Helpless in London", what a great title that would be...
- Well, of course, you're the expert on everything, aren't you? - he says, like if I said something really smart. And smiles even more.
And then it gets to me.
- It's a dream! A beautiful dream! - I say. And smile back. - It must be! That is exactly what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be all my life. Advise people and be Ms EOE: Expert on Everything!
He looks surprised, but doesn't say anything. That just proves I am right. Which is usually the case, by the way. I even wear this T-shirt today to prove it: "I am not always right. I am just never wrong." It is true.
All I need to do now is don't wake up. Ever.
No harm trying...