I was twinless today for 5 whole hours. Jon, Eddie and Rufus walked me to the bus stop to wave me off into town to meet a friend, a killer shopper, a fellow greedy face and by far my most sexiest friend. As Jon crouched down with the boys and waited to wave up at me I shuddered with fear, what if the bus I’m on runs over my boys, I couldn’t breathe properly until we’d safely pulled past them. I need to stop catastrophising. They walked on, off to play in the local swing park, holding Daddy’s hand to cross the road, happy to wave me off. The bus turned a corner, I had another clear view of the three of them, I waved like a wild happy simpleton and made a loud noise, something along the lines of an over joyed Miss Piggy trying to catch someone’s attention “waahhhaaaaaaaeey”. I quickly heard myself and sat down. A couple of youths in the seat behind me giggled. I felt self conscious, then they started talking and I was endeared. They were in a busy loop of “me toos” wanting desperately to get on, be the same and define themselves, chatting loudly oblivious to the busy bus, loving and hating all the same things about mutual friends and Facebook posts. I was envious of their world, to them complex and busy, to me simple and naive, I was quite an angsty teenager but now in hindsight life seemed so simple then.
I slowly carried out a few errands before my friend arrived, between shops there was a sudden downpour, I watched a hipster man with a high up back pack stack it. About 6ft5 and well built I watched him hurry his way down Canterbury, alone and head down, then suddenly smack, he was down on one knee, in proposal position, and slipped sideways onto his hip, he swifty corrected himself as if it never happened, red faced and flustered looking he powered on. Then, bless him, SMACK straight into a disgruntled middle-aged plain type exiting Jack Willies and spun her round, he carried on, she shot him a look of pure hate, I wanted to give him a hug. I went into Cath Kidston, demin jacket over black hoody, hood up (it was raining) and Poundland carrier in hand, I turned every employee’s head, I took my hood down and smiled, it didn’t help. My shopping buddy arrived, we hugged and left. Time for coffee.
We nattered, agreeing and disagreeing with all the same things, telling secrets and gossiping, my voice carries, she shhhh-ed me. I have a voice made for stage, a few people in Eat now know more than they bargained for about my sex life. It was marvellous to have time to natter. We made a shopping plan, charity shops, Tiger, H&M ending in Boots by the bus stop. We stuck to the plan, ish, we stumbled across a new American Diner (did I mention we’re both quite greedy?) she’s dieting, I forced her to go in with me, the milkshake lure was strong. An hour and a half later we emerged, full and slow, the charity shops had closed. I’d already stayed longer than I said, but I was enjoying myself, I checked in with Jon to ensure I wasn’t required at home, he was up to his eyes in pooey pants and cooking dinner, he reassured me he was fine so we browsed and nattered on. I felt like a youth myself, picking outfits I couldn’t afford, fantasising about art we might one day create. Our DM clad feet carried us to all our favourite shops, we reminisced about our art college days, over 10 years ago, creating things we thought were profound and beautiful, perhaps they were. We parted ways, our new cat tote bags slung over shoulders, a spur of the moment checkout purchase, she’d bought us one ech, a hug, a kiss and a bus ride each, back to our men folk and cosy homes. I like being cosy.