So I am on the train and it’s a Saturday morning going to do a radio interview and at Jacana station a woman probably early 20s gets on she is wearing sneakers and jeans and one of those grey – I don’t know what you would call them – vesty things and she has a reasonably ample bosom, though this is probably accentuated by the fact that she’s unhealthily thin. What is remarkable though is the response of the young man – probably about her age – who is another row of seats down. He gives her a long, apparently entirely disinterested look (‘I happened to feel like gazing in that direction. SO some chick is there, so what?’) and then gets up, walks I suppose to the end of the carriage (not sure: I’m facing the other way) then comes back and sits opposite me, in the seats across from her, where he can look at her many, many times. She appears not to notice. He is wearing loose, old jeans, a smart new black jacket, those big puffy sneakers, and he is listening to music on his phone I think, with earbuds of course. What’s particularly funny is that he occasionally stops holding the phone to rest it on his knee while he plays air guitar – which he does with real attention to where his fingers are on the fretboard. – and a look of quiet concentration on his face. Really weird and sort of hilarious, crossed with sad.
When you spend a lot of time with dogs you get kind of used to their very base behaviours but you also recognize the same sort of behaviours in people too, when you see them. This guy was being so clearly interested in that woman, it almost was a situation where it was only a few thousand years of civiillisation (and its attendant conventions) that stopped him humping her leg there and then, though of course if she’d told him she didn’t mind he wouldn’t have thought twice. Some younger, hipper girls got on at Essendon and he got up to give them a seat, which I think was an opportunity for him to then stand in the doorway and look at the grey girl with even greater attention, though I can’t see him from where I’m sitting and I’m not going to turn around to see him, or do anything that might make him appreciate the possibility that I’m writing about him on my laptop.
Once again, I talk about this kind of stuff like I’m unaffected and I am at least twice this guy’s age, not that that is really so important, anyway the real thing is, I’m probably in some part motivated by competition or some other base instinct to belittle him and his ineffectual attempt to impress a woman with his air guitar and longing looks, mainly because I assume that wouldn’t work in a million years . I know a lot of you would probably think this is a dodgy subject for me to be writing on but you’re probably responding to some innate instinctual unease too, that’s my guess anyway.