Are You ‘Taken’?
Parked up & sitting in my car on a cold January night.
Window rolled down a couple of inches.
“Are you taken?”
The voice: female, slurred. As I turn, she is pulled away by a giggling companion. A brief whiff of perfume and alcohol. Gone.
Mistaken for a taxi. It happens a fair bit when you wait in a car, at pub-closing time, to pick someone up from work.
Having forgotten my book and there being nothing worthwhile on the radio, I found myself replaying the question in my head: “Are you taken?”
It hung there, as if the frigid, night air held the question, the concept, like a fly in amber.
Am I taken?
Taken as in: ‘Taken for a ride’?
Well, I’m not immune to being fooled. I’ve been ‘had’ more times than my pride will ever want to count, certainly.
But, no. Not that.
Taken, as in: Has my ‘heart’ been ‘stolen’ by another?
Also, no. Not for a long, long time.
And never again, if my common sense has any say in the matter.
(That said, when has common sense ever had a say in such matters?)
Perhaps, ‘taken’, as in: Spellbound by the vista?
I look around me.
The four pubs within 200 yards of me are ejecting the last, drugged-up, stumbling, Friday night punters into the skin-tightening, outdoor fridge of this seaside town.
The males, with their universal bonding chants, comprising solely of vowels, volume and three (at best) notes, try to out-strut each other in that manly ‘I just wet myself’ waddle, stopping to relieve themselves in shop doorways before catching up with their ‘mates’ for a quick pack-reinforcing jostle.
The females, dressed to entice, (50% fabric; 50% flesh), despite the near-zero temperature, in their best ‘Don’t-dare-regard-me-as-a-sex-object-but-all-the-boys-better-wanna-shag-me-or-my-self-confidence-will-plummet’ couture, wobble by like new-born giraffes as they complain to each other, (in language that would make a navvy blush), how their heels are ‘killing’ their feet.
Not so much.
In fact, despite fifteen or twenty minutes of exploring possible meanings of that sudden, fleeting enquiry, I came to no profound conclusion at all.
But, hey, it passed the time.