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Are You ‘Taken’?

Strange moment.

Gone midnight.

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.

  1. John KearinJohn Kearin01-16-2017

    Amazing writing.

    • W.S. DanteW.S. Dante01-21-2017

      Very kind of you to say so, John.
      My sincere thanks to you.

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