a strange, strange thing happened just a while ago.
the car is down at the mechanic's shop again, so i had to commute by jeepney, from school to the phone office to pay my bill. i got down at the corner stop and walked to the phone office. as i was climbing up the steps of the phone office, this attractive young-looking guy called out to me from his car, calling me ma'am and waving, and my instinctive reaction was to smile and wave back, as former students usually do that when they see me even outside school.
then, as i was going into the phone office, the lady behind me seemed to reply back to the guy, so i thought sheepishly that i was mistaken, waving back to somebody waving to somebody behind me. : )
anyway, i went straight to the cashier to pay my bill. imagine my surprise when somebody said, "hi, rushing to beat the deadline huh?" and i turned to see the same guy that waved from his car earlier!
i was flustered and all i could do was say, "yes" back, even as i tried to place him and recall if i knew him. in the few seconds that i was taking out my bill and my money to pay the cashier, he was asking me where id be next, and i was shyly mumbling, "ooh, just paying bills", while i decided that i definitely did not know this guy! he was persistent but in a friendly way, saying he was paying bills too and maybe he could take me to where i was going?
oh god. one part of me felt flattered realizing that this young attractive guy was actually trying to pick me up, literally and figuratively! another part of me was thinking of those news reports about women being picked up by strange guys in their cars and not being heard of by family and friends afterwards.
i was gently trying to turn him down; i didn't know what i was saying, but he was insistent, saying he's seen me before in school and have always wondered what i did there, what did i do there? i asked questions back, how come you're in our school? he mumbled something about having a friend there who taught in the high school and also going to the gym.
anyway, after i paid my bill, i dawdled awhile and went to another counter, as if to fix my things, but actually turning my back to him, trying to make sense of what was happening. he dawdles around me too, and after a few moments, said, "so, i'll just go ahead? you sure you don't want a ride?" and i said, "yes, sure, please, go ahead." and gave him a wide smile, so he won't feel so rejected (oooh im a softie about unintentionally hurting people! even strangers!)
so he started walking as if to go ahead but he turned back just as i was zipping up my leathercase and he caught my eye. i smiled sheepishly and he waited for me then, and asked again to take me to the electric company, which was just a block away. it didnt seem to make sense now to back out, so i asked him his name as we walked to his car.
"B... B. M.", he gave me his full name. i smiled inwardly at the irony. he even has the ex's nick and initials!
anyway, once in his car, i made sure to check the door locks and the door lock buttons in the few brief moments while he walked around to his side to climb up the driver's seat too.
as he started driving, i don't know how it came out of me (maybe my training as researcher and interviewer), so i started asking how he was related to some people i knew who had his surname, and it turned out that they were his cousins! i heaved a sigh of more relief after that, although i still wondered at the suddeness and persistence of his actions. so, we made small talk. well, he talked, i asked and listened. : )
it was a good thing that the electric company had closed, that gave me a chance to ask him to just drop me off at the appliance store instead (whose parking area was full). i could tell he wanted to stay on as his eyes were searching for a parking spot, but it was full traffic, and his car was getting in the way of the long line of cars. so i got off and went straight into the appliance store.
i marvel at the rush i felt at the experience, though. the strangeness of it all, the attractiveness of this guy, the quick comfortable talk.
on the way home riding another jeepney, i still felt breathless at the headiness of it all. no, not really sexually, but more like just... alive kind of breathless, when things happen so fast and you have to make quick assessments and decisions and just go by your gut. that kind of rush.
the last time i had a similar experience was way back in 2000, when i was driving around 8 months pregnant, and this strange young guy in a motorcycle drove alongside me and i stopped, thinking he was a former student, and he stopped too, saying he was a former student of our school but never my student, and that he just wanted to say "i love you" (!). i was so surprised and a bit scared by the suddenness of it all that i sped off thinking, "lunatic!", and he strode his motorcycle too and followed me all the while shouting "I love youuuu!!!"
ooh, the strange, strange things i get into, without my even meaning to!