… and it took less time.
A most curious thing happened to me a short while ago. But before I get into that story, I’m going to bore you with a bit of a back-story to set things up a little.
You see, after years of good use, a few days ago I lost my toque-like winter hat. While this might not seem like a big deal to most of you, you have to see it from the perspective of a little boy from a tropical place that’s usually 40° C (104° F) living in a frigid town that’s now -20° C (-4° F). With my torn clothes and my shoes worn sole-less, that little woolen headdress was the only thing standing between me and an icy death during my daily commutes. In its absence, I’ve been forced to chart my routes such that I spend as little time as possible outdoors, because I’m sure I’d look quite hideous if my ears fell off.
Though I’d been pretty meticulous about it (I’m alive-enough to write about it, amn’t I?), things went rather awry today. As I was heading home after a hard-day’s work, I thought it’d be a smart move to detour to my landlord’s office and pay my rent for the month. This wasn’t as bright as I’d imagined, and caused my under-clad self to be out in the cold for a really long time, and nearly resulted in me passing out before I finally reached home. Forestalling this, I stepped into an unlocked university building (after desperately attempting many locked doors) along the way, and rested a bit as I warmed my now-purple-turning body up.
It’s in this situation that the aforementioned “curious thing” occurred.
As I was cosily relaxing, a woman comes up to me rather tentatively and stammered something like, “Oh hello, were you waiting for me?” I looked at her quite puzzled, and nodded no, “No, I’m just trying to get warm, I’m not waiting for anyone.” (In the best homeless guy imitation I could muster.) And, nicely warmed up by now, I slowly rose and began to walk away.
It was then that it happened, her soft, expectant expression changed to one that was so miserable, and she instantly began to weep. I looked at her thoroughly confused as I was, but things started to make more sense a few minutes later. Between the weeping, I gathered that she was on a blind date she’d set up from the Internet, and I was warming myself up around where this guy told her he would meet her… thirty minutes ago. She’d mistaken me to be him, and worse, she thought I got up to leave after I’d seen her.
I explained to her that I would have done no such thing.
I lied. She was hideous.
I bought a hat a few minutes later.