As I am walking back from Starbucks I see this guy in The Commons, casually walking opposite me, heading towards my direction. A natural ginger, his hair was a thick curling ombre of dark russet at the roots, to the much brighter near strawberry blonde tips where the sunlight touched. The overall effect was that of an ochre nimbus of sorts as he strolled. But that was not what caught my attention. Was he attractive? Yes. Oh yes. Not in the he could be a model vein, but definitely eye-catching and holding. I smile behind my grande whole milk, low foam, no water, extra shot, dash of chocolate, but nothing complicated chai cup, watching a couple of college girls turning their necks in an Exorcist worthy near 180 degree twist as they notice him pass.
What really struck me about him was his stature. He stood, or rather walked, very straight. Not the tight gripped; stick up the arse kind of straight, either. Most of tall adults I know, male and female, walk with a slight curve to their shoulders and backs from years of ducking doorways etc. Not him. His stride is confident, shoulders relaxed and straight. Yet there was a definitive uprightness to his posture.
“Didn’t your mother teach you that it’s not polite to stare?”
I was not aware of staring, but clearly I was as he stopped right in front of me with his teasing chastisement. Caught by surprise I simply said exactly what I was thinking.
“I was admiring your erectness.”
He blinked, looking at his crotch and then back at me incredulously. Only then did I realize my wording. Crap! So that’s what that feels like from the other side! Such Freudian slips are so rarely accidental from me that I caught my own self off guard.
“Your posture! I meant your posture! Your posture is very straight for such a tall guy. Oh Jiminy Crickets!” I nearly spit out my chai, fumbling over my words and laughing, making a concentrated effort to keep my eyes on the head I can see.
“Good save!” He grinned. “My chiropractor, proctologist and I thank you.”
“Oh for Christ’s sake!” I laugh walking away. “You enjoy your day!”
“I most certainly will now.” His fading chuckle reached me.
I bet he’s still laughing.