Tuesday, May 2019.
Now, before I tell you what happened, I need to you to keep an open mind, and to remember – my intentions were noble. Some might even call me a hero. I would prefer that to the alternative of deviant harasser. Let us begin.
It all started on my normal daily commute aboard the District line in London (the green one). Most days you can barely move for the throngs of people. One time, it was so hot, I watched in horror as my own lip-sweat slowly made its way onto this woman’s jacket –neither one of us able to move to stop it. Only watch.
As I was going into work a little later on the day in question, it was a little less crowded and I managed to have a whole foot of space around me. It’s the little things.
Then, the tube halts to a stop. Again. I love the District line as it’s mainly above ground, but it is a normal occurrence for it to break down or stop for no apparent reason – frequently.
Whilst waiting for what felt like forever (8 minutes – but in London that is an eternity. If I have to wait more than 4 minutes for a bus, I am outraged). I was standing by the doors, near a young woman and older gentleman who were facing each other, both holding onto the middle rail. These long waits can lead to these awkward moments when you just try not make eye contact with anyone, but if you do it’s the self-conscious shrug that implies ‘what ya gunna do’.
Then a voice breaks over the silence through the speaker, “Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the delay, but we will need to do an emergency restart to get going again. Now this is going to be intense, we urge you to hold onto something and brace yourselves. This will be extreme, please make sure you are holding onto a rail and be ready for the restart”. Oh, sounds so dangerous. I feel like James Bond. I poise my body, ready for impact, keeping my core strong. My fellow commuters all exchange looks of bravery. We are all in this together now. We’re ready.
We wait. We keep waiting. 10 minutes go by and nothing exciting has happened. Boring. We’ve all stopped bracing and gone back to looking at our phones. And then – the tiniest of jolts occur. The tube moves slightly forward and then back again. Was that it? Was that what I needed to prepare myself for? Pah. I laugh to myself. How feeble.
Oh, that wasn’t the restart.
The next thing I know we are all thrown violently forward, like when you do an emergency brake in a car – it’s the severe thrust forward and then you are thrown backwards until you are at equilibrium again. Whilst I was startled, I managed to keep myself on my feet and move with the lurch. All those times I spent be tube surfing as a nanny to keep the kids entertained has finally paid off. But then as I look directly in front of me, I see in horror as the older gentleman’s head is careening towards that poor young woman’s beautiful face. This is going to end very badly for them both. I heroically (remember – hero) reach out my arm and with all my strength, hold his chest against the force and stop him within an inch of headbutting this girl, and steady him as he moves back to his normal standing position.
So, I am a hero. I moved without hesitation and stopped what would have been a bloody mess. The story ends here.
Oh, how I wish that was the end of this story.
However, I am me, and apparently cannot do anything without a certain flare. So, when I reached my hand forward to stop him hitting this girl, I managed to slide my hand, not only under his lovely suit jacket, but in-between his shirt buttons, until I was firmly cupping his man breast.
So, there I am, holding onto what I can only guess is a B-cup, and for 6-LONG-SECONDS, hold him whilst he jolts forward, and back. Whilst making extreme-eye-contact.
Once I have balanced him, it is now the matter of the dismount. I un-cup my hand, delicately and slowly remove myself from his shirt and bring my hand back to my side. Mentally yelling at myself not to wipe the sweat off in from of him, as it might be deemed rude.
Now all three of us are just standing there, in silence. The woman is looking relieved, and horrified. The man is looking relieved, and horrified. I am just plain horrified. He mumbles a thank you. She mumbles a thank you.
I cannot handle awkward silences. Jordi don’t say it. Don’t do it. Don’t try and cut the tension.
I smile at him. “So, dinner?”