Thursday, August 9, 2012

Spacewalking


For me, walking relieves boredom, reduces stress and provides light exercise, each temporarily alleviating my concern that my current diet of carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol could lead to weight gain. In addition to all that, walking is my “me time,” when I can simply space-out and let everything behind my eyes just slip into the clouds for a moment.

However, for all its physical and mental health benefits, “spacewalking” can be downright dangerous. For instance, during my first full day in Scotland, while approaching Glasgow Green, I almost spacewalked straight into a street fight. Spacewalkers must also contend with traffic. Traffic trips me up even on roads that I regularly cross. Recently, on one such frequently-spacewalked road, it slipped my mind that cars may volley past in both directions. After looking carefully one way and stepping into the street, a big black British cab, hurdling towards me from the other direction, squealed to a stop right behind me. I took a step backwards onto the curb and the driver drove slowly beside me; his face, as big and round as the moon, stared smiling at me, as if to say, “you silly fucking idiot.”

Most times, spacewalking simply heightens awkwardness. Yesterday was one of those rare days in Glasgow when the temperature rises a few degrees above chilly, and every true Glaswegian male responds by taking their top off. I would contest that there is something inherently awkward about walking through a Victorian city filled with half-naked men, but I digress. Anyway, while spacewalking along the Clyde, I noticed a tall man with a masculine face and broad, hairy chest in front of me. As we started negotiating space as not to crash into each other, using subtle signals as pedestrians do, I suddenly realised that the man had not only taken notice of me,  but had begun mirroring my movements. I took a false step forward, stopping myself in the second before collision. “Sorry mate,” said he. “Nae bother,” said I, passing him successfully, getting the distinct impression that I had just been cruised by a bear.

Also yesterday, about two metres after spacewalking past two Southern Asian-looking men, both about forty years old and sitting under a tree, I heard a sharp whistling sound. Slowly I turned my head. One had gotten up and was making a strange gesture at me: his wrist, moving back and forth, suggested “wanker,” but his thumb and pinky were extended, as if to say “call me.” Reconciling both, I can only assume that this gesture was some obscure request for a hand job or for phone sex. I provide neither service at this time.  Alternatively, if he meant only to extend his pinky, he could have been gesturing “posh wanker.” I was eating grapes at the time, true, but there was nothing upper-class about my clothing, which consisted of a snug white shirt, roughed-up jeans and Doc Martens…

I'll just flatter my ego and assume he was hitting on me, albeit in a hideous, vulgar manner.

I'm sexy and I know it.

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