I'm in our local co-op this evening buying fruit and some wine. I cut quite the figure, if I say so myself. Stood in the long cue for the till, I can see myself in the mirrors. I wonder how I've become a proper grown up.
I've been at meetings today you see, where my good suit was required. It was quite expensive. Not tailored of course, but cut in such a way that its wearer cannot help feel special. That said, being suited up has never made me feel entirely cool. I can't seem to shrug off the feeling that I'm at a job interview, and therefore subordinate to others. I'm an open shirt and slacks bloke ordinarily. At least I look the part, I tell myself.
In saunters a beautiful man. The girl behind the counter notices this. Her gaze lingers on his ass for a while. He knows this of course, for many women have done the same. That's why he saunters like he does. He grabs a basket nonchalantly, and with a single finger he tosses it onto his arm. He walks off down to the bakery section. I watch him move, for he is indeed beautiful. I catch myself wishing for his olive skin and designer stubble.
Having paid with my chip and pin, I leave the shop and return to the car. My family are waiting. Meg and Dom require a re installation to their car seats as usual. I oblige and do so with some additional tickling.
We're all laughing as I reverse our family estate car. I do it carefully, as it's as big as a wardrobe and the car park is tight. Right behind me is a gleaming Mercedes SLK. An 07 plate. It probably still smells of the factory. I'd rather not hit it.
Beautiful man walks out of the shop and sees us. He looks right at me, then at the SLK. He stops, eyeing the back of my car. It's quite apparent, given his expression, that should I even scuff the SLK, his wrath will be unbounded.
I manage the maneuver without incident and pull away. The junction to the main road is no more than ten yards away. As I wait for a break in the traffic, I watch him in my rear view mirror. He's walking slowly towards the Merc, fiddling with his mobile phone. As I pull away into the traffic he stares at the back of my car.
Quite why I look back I don't know, but I see him walk quickly past the SLK and unlock the door to the 1994 Vauxhall Nova parked next to it.
Make of this what you will.