Now every cabby worth his salt has a favourite coffee shop.
A place where he can have a quick break, revitalise himself, catch up on the industry gossip and tell anyone who’ll listen what he thinks of the current political/cricket/lovelife situation.
My favourite is a little place down by the docks, almost opposite Harry’s Café de Wheels. The coffee is good, the bacon sarnies take some beating , the regulars are interesting and it’s always easy to park there.
A few weeks ago there was a face there I hadn’t seen before, and a very nice looking face, too. Late thirties, early forties, smartly dressed and very attractive to boot.
Now being a single man of a certain age, I am never averse to a bit of flirting and when an attractive woman seems to find you interesting, the mind starts to see things as they may or may not be.
Anyway the look she gave me across the tables, not a long look but a look never the less, was one that quite clearly said “Yes, I’m approachable and what harm could be done chatting in a coffee shop.”
Well, that’s what I thought it said but as I wasn’t totally sure I thought I’d wait and see if I got another look, well you can’t go rushing into things like that, can you?
Instead, the woman opened a pack of cigarettes which were in front of her on the table, took one out, but instead of lighting it put it in the ashtray on the table and became engrossed in what appeared to be a diary.
Perhaps I’d been wrong, she hadn’t been looking at me at all, wishful thinking on my part obviously.
But no, there she was again looking at me and holding the look. She then stood up, glanced at the cigarette pack on the table, and walked out.
Now I could only take this as a come on. She had given me an excuse to approach her. All I had to do was pick up the cigarettes, follow her down the street, tell her she had forgotten them and then strike up a conversation. Good girl. I thought.
So up I got, picked up the pack, told Charlie behind the counter I’d be back to pay in a couple of minutes, then went off to find ‘the cigarette girl’.
She wasn’t difficult to find because she was standing next to a car looking for her car keys.
“I think you forgot your cigarettes”, I said to her, not a great chat up line but good enough, I thought, for the circumstances.
“I don’t smoke,” she said and without another word climbed into her car.
Well, to say I was lost for words would be an understatement. “Oh”, I managed to blurt out, “but I don’t smoke either.”
Back in the café, I ordered another coffee and sat there trying to figure out what it all meant. It was then that, almost without thinking, that I opened up the pack and saw, clearly written on the inside flap, a telephone number; no name, just a number.
“Naaaaa, sod that for a game of soldiers” I said aloud “I’m not getting my fingers burnt twice in a day”.