Bitch on the Blog

October 4, 2017

No sound

Sweethearts, an hour or so ago it was half past four British Summer Time (here in Britain) and I witnessed the most amazing piece of human interaction. By body language only. Think silent movie without subtitles.

As some of you may remember my study (where my desks are) provides a room with a view. A view of a most interesting street (interesting if you are into people watching).

Yes, so three geezers in front of a pub well known (not least to tourists). When I say geezers, I mean three white guys in their, say, late forties, early fifties – pint in hand (which I only mention since four thirty is ok when you are at a wedding or a funeral yet a little early on a Wednesday, unless, of course, you need some Dutch courage). At this point difficult to gauge whether they are just a bit excitable, on edge or twitchy by nature . Down the street comes a young black guy. You know what I like about black people? Even the ones born here, the ones who have never set foot into their country of origin, have that most amazing grace when moving. They don’t even need to dance, walking will suffice to support my view. Even better that this black youngster (say, mid twenties) wore all those colours (not least yellow, red and white) that so offset contrast to their skin. Joyful comes to mind. So, yes, he was extremely well turned out – as opposed to the three white “geezers”. Anyway, all started amicably enough, if a little tense. Enter body language. I have no idea what it was about. After an initial hello it took all but two minutes to go pear shaped. Gestures were made. Fingers were pointed. Arms were folded. Slight leaning forward. The geezers that is. Black and colourful guy unmoved. Whatever ground he needed to stand he stood it. Then he walked off and away. So far so fine. Enter act two. Now the the geezers start at each other. Two clearly telling main geezer that he got it oh so wrong. Main geezer takes refuge inside pub followed by geezer two who appears to be torn as to whose side best to take to cover his own back. Geezer three remaining outside taking drags on his cigarettes as if it were his mother’s last drop of breast milk. The End. Except the sequel won’t be ending well at all.

As an aside, it’s amazing what you can observe, a couple of floors above street level, without any of the players and passers-by knowing they are being observed. No one ever looks up. Which reminds me, the other day three cars parked in front of one of the restaurants. In a no parking zone. Never mind. Rules are there to not be observed by those who can afford a hefty fine on top of their dinner. Reliably informed by the Angel that the three cars were some of the most expensive in this world (make escapes me this minute). One of their number plates read “Loser”. Loser, I ask you. There are two interpretations to this. Though only one holds water. Namely, that that guy (not least when driving down a German Autobahn with no speed restrictions) would come so close to your tail on the overtaking lane you wouldn’t be able to overlook his assessment of you. Never mind. I do not come for nothing from the country where they have means to rattle.




  1. You may file this under “people watching.” You may recall I am a denizen of the gym for quite some time. A young woman with a terrible scoliosis is in rehab. Every part of her is bent the wrong direction. She is focused, says little. And, has trouble looking around. And walking. She is accompanied by a young man who uses every piece of equipment she uses, He is so handsome. Thick curly hair. Brown eyes. I took him to be her brother or perhaps care giver. One day they rode stationery bikes, side by side. He poked her side. No response. He poked her again and again. No response. Finally she looked at him. He stuck out his tongue and went back to riding. She laughed and laughed and laughed. Never heard her voice before or since. I asked a therapist, who is allowed to tell nothing, the relationship of the young man. “Oh, her boyfriend.” Everyone who heard that laugh probably had a good day, too.

    Comment by Joanne Noragon — October 4, 2017 @ 19:55 | Reply

    • A moving story, Joanne.

      I don’t know much about scoliosis other than that it’s an undesirable curvature of the spine which, as I understand it, can vary from barely there to affecting the body’s (and therefore mental) wellbeing severely. I remember a time when a doctor and a nurse routinely visited schools (say, when we were between ages seven and twelve) and they’d run their finger down our spine. And then wrote down – whatever. All I gathered that a straight spine was of major importance.

      There is an aspect to your story (one worth thinking about at length) which I hesitate to put on the page – not least because I need to get my own head round it first.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — October 5, 2017 @ 08:13 | Reply

      • Is the aspect you hesitate to put on the page somehow related to the fact that the young man was assumed to have a platonic relationship with the girl?
        Disabled people do have a hard time getting laid

        Comment by Kylie — October 5, 2017 @ 09:45 | Reply

        • Yes, Kylie. Your usual intuitive self got it in one – both my thought and my hesitation to voice it.

          To widen your sentence, “common perception is that disabled people do have a hard time getting laid”. Yet, as the poet says, love is where it falls. I have come across the most extraordinary couplings (extraordinary to me with all my home grown misconceptions).

          As an aside, not that I’d know of a better word, but there is something about the word “disabled” I find wanting, tasteless. Truth is, I can’t even fathom (such are my imagination’s limitations) what it must be like to not function on most if not all cylinders.


          Comment by bitchontheblog — October 5, 2017 @ 09:59 | Reply

          • My mobility is limited to the extent that I now consider myself disabled and motoring on less than all cylinders is very frustrating but you get what you get and you might as well be gracious about it.
            Disabled is a horrid word but “differently-abled” is so self conscious. Handicapped seems to me to be a better word but for some reason it fell out of favour and who am I to question that? Everyone has a different perspective

            Comment by Kylie — October 5, 2017 @ 12:44 | Reply

            • Kylie, My sister is disabled after a stroke suffered whilst being operated on for an arachnoid cyst. Her third husband is wheel chair bound and has an interesting take on disablement. He insists that it is society that disables people rather than them being disabled in and of themselves.
              As a teacher i had to refer to children with what were known as mental handicaps as learning disabled…. the former term being non PC and liable to lead to disciplinary action if used…. this is very close to home as my sister in law is “learning disabled” which term was much more acceptable to my mother in law than “mentally handicapped” .. which she vigorously denied.

              I think that my sister would say that she has diminished mobility if she actually thought about it.

              BTW I assumed that the relationship in Joanne’s story was actually very close. It’s a lovely story.

              Comment by magpie11 — October 5, 2017 @ 19:44 | Reply

  2. Great story and the comments till now make for even more interesting reading. You have inspired me to come up with some people watching stories of my own too. Thank you.

    Comment by rummuser — October 5, 2017 @ 12:22 | Reply

  3. I always was touched by the young man’s tender attention to the young lady. The whole affair with poking her in the side until she reacted made me smile. Little vignettes that make life pleasant. May they be side by side forever.

    Comment by Joanne Noragon — October 5, 2017 @ 15:01 | Reply

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