Rush Hour Romance … Or Not …

Rush Hour Romance … Or Not …

Sometimes, guys just aren’t smart.  Yes, yes, I realize saying so publicly gives women more ammunition in the Men vs. Women debate, but I’m just trying to save myself from a protracted argument that I’d probably lose anyway.  Consider as evidence the story of Mr. Clueless, whose story I recounted in a recent Facebook status.  It’s the story of one man’s persistent hope in the face of … well … just read for yourself.

Adventures in People Watching, Episode #331: “Cabin Lights”

Our story unfolds as the couple in seats 18 & 19 — who, by virtue of the fact that they got on the bus at different stops, are not a couple — find themselves on a dark ride home on a cold November evening. …

The young woman in our story, a tall, thin blonde with a pleasant face, is sitting happy as a lark in seat 19.  As the bus rolls to a stop, a tall, gangly fellow steps on board and makes his way down the aisle.  Passing up several seats beside other men, he does his best to nonchalantly plunk himself down into seat 18, next to the young blonde.  “Not obvious in the least bit,” we all think to ourselves.

His efforts fall short as it’s blisteringly clear he could have sat next to another man.  Our lady friend’s back instinctively straightens.  She sits woodenly, clearly irritated at this unwelcome intrusion into her personal space.

Naturally, he is as clueless as a man can be.

Looking up, he fumbles with the control panel above his head.  Fingers grazing across the right button, he presses, clicks, and their space is filled with a light as dull and white as he is.

Her head snaps in his direction, eyes squinting as her pupils narrow to mere pin pricks of black.  “Do you mind?” he asks, despite the fact that even a fool could see that she really does.

“No,” she lies coldly.  Turning her head, she stares out the window at the passing cars, wishing her meager paycheck could afford her enough cash to make a car payment and, thus, rescue her from such uncomfortable situations.

Mr. Clueless deftly works his New York Times crossword puzzle, oblivious to everything and frustrated that he can’t find a five-letter word for “imbecile.”

He sighs deeply.  She rolls her eyes and glances at her watch.  Twenty more minutes till we reach the bus station. … An eternity. …

Her attention drawn by the sound of newspaper pages turning, she looks over to see him reading Dear Abby.  “Daughter Leaves Ominous Signs,” reads the headline.

She purses her lips.  “If you scoot any closer to me,” she thinks to herself, “I’ll give you more than just an ominous sign, buddy.”

Raising her hand to her mouth, she pretends to yawn.  Dreamily, she closes her eyes and presses her head to the window, feigning sleep.

And while he may have the brains of a snowball, we find that Mr. Clueless is at least a gentleman.  Seeing his cabin mate drifting to sleep, he puts his paper away, clicks the light switch off, and closes his eyes to join her in Dreamland — sadly, the only place in which he’d have a chance with her.

He snores. … She wakes.

*fade to black …

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