I’ve been taken for a stalker.
No, really. Here’s what happened:
Some of you may have seen my occasional ‘Book I saw on the train today’ tweets. These are just a bit of fun, a way of spotting new and interesting books other people are reading, and sharing them with you.
Today, I was sitting on the Metropolitan Line (in one of their new swanky trains, I might add), when the book being read by the lady opposite me caught my eye. The lady was (ahem) late middle-aged, and the book seemed to be a slim volume on the life of some Regency-era notable (evidence: silk stockings and a wig).
This intrigued me, as I have rarely seen a slim historical book before. I tried to catch the title, but she kept tilting the book away from me. In the end it became a kind of game (for me, anyway), in which I would subtly crane my neck without appearing to be looking at her, and try to glimpse the title before it was whisked away. The matter was not helped by my failing eyesight, which may have caused me to squint.
In the end the lady got up and (I presumed) left the train at her stop. It was only when I got to my stop that I looked up and saw her sitting further down the carriage. Not only that, but she glanced nervously in my direction and looked away when she saw me looking!
Call me paranoid, but this made be wonder what she must be thinking. She must have seen me ducking and weaving my head, got scared, and decided to move. The thing is, as we pulled into my stop she stood up to leave. I panicked. Surely if I got up she would definitely think I was stalking her. But I couldn’t just not get off at my stop could I?
In the end I got off, and I know I saw her glance over her shoulder at me and quicken her pace. I slowed mine, and we parted amicably (or so I like to think).
All of which goes to show: be careful when looking at the titles of other people’s books on the train.
Now I am at the location of my next job, a college in North London, an hour early. So I shall sit in the canteen and kill some time by doing some work.
If you were the lady on the train, please accept my humblest apologies.
* Also, I wanted to put a picture in this post but WordPress is not loving me right now. Feel free to insert mental pictures wherever you like.