Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mystery On The 301 From Circular Quay

I was sitting on the bus after work on Friday night when a woman sat in the vacant seat next to me. The bus was filling up but there were plenty of empty seeats around. Bus continued its journey.

At a random moment, without warning and with no apparent reason, the woman got out of her seat and relocated to the seat directly in fron of us, next to another complete stranger. Just like that.

Now I know my self-confidence can occasionally be a bit wobbly, and I know I have my fair share of neuroses, but I defy those of you with the most robust self-confidence to not - in the same situation - think to yourself, "WTF was that all about? Do I smell?"

It's not like she was moving closer to the doors for a quicker exit, and she didn't know the person in the other seat any more than she knew me. I wasn't having an annoying phone conversation or playing music too loud through headphones. And I know I didn't smell because I took a surreptious sniff at my underarms.

I even came very, very close to tappping her on the shoulder and asking, "Excuse me - I couldn't help noticing you sit in this seat, then relocate to that seat. What made you do that?"

But I said nothing. I just sat there wondering why she did that. Couldn't help thinking that everyone behind us would have seen what just happened and would probably be thinking wow, he must smell, smelly man. I wanted to explain to everyone that I don't smell, that I''m a two shower a day guy and that it was just a prep day in the kitchen so I didn't even work up a sweat and I am absolutely definitely not the kind of person who farts on public transport.

I could feel them all staring at me for the rest of the journey. I was relieved to finally get off at my stop. I will never know what made the woman change seats like that. It was such a small act but it made my mood pout with sadness for the rest of the night....


Thaydra said...

Were you rolling around in the garlic at work?

You should have tapped her on the shoulder and asked. I'm sure her expression alone would have made it worth it =)

Kathryn said...

She was probably having trouble containing her intense excitement to be sitting by you so in order to restrain herself (as she is undoubtedly attached to some fine man herself and doesn't want to cheat) she forced herself to move away before her inevitable pounce was unleashed. I'd consider yourself lucky. She probably has issues. But sounds like her morals are in tact. I think it may have been nice of her to at least share this info with you before switching seats and leaving you to ponder your odor.

Lee said...

No garlic, Thaydra. Well not enough garlic for that kind of reaction. AndI would have asked her but I was afraid she might say simply, "You smell funny."

Kat - I've been going over and over this incident since it happened, and in the end that's exactly the conlusion I came to. In reality my pheremones were probably driving the poor woman out of her mind.

Y said...

Oh Lee! I consider myself a pretty neurotic person too, but I don't think I could beat you. I often have that "is it me" concern, but then try to remind myself that most people are actually quite attached to the idea of having enough personal space. Either that, or she was about to fart and didn't want to abuse your airspace.

Dina said...

Maybe she is some kind of aura vampire or something.

She sucked up your aura and went onto the next guy.

You THINK your sad because of the rejection, but you're really sad because you lost part of your aura.


Maybe she's a psycho serial killer. She was sniffing you out as a victim, but changed her mind.

Lee said...

It wasn'r personal space, Y. She sat next to another passenger. One seat in front.

I wish you had told me this earlier, Dina. I could have saved that poor bastard's life. ("Psst - random dude on a bus. The seat-swapping chick next to you is a psycho killer! Run away!"

Guyana-Gyal said...

Yayyyy, thank you for other people with neuroses. I don't feel so alone now.

Dina, I like your explanation about the aura vampire.

Anonymous said...

Definitely disconcerting.

Lee said...

GG - this is the thing. Was I being neurotic or would everyone have felt the same way if it happened to them?

Drodbar - it's not disconcerting at all. Refer to Kat's comment.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Well, Lee, it wouldn't trouble some folks...yet the things that would worry them might not bother you in the least. For example, do you think about unseen creatures watching you?

Heh. Does that set off a new nerosis now?