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....