Mad Dogs and Englishmen

It’s officially spring!  The sun is trying its hardest to join the party, and while the air remains crisp, spirits and temperatures are definitely lifting.
Summer is on the way
Leaving work on time yesterday it was refreshing to make the commute home while the sky was still blue and I felt rather lucky that my bus arrived at my stop the exact moment I did. Finding an aisle seat upstairs my only contemplation was a hope that traffic wouldn’t be too bad.

Out the corner of my eye I saw a man standing at the top of the stairs to my right lean down and try to get my attention. Taking out an earphone to hear him, he very sincerely, although with slurred speech, asked me if my name was Josephine. It’s been a while since I’ve encountered a transport nutter – not since They don’t only come out at night and successfully avoiding contact in OAP Glee.

Telling him he must be mistaken he confirmed I looked just like someone he knew. I then noticed how unsteady he was on his feet. As I motioned to replace my earphone he told me he had in fact written a song for Josephine, and he had met her in his dreams. Clearly in another dimension I tried to disengage the intense eye contact, politely smiled, reiterated that it wasn’t me and replaced my earphone.

Undeterred my new friend wanted to introduce himself and shake my hand. I obliged and said I’d had a long day and just wanted to listen to my music. I wrestled my fingers away from his awkward grasp and then started texting what was going on to friends in order to look busy. 
The drill
I now know of two songs written about Josephine (by Chris Rea and The Wallflowers) thanks to my friend responding to me during my plight with Youtube videos and encouragement. As some seats became available he sat down a few rows ahead and I felt less invaded. I continued to text and ignore my new friend’s jolly laugh and what sounded like singing. 

I started calculating a strategy of getting off the bus at the wrong stop in case our destinations were nearby, but relief washed over me when he suddenly appeared in my periphery again announcing he was approaching his stop. This was then replaced by horror as he started leaning in towards me with pouted lips. 
No thanks!
Instinctively I leaned back as he asked for ‘a magic kiss’ to say goodbye. I quickly told him he was close enough to stop the space invasion and then responded to his request with a non-smiley ‘not today’. The bus then stopped and he staggered toward the stairs laughing and smiling at me. I told him to be safe and was grateful he was on his way. 

The woman who sat alongside me at the window glanced over with her own look of relief and a knowing smile. There was a hush for a few seconds on the bus. We all seemed grateful to get on with our journeys without further intrusion or engagement – in proper London fashion.