January 10, 2006

15: Waking

On Sunday morning, I slept in and cautiously navigated the toilet-in-the-hallway situation in my pajamas. This required several things not part of my regular habits: decent pajamas as opposed to just a ratty old t-shirt, for one thing—mine were cropped pants in a thin white jersey, with green and pink stripes, and a pink t-shirt—love them!; a sports bra (perhaps the British can manage going braless in pajamas around complete strangers, but I find that prospect horrifying); and the ability to smile and offer some type of appropriate communication when bumping into a middle-aged man in a suit as one is running to the loo first thing in the morning. My strategy was a bit of a lurk-and-dash–check to see that the coast was clear, make a run for it, and pray that the one closest to my side of the hall would not be occupied, which would necessitate going around a little corner, exposing me to further interactions with people in real clothes.

I took a shower and ate a cereal bar, and got ready to take in Oxford before our afternoon kick-off meeting, which I still didn’t want to attend, as it would involve meeting people I didn’t already know—which, I suppose, is assumed in the definition of “meeting.”

So I timidly set off down the stairs, in my green t-shirt and matching cool-ish sort of walking shoes and almost-knee-length jean skirt with the ruffle which is ever-so-slightly trailer trash but darn cute. And on the stairs I bumped into a terribly good-looking stranger. Actually, he was carrying up a huge suitcase. I was in his way. I could have easily gotten out of his way if I hadn’t been a bit dumfounded—I generally lose the ability to think and act with good sense around guys I could be interested in (like any good chick lit heroine, but not promising for one who aspires after Austen), and then there was the jet lag—I wasn’t thinking entirely correctly. I took him in immediately—dark, wavy hair, green eyes (or were they blue?), great smile, bit of a tan—and went on my way with a much lighter heart, not devoting much mental energy to it, but knowing somehow that he would be Frederick.


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