Perth is a small city.
It's even smaller because of a river that divides it in two. Those who live north of the river rarely know much about the south, and vice versa. This makes Perth an even smaller city and if you live on the same side of the river all your life you'll probably bump into the same person several times even though you'll never know their name.
Take the year I went to college and studied accounting.
I was 19 years old, a relative spring chicken, fresh out of high school, and I was studying something I never really knew anything about.
During my first year of college I parked my car a fair distance away from the main carpark at a local oval. To be honest I only just had my driver's licence and carparks scared me, so I parked somewhere safe... albeit a walk away from where classes were usually held... but I didn't mind - the walk was good exercise (even when it turned into a sprint when it used to rain).
Anyway, one day I noticed another car had taken MY spot, and initially I wasn't too happy... but I got over it pretty quick as there was plenty of parking space at the oval.
As the days passed the strange hatchback and I swapped spots depending on who's class was first during the day. I was curious about who else had such a "great mind" as mine ("great minds park alike"??), but I saw no one for about a week or so.
Until one day studies in the library with my peers kept me behind and I left later than usual. When the day ended I made my way towards my car and noticed the hatchback parked beside. It wasn't until I got into my car that I saw a tall blonde haired chic walking across the oval towards me.
I think I'll just... umm... try to... umm... get... my... car... started... sooooon.
Slowly I placed my car key into the ignition as the blonde continued to walk towards me. I noticed her look up and then look back down.
It was the look, and then her left hand moving into her bag slung over her right shoulder that made me think that maybe, just maybe, she was walking to her car... the very hatchback that was next to me! I noticed no other cars nearby... or maybe I dropped something and she was delivering it to me?
My mind raced, but I didn't want to seem like I was stalking her or anything so I quickly started the car and scooted. As I slowly drove away I looked in the rear vision mirror and saw the blonde chic hop into her car - the hatchback!!
Are you kidding me??
I think for the first time in my entire schooling life I actually rocked up early to class the next day and from that day forward I wanted to see who this chic was.
Weeks passed and eventually I found out that the mystery hatchback chic was studying marketing.
(It seemed all the hot chics studied marketing at college... well at least compared to those who studied accounting.)
Anyway, the more I saw this woman the closer I got: she was this tall hot blonde chic and I a lowly pile of ooze bubbling on the floor whenever she passed. In fact, I remember one time nearly fainting when I used the lift to get down to a lower floor and she just happened to pop in!
She even smiled and said hi.
I think I turned bright red which just made the smouldering bubbling ooze look like blood on the floor... not a pretty sight.
I couldn't say anything to this woman. Throughout that one year of college all I ever mustered was... a wave. How lame was that? A wave. I remembered when I jumped into my car one day she was only meters behind and kept her eyes on me. So what did I do? Just wave. Wow. How pathetic.
Anyway, after when I graduated and upgraded my accounting diploma to a degree of commerce at university I didn't bump into her until my final year. I was working at a stockbroking firm in the city and as I wandered the streets during lunch I noticed a familiar figure.
It was her.
I shyly looked away as she passed, and I caught her slightly smiling... she probably enjoyed my oozing. I saw her a couple more times, and with her arm wrapped around a bloke once.
Each time I said nothing. I did nothing. Not even a "Hi".
Fast forward again to yesterday and I saw this same chic again... in Subway.
But this time I didn't ooze. In fact I couldn't stop smiling... and I was mainly smiling at myself, laughing inside at the amount of times this woman made me squirm... and yet I didn't even know her from a bar of soap (I never even knew her name!). As she walked through with what seemed like her father and a friend ordering her lunch, I kept smiling as I ordered my chicken-teriyaki-Subway-6-grams-of-fat-or-less sandwich.
When my sandwich was made she stood with her friend near the drinks fridge and when I went to pay I told the chic behind the counter that I'd like to buy a juice, so I made my way towards the fridge.
And as I did she stopped talking to her friend and noticed me. I think she remembered. And as she stepped aside I STILL didn't say anything... not even an "Excuse me"... or "Thank you" for moving.
When I paid, and made my way to the door, I looked over at her, and noticed her looking at me, and I smiled.
Yeah I think she remembered.
But I wasn't going to break tradition.
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