As a great many people will attest, when I have my nose in a book I’m not all that good at paying attention to my immediate surroundings. My journey home yesterday was the cap of quite a stressful hours, so firing up the Kindle app on my phone and re-reading the Fuller Memorandum (Charles Stross) seems a good way to distract me from the joys of travelling in a packed, standing-room only bus.
I’d found a good little corner to rest in, wasn’t blocking any access for anyone, and was happily reacquainting myself with The Laundry when I felt a sharp elbow in my kidney and heard “f**king queer” from a woman who was in the process of leaving the bus with small child in tow.
Being generally wrapped up in what I was doing it took a few seconds for my brain to process what happened and what I’d heard, by which time the doors were closed and the bus on the move again.
It hadn’t been a particularly heavy blow, but given I wasn’t in her way it could only have been deliberate and as I looked up I saw various bemused expressions on people’s faces – so I can only assume they’d seen and heard it too.
I choose to believe that no one asked if I was okay because I wasn’t reacting with anything other than confusion and that frankly I was towering over everyone else around me.
What prompted it? The only thing I can think of was that I had still had my nails painted black and red in my Harley colours from the weekend.
It didn’t really impact me until I got off the bus and headed into Tesco to get food for supper, and I fired off a quick grumpy message on our group chat. My amazing partners were quick to express shock and reassurance and aside from some lingering irritation I’m largely just brushing it off as one of those things
At least, my rational brain is. My more primal angry side wants to rage and confront the person, but what’s the point? I wasn’t really hurt, more bemused, and as both Ladies M and S said: she’d probably be highly jealous that I had two awesome partners and a job that I love, even on stressful days.
I still want to growl though.