Tuesday, April 24, 2007

gentleman in stripes

I can't help but wonder why strange things always occur on my walks to and from the office. It's the magic of Maple Street at work here, I'm sure.

On this particular evening, as I was passing by the glass blowing studio on the corner of Church Street, a strange-looking man I've never seen before appeared out of nowhere. He was dressed in a full 3-piece pinstriped suit. He was wearing a Derby bowler hat and shiny wing-tipped shoes. As he walked towards me, the gentleman's classic strut reminded me of eras past. He seemed friendly enough, yet a strange and chalky pallor glossed his face. Was he a ghost?

We were close enough to touch, when suddenly, he tipped his hat and said to me, "Bonsoir," with every bit of gentlemanly zeal that he could muster.

I was taken very much aback and immediately repaid his greeting with a terse, "Bonsoir," then shuffled away as quickly as I could.

The bonhomme was decidedly not a Frenchman. I could tell by his flat American accent. So, why then, did he feel the need to say "Good Evening" to me in that language, if at all? Stranger still, why did I respond--in French?

As a woman, I've been told never to respond to strange men in the street (let alone play into their language games!). I've been warned of the possible dangers that might ensue. Still, as a human, the very idea of ignoring a friendly greeting runs counter to all my intuition and sense of neighborliness. And anyone who knows me knows that I'm a zealous Francophile--I can't resist the romance.

Now my curiosity is piqued. Who was that mysterious man and how does he know so much, unknowingly, about me?

No comments:

LinkWithin - 4 posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...