I first spotted him as I was walking up the busy street, on my way to the library. He was pretty distinctive; a suit of mustard yellow corduroy is pretty noticeable. He was some way ahead of me and I merely noticed him as I noticed others.
Then I turned the corner, and I saw a couple asking for directions, and the person delivering them was the man in the mustard suit. So I saw him again, and thought, he clearly knows London. And thought no more about it. He was walking more quickly then me, and soon turned another corner.
Then I turned it too, and he was still in sight. And he was still walking in the same direction as me, and I began to notice. And thought, wouldn’t it be funny if he was going to the library. And then to think, actually he might well be going to the library. He looks like an academic.
He looks like an academic. After all who else goes walking round in a mustard corduroy suit? And we carried on walking. And then we crossed the road, almost in tandem. And – yes, he was going to the library.
I don’t know why, but that has given me great satisfaction; being able, in the middle of the chaos of a Saturday afternoon in London, to spot somebody who might be going in the same way as myself. (And it was a delight that made me smile when I spotted him in the queue to collect the books!)
It is something to do with having my first impressions confirmed, or perhaps better, my assumptions based on no real evidence shown to be “justified”.
And now I find I am wondering – if anybody even notices me in the street, what do they assume about me?