Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sexy Boy 

I can now strike Air off the list of bands I’d love to see but haven’t yet.

Me and Girlfriend saw them in Manchester on Thursday. It was at the Academy where, if you choose, you can stand close enough to the artists to not only see the confident twinkle / fear in their eyes (a good thing) but also smell their breath (not so good).

I like Air a lot, the way they occupy the overlap between delicate abstract artiness and thumping disco-pop, and although they weren’t the most energetic of performers - not much banter between audience and band, hardly a crowd surfer in sight - it was still a really good show. They more than did themselves justice.

A very unusual thing happened during the encore: I think somebody tried to cop off with me.

A girl struck up a conversation in the gap before the encore, and was very excited and animated about how much she was enjoying the show so far, and how much she loved Air, and so on. And I chatted back because, you know, I like to think I’m a friendly sort of fellow.

When the group came back on, she seemed to be standing very close and I could feel her bare arm brushing against mine. But hey, it was a crowded gig and it goes with the territory.
I subtly shuffled away a few inches, but soon the brushing started again. Shuffle away, brush; shuffle away, brush. It wasn’t just once.
She spoke some more, now and then, moving in close to be heard above the noise. One time, for half a second, she rested her hand on my arm. I should mention here that she was young and rather attractive, and didn’t appear in the slightest way mental. She was with a lad who she pointed out was ‘her friend’.

Okay, so some people are more tactile than others and a little arm brushing don’t necessarily mean nothing, but she then started leaning in against me while recording videos on her phone - a keyboard was blocking her view - and I thought that’s quite enough, young lady.

I stepped forward to where Girlfriend was standing, rested my hand on her shoulder and said something into her ear. Brushing Girl must have missed this, because the pressing and the video recording continued unabated.
She was probably thinking, “For fuck’s sake, is this guy retarded or something? How many hints do I have to drop?”

After the next song, I spoke to Girlfriend again, and this time Brushing Girl twigged. She put her hand over her mouth in an embarrassed horror kind of way - which incidentally, I happen to find very becoming; Charlie does it too - and exclaimed “Oh, I’m so sorry!”

When the concert finished she shook my hand and thanked me for chatting with her and apologised if she’d been a nuisance, and that was it. All very polite and proper. She seemed nice.
Leaving the venue, Girlfriend asked “Have you just pulled?” and I replied that I wasn’t 100% sure, but thought I might have.
She continued grinning the whole way home, even when I couldn’t see her because it was dark and I was driving. You can just tell, can’t you? The episode had clearly amused.

If you’re attractive and young, and especially if you’re female, I suppose little semi-encounters like this happen every couple of days. Once a week at least. I’m none of the above, and they occur to me precisely hardly ever in a lifetime.
What with those damned waitresses flirting with me all last week, and now this - I don’t know what to think.
Obviously, I’m not going to let it go to my head, or cloud my judgement in any way; yet at the same, I know I’m bound to be disappointed if, next time I’m out somewhere, attractive young women who aren’t mental don’t constantly sidle up and rub themselves against me. But it’s not a big deal.

Right. I’m off to look at sports cars now.

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