Are you talking at me?

I’m currently sat in the waiting room of the physical therapy clinic whilst my wife undergoes another session following her double ACL knee surgery a few weeks back.

Whew, that was a long sentence.

Anyway, I’m sat here reading crap on my phone (as usual) when I felt the prescence of someone sit down three seats to my left.

A miniscule fraction of a nanosecond passed before I heard a southern American drawl aimed in my general direction.

“That’s a lot of tattoos”

I chose to pretend I hadn’t heard her and kept reading whatever bollocks I was reading on my phone, knowing full well she was talking to me.

How do I know?  Well, because:

A) I have two full tattoo sleeves, and

B) I’m the only other person here.

I could feel her looking at me awaiting some sort of response, like a gormless child waiting for a firework display to begin; slack jawed and unblinking.

The act of ignoring someone does not come as easy to me as many would think, so I succumbed to literal peer pressure and looked up at her old, heavily tanned, heavily cheekboned (due to one surgical procedure too many) face.

I gave her a fake smile.

“A lot of tattoos huh?” she pointlessly asked, in case I hadn’t caught the gist of her last unwelcomed comment.

For a second I toyed with the clichĂ© response of “Oh shit, where the fuck did THEY come from??”, but instead I lifted one arm, admired it for a moment and chuckled a friendly(ish) reply:

“Yeah. And a lot of pain too.”

That should be enough to end this unwanted conversation, I thought.

Wrong.

“Wow, gee whizz”, she continued with me now back to my phone, attempting to re-ignore her.

She then paused for a few seconds to, I assume, scan all my artwork.

Then she let out an audible shudder.

Have you ever heard someone audibly shudder?

What kind of reaction is that?

It’s impossible to describe the sound with the written word, but it was like she had spiders suddenly running up and down her sinewy but saggy, slightly hunched, leathery body.

Silent shudder.

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