I am introducing a new feature, where I am going to write a Missed Connections ad a week based on my many adventures in public transport. Like Kiss & Ride, but all my own. I spend an awful lot of time on public transport, you know. Guest submissions for particularly regrettable or searing encounters on public transport are welcome.
27th January, Central Line, Westbound, 23:30
You: mid 30s, suit, sandy hair, possibly a small beard, unsteady on your feet. Me: jeans, glasses, black coat, reading Polly Samson's Perfect Lives. You grabbed my book and told me you thought the cover was pornographic, then asked me "if it's rude", with a sort of unfocussed leer. I told you it was middle class wistfulness not porn, unless you found piano tuning erotic. I showed you the back cover quotes, which you squinted at, then pointed at the word "romp" and said "Romp!" and laughed. Then you swayed back against the upholstered window ledge bit of the carriage, nodding to yourself.
You told me you "had a book in my bag but I've had a few drinks so I'm not reading it". I asked you what it was but you said you couldn't remember. You said you had "read a good book once". I asked what it was but you said you couldn't remember, then, just as I got off the train at Notting Hill Gate you shouted "Carlos Ruiz Zafon!" after me, the last syllable truncated by the closing doors.