'You know, I'm no good at this, but it's worthwhile to try...'
Looking at him in confusion, I tried to kept that smile on my face, partly because I couldn't understand his English - he swallowed every tail of the consonants.
He was upset to see me confused, then he said:
'You know, you are beautiful, in Italian they say £&$*£^£%£...'
As he had already told me for over ten times in the past fifteen minutes. I didn't know how to respond. On the first round I replied as the text books and my English teachers told me:
But 'thank you' offended him:
'C'mon, you know you are beautiful, what the fuck you thank me for?'
What was I supposed to say then? 'Yes I know'? That would nonetheless be a lie, I never really know, and I tried not to tell lies.
So I chose to just smile and looking at him rather blankly as if I don't understand English again - that is indeed the best strategy I could think of to turn down all sorts of strange foreign men trying to make conversations: the loud football fans, the overly huggy kissy cafe owner, random person making comments on my underwear etc. etc. I have developed a male-phobia over the time. I've tried to avoid talking to them as much as possible. As a result, I don't even ended up having any good male friends. Well, that's not too big a problem.
But this man continued murmuring beside me, eventually it started to make no sense to me at all - I got annoyed, and my mind drifted away. After all, he was just a person happened to sit beside me on the bus. Why he bothered to say:
'Let me take care you. '
'I will take good care of you.'
And the rest I didn't understand, maybe he didn't know what he said either. Somehow I managed to understand one more utterance:
'You know I'm like a normal guy, I go to the pub and get a larger...'
Yes, the rest I didn't understand.
On such an early March night, so cold, everybody had a thick coat on and only involved in their own little worlds. He sat next to me, with only a single layer on, shelvering, nose-running and talking to me. He smelt complicated: it's a blend of alcholic puke deposit (very remote and frozen, seemed to be saved from last month or even more ancient), wet mud, hospital and flesh left unwashed for so long.
This bus journey became a torture. I got impatient and quite angry. Why should he chat to me? Why talking nonesenses? I couldn't wait to get off and be away from him.
But why couldn't I understand?
In principle, I should have talked with him loudly and happily with laughters, digging up as much personal information as I had been curiously concerned:
'My name is John, I had been an average lad as the ones you could see everywhere on the street till I got hooked up with heroin ten years ago, my life got fucked up since then...'
As stereotypical as that.
We then may take a date together, I will buy him a pint of carling to warm him up, looked into his deadly eyes, and then both of us start to cry.
What scared me off?