Have you ever been in St James’ Park tube station?
Does it give you the impression that it should have a crab problem?
I’ve asked; it doesn’t, but I can’t help but step off the train when passing through to wonder if I can hear the sea waves echoing down the tunnel, or the crunch of sand sifting between my smart work shoes.
I think Margate affected me.
Something about St James’s Park underground causes me to reminisce of the seaside.
Perhaps it’s the wall tiling, perhaps it’s the colours; it’s probably me.
And it probably is me because I would love so very much if you were to offer me the seaside as opposed to the capital.
London is not adorable, nor whimsical.
The most whimsical it gets is a degree of pomposity that endears it to the Japanese.
London at its most charming is the fact that the river leads elsewhere.
Unless of course we want to drool a little on the dreams of empire, with colossal great white buildings, lathered with muscular nudity and lions, British flags and stout-hearted pigeon poo.
During the empire, British men had muscular feet don’t you know, whilst our women were pleasantly plump as might be bespoke of some great artist of the era, conveying nobility, fertility, and justice via a patriotic curve of the hip.
Hardly the seaside though, is it?
A bucket and spade no use in these gold-paved streets.
Still, I picture little crabs earnestly busying themselves sideways, creasing me to a smile as I hear in my head the sound of shelled scuttling on gold.
I wasn’t meant to get off at St James’ Park tube station.
Nor did I mean for a moment to step off the train and out of London.
But there you go, and there I went.
Like a grotto.
Back to the crossword.
As I write this upon my commute to work, there’s a woman on this train whose whole head looks exactly like a fish.
Not just a fish’s face, but a whole fish.
Now, I’m not classless enough to take a public photograph of this woman to share it over the internet, so I’ll do what I can to tell the tale of her face.
You’ve probably already arrived there already when you read “looks exactly like a fish”; enormous lips.
What can you do? Enormous lips are a mixture of what you think of when you picture a fish-looking-female, add some DNA, a dash of cosmetic surgery and perhaps a whole splodge of poutiness; it’s just a matter of business between your nose and chin that is different for all folk.
I’d love bigger lips, for mine are very mere – thin and the part of me that even the neighbourhood cat wouldn’t start eating if it found me dead (he’d probably start with my cheeks – I’ve got plenty of those).
Although, it’s probably beneficial to have the thin lips I do as I’ve a smile slightly broader than my face and to have lips on a par with this fish-headed woman would result in confused headaches for all who happened to look at me.
Again; what can you do?
Aside from the obvious lip-factor, next come her ears. Her ears are like a fish’s fins and obliques, bejewelled with earrings and make-up like some precious fish’s shining and glittering scales.
Her eyes are bulging and yet fishily-expressionless; shaded with tropical blue and green. I can’t tell what’s nearer to the tip of my nose from ten feet away; her what-can-you-do lips or her ‘are-you-livid/aroused/hungry/bemused/amused//confused/proud/excited-eyes’.
Her hair colour is irrelevant; but the shape was not.
Both blonde and brunette hair, raised in a pony-tail (whilst looking entirely unlike a horse – to her credit…and mine; I’ll take credit for anything) yet dangling out the back and finishing with an upwards jaunty flourish…………………like a tropical fish tail.
Again; her whole head is shaped as though a whole tropical fish. And I’m not finished yet.
The shape of her head.
It was fish shaped.
I’ll leave this description at that point; the point I’ve ran out of things to and enthusiasm with which to describe and am pleased at this.
She looks like a tropical fish, but here’s the rub.
What is she like?
Is she extraordinarily nice, intelligent and funny, self-mocking of her tropical fish shaped head?
Does she hate it, does she laugh at it, does she do both?
It’s a common factor, I feel, that people look a certain way yet are in and of themselves not that certain way but rather another.
Caught her eye just then, shared a moment’s gaze.
Is she delighted at the prospect of an admiring glance, the prospect of someone finding her attractive? Or does she wonder what the fuck this ugly guy is staring at her for, eager to, rather than be stared at, head home to her local pub and grab a handful of the lined-up and dutiful boners awaiting her?
Maybe they think she’s gorgeous and there’s no real sign that she isn’t. Just, also fish-like.
Beauty is in the eye of whomever is going to fuck this fish-headed woman. I’m sure there’s a market for this sort of thing; and if she’s got a clever brain she’ll dip her toes in it.
Perhaps she’s a decade ahead of me in this thinking; she’s been herself for longer than I’ve considered her on this one-hour and 15 minute train journey.
Good for her.
Some folk are born to look a certain way, and we need to deduct that from our perception of their potential personality.
Imagine Brad Pitt growing up, if you weren’t already doing so as you became bored throughout the fish-head description.
Picture Brad trying desperately searching to find self-critical flaws, as is the habit of teenagers’ the world over and through time, yet he encounters a reflection of a chap so handsome he simply realises his life is going to be ok.
Maybe he’ll try acting.
With looks that good, one must presume that at some point you’ll be handed a large sum of money; just on principle. Ever seen a Brad-Pitt-good-looking homeless guy? I’m still looking.
Perhaps that’s because there is no one of Earth that comes close to Brad Pitt good looking.
I considered a young Johnny Depp, and then realised this was folly. The only person who comes close to Brad Pitt as he is now; is Brad Pitt at other points in his life.
He is a standard of good-looking guy that is unattainable for all others.
If you have a baby boy, you might imagine he could become President of the USA, be an astronaut and walk on Mars, maybe even be Bill Gates rich; but you’ll never even for a moment entertain the insane thought that he’ll match Brad Pitt in the face.
If you concentrate on the idea of beautiful women, 10,000 rush into your head, blurring and merging into the basically the same image.
Angelina Jolie looks like Gal Gadot, looks like Natalie Portman, looks like Keira Knightley, looks like Winona Ryder.
The most beautiful woman in the world; and there’s five of them.
When concentrating on a handsome bloke; you think of Brad Pitt. Sometimes you do it just for the enjoyment of it; why not? I do. It’s not gay, it’s human, like watching the Northern Lights.
No one on Earth is better looking than that guy, and he has to live with that.
Face it – there was only ever Brad Pitt.
And here, ‘face-it‘ doesn’t mean confront the situation, it means: do what Brad does.
Insert your extraordinarily-godly-good-looking face into your woes and watch shit get solved.
Brad Pitt got divorced from one of those many most-beautiful-woman-in-the-Hollywood-world, a real high-quality sort of wife that’s worth keeping for the kudos alone. A tricky divorce, kids, money, tabloids, and no-doubt some heartbreak to bitter-sweeten the hurt.
Know how he got over it?
He looked like Brad Pitt, and now all’s well.
It’s much later in the day now, and the fish-headed woman disembarked and went about her London day, and I mine.
I wish her well and hope she looked kindly on my ugly visage.
Here’s to her.
A whole new standard of fish-headedness.
And, honestly, kind of cute.
My beautiful wife has those same lips.
And I’m not Brad Pitt.
But, then again, no one is.
Only Brad Pitt was Brad Pitt and, really, Brad Pitt is all there ever was.
His face; onto the rocket it goes.
See you next time,