I was on a crowded train heading back to London last weekend and a pretty young woman – a student by the look of her – sat herself next to me. We exchanged the silent smile and nod greeting and then I turned my attention back to the window and she rummaged in the rucksack on her lap and pulled out a book. I cast a sidelong glance to see her reading choice and was disappointed to find it was ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey.’
Perhaps she is studying sociology or psychology, or English literature – I was trying to find an excuse to the back story I was creating for her. Slim and lightly tanned with long dark hair swept back in a ponytail, nerd-framed reading glasses and a loose grey sweatshirt top off of one shoulder to reveal a pale pink bra strap – she was doing the library hottie to a tee.
But the reading choice was spoiling my fantasy. Why that dreadful frot boiler? If I’m honest, though, I have my own argument prepared for my defence if I’m ever caught reading EL James’ clit lit tome and that is that the damn thing has sold over 125 million copies. While on the one hand, I’d rather pogo in a minefield than produce a script of such dubious quality, as a wanna-be author, I can’t help but have qualified admiration or, at the very least, envy, for James’ success in writing one of the fastest and biggest selling books of all time.
I’ve no intention of contributing to the sales figures, though, but perhaps this was an opportunity to get a little taster of the bondage-lite prose, and I surreptitiously cast my eye over her shoulder.
Now my eyesight is not what it once was, and so I had to inch my way in a little closer to try and make out the type on the page and as I leaned in I became aware that I was occupying an increasingly perilous position. Here was a middle-aged man now looming over the pretty young girl and peering over her shoulder. I needed my reading glasses.
But it was not simply a question of whipping them out of my jacket pocket and plonking them on my nose. This manoeuvre called for cat-like stealth, so with silence and hardly a breath drawn, I backed away to a discrete distance and deployed my reading glasses. Then, with equal precision, I returned to my vantage point on her shoulder but a distance a shade more subtle.
Apparently not. As I squinted at the page I became aware of a certain tensing in the curve of her neck, then she snapped around and fixed with hot stare; “Do you mind?” she glared, “my tits are not that small!”