So last night EZ and I went out for a late dinner before the American team’s second World Cup game, set to start at midnight. The destination was a British pub near Trocadero, to satisfy my weeks-long craving for fish and chips.
We finished dinner earlier than expected, and realized we might have enough time before kickoff to make it back to the other British pub across town we had watched the first game at – since they won, it seemed like the natural order of the universe would be to watch every game there.
A quick check of the Paris transit app told us we wouldn’t have to pay for a taxi after all – there was a bus line just steps away that would take us straight there in time for the game. The next bus was scheduled to arrive in seven minutes. The key word here is ‘scheduled’.
A couple minutes after we settled at the stop, a middle-aged couple came stumbling and fondling across the street to share the wait with us. She was dressed smartly in an expensive dress, he was decidedly more, um, casual. They were both in their forties, I would guess, and were clearly intoxicated. They were also clearly totally digging on each other, engaging in sloppy bursts of making out and sending their hands on hurried explorations of each other’s drunk French bodies.
While I lack the omniscient ability to know for sure, I would guess that these two met at a nearby bar and were looking for the fastest way to get to someone’s flat for some (extremely) casual sex. Checking the screen, they should have been on their way within minutes.
The bus was late, and the screen was now showing it would be fifteen more minutes before it would actually arrive. They were disappointed, but carried on like teenagers for a few more minutes.
Then, their pace slowed a bit. Then the guy wandered away from her, into the street to look west in search of bus headlights. When he got back to the bench in the stop, they had cooled down to civilized kissing. The flurry of feeling up was now just holding hands.
Ten more minutes passed. The guy stepped out to peer down the street two more times in the interim. Now they weren’t even kissing. Taking a longer look at the woman’s face, you could see doubt setting in. Perhaps giving her mind and liver a little more time to process what she was about to do had changed her perspective.
By the time the sign changed to “no more service” to show that the bus was actually never going to come, they had descended all the way to sitting quietly and patiently next to each other like strangers. After a brief discussion of their options, they awkwardly started walking in the same direction, no longer in contact.
We ended up catching a cab, and missed out on Portugal’s first goal. I was pretty sure, though, that we weren’t the only ones missing out on scoring this night.