You see him through the window of Clarks, in the Dundrum shopping centre. He’s pretty forgettable, dressed like he’s been sleeping fully-clothed in a sleeping bag two sizes too small. He’s short, balding, with a belly looming over his belt, and he’s fingering the sensible brown brogues. He makes his purchase, wanders out of the store, and stops. Then you see what he’s looking at.
You would notice her, in fact, she’s what the shopping malls financiers were thinking of when they briefed their marketing people. She’s well dressed, stylish, perfectly coiffured and walks like she belongs on a catwalk, which she looks like she does. Men and women both take a second look. Our schmuck smiles weakly at her, like a barely flickering candle in the middle of midnight desert.
She stops, towering over him, bends down and kisses him with one of those kisses that brothers and sisters don’t give each other outside of Mississippi. People genuinely stop in disbelief. A rotund fellow in a snug Darth Vader tee shirt almost cries. She takes his hand, he takes some of one of her many bags, and they walk on, as the question hangs:
How the f**k?
It wasn’t easy. She had been in a bad relationship, and the window had opened at just the right moment that he fell through a window. How does he keep her? Will it work or just be a random moment? Perhaps. But as she walks away, she laughs, and not the laugh of good manners, but the laugh of genuine amusement. He makes her happy, and that’s what she wants at that moment in her life. She’ll want him to change, of course. To change his diet and cut out deep fried stuff and she’ll play a more active role in his wardrobe, but he doesn’t mind, because he’s smart. He knows what he has, and he isn’t going to give it up easily.