My weakness for men in uniform extends, embarrassingly, even to train conductors. Especially if they’re a bit wiry, white-haired, angular-faced, and speak with a charming somewhere-in-England accent. They have a tendency to compliment my smile, or the photo on my rail pass, or to reply to my questions about indecipherable off-peak rules with “ah darlin’, they do say brains and beauty don’t often go together,” these train conductors do.
Part of me wants to make out with them on the spot, ambushing them into a secluded train compartment like they do in movies where all you see is a hand grabbing someone in through a door. And another part of me wonders if these old, uniformed train conductors would seem so appealing if I saw them at an Arsenal v Hull game, say, and they were sitting next to me trying to figure out what I — an American, and woman to boot (no pun intended) — was doing there. At Emirates. By myself. And I’m sitting next to them wondering if they are closeted members of the Northern League.
“We keep running into each other,” train conductor of the day says as he breezes past for a third time.
“Lucky me,” I want to say. “Wait,” I want to say. “Turn around so I can smile at you again,” I want to say. You’re so charming, so British, so shirt tucked in neatly, so trousers pressed sharply, so unencumbered by the arrogantly ample knots that have become ubiquitous on ties these days.
You are perfect in your uniform.