MINDING THE GAP

It turns me on, more than is decent, to see a man’s trousers hit the perfect point on the back of his shoes.  Trouser length is so elusive, so ridden with potential, so fun to manipulate or easy to be confused by, that when it’s done expertly, when the decision is taken with taste and clarity, well, then I almost have to applaud.

The fifty-something man standing across from me on the late-morning Bakerloo ride toward Elephant and Castle had nailed it.  And he was just handsome enough for me to imagine lying in bed with him talking about hems.

I stared at his ankles for the entire length of the journey from Paddington.  Who was his tailor?  Where did he get the suit?  How did he know to get the hem so perfect?  Was it intuition?  A lifetime of experience?  A sharp-eyed wife?  Would he be willing to share his expertise with the man standing next to him whose hems were nipping at his ankles — or with men everywhere?

I felt a small, victorious thrill when he got off at Picadilly Circus — my stop! — and watched his ankles for a few more seconds.  He even knew not to be fooled by the “Way Out” sign that encourages you to walk to a further exit tunnel only to circle you back to the one you just passed.

This man was an expert.  His hems said it all.

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