cliche movie scenePosted: October 20, 2010
Robin’s reaching into her jacket pocket for a pack of cigarettes while Simon’s busy staring at pedestrians.
Both of these behaviors are characteristic of them, actually. Robin, not being pretentious enough to roll her own cigarettes, is a willing victim to the highly noxious and highly taxed packs of Marlboros they sell at the nearest corner stores. This product may cause lung cancer, but it was also a bitch for her to try and quit. So she continues, ravaging her vocal cords, especially on a day like this, when the air was chilly and she was in the process of catching a cold. Nothing really warmed her up more than a drag, though, so she’s still fumbling around for those cigarettes.
Simon, as we’ve said before, is busy staring at pedestrians, taking note of the particularities in people’s apparel and demeanor. There was that girl in the white pea coat and red ascot, the guy doing his best impression of Doctor Who, the one with the funny scarf, the woman whose walk carried a swagger reserved for those who knew their own self worth. Of particular attention to him were those women, who, intentionally or not, dressed in a way that enthralled every fiber of his being. As ridiculous as that sounds.
The pair is sitting at a bench on the side of the road, waiting for a bus that may or may not come. Public transportation in this city is spotty, at best, and they have been waiting for at least the past half hour. Robin’s growing impatient, her legs and arms are crossed, her svelte figure resembling more of a leather and denim pretzel than someone who spent a good half hour of her morning deciding on the exact pairing of jacket and jeans to wear in this cooling autumn weather. In her left hand, the hand closest to Simon, was now a lipstick stained cigarette. Lines of smoke trail upwards towards his nostrils, and causes him to cough.
Not that Simon minds or anything, he’s been around her long enough to get used to the scent of those fumes, to not be as bothered when he returns home from a night with her only to have his clothes reek of that same smoke. It’s just something else for him to ignore. He’s still busy, looking out towards the people passing in front of him, the people passing by on the other side of the street, and the driver of the occasional car that stops in front of them. He clears his throat of the remnants of the flu he fought off last week. “I’m looking out at all these gorgeous people, the ones I’ll talk to once and never see again and the ones that are nothing more than passing glances and all they do is remind me how much I’m… not.” He says, without breaking his forward gaze.
“Not what?” Robin’s voice is honey wrapped in sandpaper.
“Gorgeous.” The gravity in Simon’s voice is apparent. He isn’t joking, and Robin knows he isn’t. When this man speaks of beauty, he’s prone to hyperbole, but he’s also prone to putting his full faith behind that hyperbole. Even knowing this, she tries her best to downplay it all, as too much of Simon’s over-the-top histrionics when it comes to the opposite sex could cause him to become off-putting. And he has enough trouble befriending people as is. “I hate when you use that word.” She replies to him, partly to strike up a conversation but also to bring up what’s been bugging her. Simon has been using that word a bit too much, lately.
Robin’s reply finally causes him to stop staring at the countless strangers walking in front of them. One person, a man lugging around a backpack, clutching his cellphone and a notebook, sits on the side of the bench left vacated by our pair. Upon second glance, this man was hardly a man, most likely a kid on his way back from university, waiting for the bus that will take him back to his tiny room across town, surrounded by people in his exact same circumstances. This causes Robin to scoot towards Simon, who is oblivious to this. Her leg brushes against his as she tries to find another comfortable position to sit in, careful not to flick ashes onto either of their clothes. “Why?” He asks her, after she settled down.
She inhales. “I dunno, it’s just the connotation of that word.” She exhales those words with a puff of smoke pointed towards the stranger to the right of her who doesn’t seem to mind at all; he seems to be lost in his own world of facts and figures. Robin continues. “To me, gorgeous is as close to perfect as you can get without coming off as pretentious, prissy, or a bitch.” The stranger shoots a quick, perturbed glance at our pair, as if Robin timed that statement to coincide with the gap in between songs currently being pumped into the stranger’s ears.
Neither Simon nor Robin notice. A tingle shoots up Simon’s leg, caused by his telephone. He checks it before continuing the conversation. An email pushed to him from the ether, about an ongoing sale of something or others, nothing really worthy of his time. He slips the phone back into his pants pocket, and readjusts his jacket. It had gotten breezy. “That’s a bad thing?” Robin, expecting this response, fires back. “Well, we’re all fucked up somehow, to think that every random stranger you see is gorgeous is kind of pushing things, right?” A shot of pragmatism to the chest of Simon’s mostly nonsensical idealism. He goes on the defense.
“What should I say, then?”
Robin takes this opportunity to let him have it. “All these girls around me sure are pretty! I wish I could have sex with them!” Damn if that didn’t feel good for her to say. In the near distance, their long awaited transportation was lurching into view. Fifteen minutes late. The driver was sleepy, as were the passengers. Each of them had somewhere they’d rather be, each of them were waiting for that bus to take them there. Simon scoffs at her words, offended only slightly. Deep down inside, of course that was what he wanted. He gives her a defeated smile as the squeal of brakes can be heard.
“Give me some credit, come on.” Robin stands up, towering over Simon and the stranger as a way to preempt their entrance onto the bus. “Fine,” she says. “All these girls around me sure look good! I wish I could enter long-term, monogamous, and loving relationships with them!” Perfectly timed, she jumps up onto the steps of public transportation as soon as she finished talking. “That’s much more like it, thank you.” Simon replies, and follows suit. The stranger remains on the bench, awaiting the next bus.
If this was because he was waiting for another route, or if he had some time to waste and didn’t want to bother with listening to another one of Robin and Simon’s conversations was left to be seen.