From Le Derrière

 Something i wrote for the Liberated Press on the idea of spying a woman from behind..


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God forbid if at any stage over the next few weeks the summer produces some sunshine, cycling in London is going to get dangerous. Three summers as a bicycle messenger has imparted one unassailable truth. The biggest hazard when taking on London by bike is not Bendy Buses, crackpot cabdrivers, or Chinese tourists mistaking Old St roundabout for a dim-sum takeaway. It's knee-weakeningly beautiful women.

When the sun comes out the clothes come off, and the streets of the capital become a catwalk of females peddling their eye-candy to the masses. Spotting these ladies is a veiled death wish, involving complete concentration, mental withdrawal from any semblance of traffic, and face-planting onto solid concrete. But if they're hot enough, the pain is always worth it.



Trouble is they never are. More often than not you lay eyes on what absolutely has to be the back of the world's hottest woman, Lady In Red starts wafting from the heavens and rolling up beside her transfixed, your world implodes as it becomes clear the angel of your imagination has a face like a smacked arse. The very second facial lock-on is established, the illusion is shattered. The goddess of three seconds ago is third division at best, with a freakishly long leg span. What was smoking hot before is now just lanky. Your disappointment is such you actually hold it against them, and so they get a scowl from some man on a bike they've never seen before. The Spanish aren't too fussy. They call this phenomenon 'Operación Gambas' or 'operation of the prawn'. Dispose of the head, so you can eat the body. 

You will never find a woman who can match - let alone better - the expectation you had of her from behind. It goes to show how the anticipation of something is so much more exciting than the final result. In the same way the best drink of the night is always the sharpener. I can't remember what it is, but the Germans have a word for this notion of fancying a woman purely from behind. And leaving it at that. The crux of the thing is in the self-control, the not-needing to run around to establish what lies beyond. The decision to dwell on the half-hidden, the half-seen, the half-heard. It's the philosophy of cutting your losses and quitting while you're ahead, the wisdom of knowing life is always more beautiful in the imagination. 

She probably is just quite tall, but you don't know that. From where you're standing, she is earth-shattering . 


But it's not for me. Wisdom is for the wise. Somewhere out there 360 degree perfection must exist. It has to. For the remainder of the summer while the sun is in the sky, with a flagrant disregard for my own safety, I will ignore junctions, jump lights, bomb straight into the back of vans, scowl at strangers, savage my bike and risk terminal injury to seek out a girl who is as perfect from the front as she is from the rear.

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