Hits 5442 | Created 2007-06-13 | Modified 2007-06-13
When I was a younger man I was obsessed with women, as most young men are of course. Women would direct my life constantly without ever knowing that they were doing so. They could, without meaning to, start chains of events that would change my future life direction in profound ways.
I was once looking at hats in a Chester shop that sold all things New Age, African and Australian. I was looking at myself in the mirror wearing a large, heavy leather cowboy style hat. Very John Wayne, I was thinking. A young beautiful thing glided up to my side and cooing and smiling in a way that I was sure meant that she found me attractive, told me that the hat suited me very well indeed. She adjusted the hat on my head, pressing her body up against mine. Now I was sure that she found me attractive.
I blushed and she made the sale.
After the sale she vanished quickly behind a door marked 'Staff Only' and I never saw her again.
The hat slept on my wardrobe and moved around the country with me, never spending any time on my head. I decided that the hat looked like a travelling hat, the kind of hat you might explore Africa in, say. So, I decided to keep it for that purpose and use it then.
Many years later I was being manipulated by a different girl, who was teasingly in my bedroom, I was hoping for a kiss perhaps. She was a dream girl, desired by all, perhaps only toying with me but I didn't really care. She saw the hat and asked me why I didn't wear it. I explained about Africa and it was mentioned no more.
Some months later and I was with the same girl in a different bedroom, this time doing slightly better than I had hoped for the first time.
'You know,' she said, 'I've had my eye on you ever since you showed me your travelling hat.'
'Really?' I was genuinely surprised.
'When are you going?' she asked.
'Where?' I asked, having no idea.
'Travelling of course.'
She went on to explain that she found me, in part, sexy because I was going travelling. Things clicked into place in my mind, the world turned. Travelling had been a whim until that moment but suddenly I was filled with travelling conviction. If travelling was a part of me that was sexy then by God, I was going to cultivate it.
'It's not really a question of when,' I told her lazily, 'but more a matter of where?'
She nodded thoughtfully.
So my passion for travel was awakened though dubious processes, but awakened it was and the more I thought about it, the better it really did sound - travel, adventure, sunshine, crazy drugs and girls.
Two years later we held hands as we took off, destination India. No longer lovers we had kept our strange appointment anyway.
And, here's the amusing thing: I didn't take the hat. I had looked at it when I was packing and said, 'Nah, too hot'
She hadn't mentioned it.
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