It All Kicked Off, So I Ran Away

The life of a social outcast can be a hard one. Shut out from any and all conversations just because you’re different in some way.

I was waiting for the bus this morning.

I was happily on my own at the bus stop enjoying my own company. An elderly gentleman joins me at the bus stop. He is, of course, wearing a jacket because the elderly do love their layers, no matter what the weather. I don’t know why we have to be told to check on them in cold weather to make sure they’ve not frozen to death – they wear three or four cardigans and a kagool in summer, surely they just up the ante a bit in the winter months.

Anyway, elderly gentleman at the bus stop.

He asks me if I have been waiting long. I said no. Because I hadn’t. Not massively long. It was about to get a lot longer, anyway, but I didn’t know that. I also couldn’t really see how long I had been waiting affecting him in any way. I could, for example, have arrived just as the previous bus left. Or I could have known what time the bus was due and only just arrived. Neither of those were the case, but my waiting didn’t really affect the arrival (or lack there of) of the bus that was (not, in this case) coming.

So we dispensed with that bit.

He asked me if I knew when the football season started again.

That I most definitely do not know. Soon, I guess. Too soon. Does it ever really finish? There are lots of answers to this question. I just said I don’t know. Because I don’t. I only have a passing interest in the football because every home match that Huddersfield plays pretty much destroys any chance of going to the cinema that day because the car parks have to be protected for at least three hours either side of kick off.

Actually, I didn’t say I didn’t know. I just said I wasn’t sure.

Which was how he carried on talking to me about football. He was telling me about the friendlies that Huddersfield Town have had. I had to tell him I don’t really follow football.

And that was it. Outcast.

It’s especially bad to not follow football when you live in Huddersfield because when Town got promoted to the Premiership it was very exciting and the town was suddenly wealthier which has meant that there can be a new Starbucks, Subway and Greggs opposite Argos which, I think you’ll all agree, is what any place truly needs. Not to mention, of course, the “secret” training facility that the team use that used to just be a sports club that the team owned but rented out to local teams for use until they became amazing. Now it has a privacy screen around the pitch – that you can see through – to stop people gawking at the team from the car park of McDonalds.

It’s all changed.

The man didn’t talk to me again. He didn’t say a thing as he tried to get on the bus before me. He didn’t even acknowledge the fact that I’d said I didn’t follow football. He just clammed up.

If he’d had time before the bus came he’d probably have nipped home for a pitchfork and a burning torch and chased me out of town.