Josephine is a magnificent coil of hair awaiting further definition. Attempts at interrogation will get you nowhere, so please reconsider your forthcoming advances. Your rehearsed casualness is already doomed. Your pint will be handed to you pityingly. Beholding the hair must remain enough. Its tendrilic thrall, soft to the eye yet Rapunzel tough. Worship it wordlessly and don’t go on. No loaded questions. No open questions. No questions period would be nice. No one comes up to you in the street and asks where you grew up or what your favourite record is.
Who really knows her? Management, in the interview stage, must have chanced an inquiry. In a folder unopened for years lies a CV rich with an astonishment of details: date of birth, experience, education. Even for a pub job, even this pub. On the first encounter there must have been some focused drilling into her resilience. She might have even charmed them, might have even smiled. The hair wouldn’t have been enough. Did she sit in a chair, the expected bundle of nerves? Perhaps she sealed the deal with a short chat over a parma, casual as. Probably landed it in seconds, standing on the spot we find ourselves daily, the helpless side of the bar. One whip of the mane and the boss weak-kneed it. She’d just arrived in town and wanted some steady work for a bit, you know how it goes.
There’s a whole life of hers that remains unknown. We get the service and the non-smile. A boyfriend? Scratch my chin and let us picture him. He works the trots professionally and makes enough to keep him in cigarettes and cheap domestic. The bond’s a mystery to their friends, that outer ring of affiliation. He’s not even handsome, but she’s loyal and tight-lipped. And parents? We wander further still, now approaching the lightless environs of pure guesswork. Her lineage descends from Neptune and requires terraforming to even comprehend.
Her good graces? A place in her life? A dream of her bed? Other situations might be required. Saving her from a burning building might get you a polite kiss. Felling a criminal mid-mug might permit you a short drink. That romantic conundrum otherwise known as a fuck would, in terms of necessary credit, require the ceaseless swimming pool riches of a diving Scrooge McDuck.
And anyway, is she really going to consider you, feeble one, pants stained with foulness? Don’t look at her as a goal to scrub yourself up for. She’s a roaming goddess that exists as example alone: not touchable, not a thing in this world. An approximation of a target. You, my friend, are a redeemable figure who has enough time to correct your flight and hit the straight line. The Josephine figure is as remote as the African plains. Keep her in mind, but not your heart. You will make it. I’ll hang back for now, but keep you in my thoughts.