On Tuesday last week I walked to Soho, because I have no job and nothing to do with my time (and also no money, but let’s just pretend that’s not an issue).
On the way there, I walked past the Canadian Embassy because there was a giant poster advertising a free exhibition of Inuit paintings. And I thought, ‘I might go in and see that, because, well, why not?’ So, I went inside.
At the entrance was a very debonair security guard. Debonair is the only appropriate word for this gentleman (and he was a gentleman). He was tall, immaculately turned out in his security uniform, on the other side of 40, with dark skin and soft brown eyes. He seemed old-fashioned, somehow. I smiled at him hesitantly and said that I would like to see the exhibition. He watched me as he stood up and said that of course I could see the exhibition, but I had to go through security first.
He took my bag from me and placed it very gently in a tray to be screened. He was still watching me with a slightly puzzled look on his face. He glanced at my ring (its a big, white plastic rose) and said, carefully, ‘I like your style.’ I giggled. I couldn’t help it. This man was debonair. I thanked him. He said, ‘Your like an… English rose.’ This made me laugh. I was very far from my idea of an English rose. I was wearing a black dress, torn fishnet stockings, my scuffed Doc Martens, heavy black make-up and bright red lipstick. I said, that sure I was like an English rose. A dark English rose.
He smiled cheekily and said, gesturing to himself, ‘What, do you have a problem with the dark?’ I replied that I clearly didn’t. He said,’ So, you’re an artist?’ I said, that, no, I was involved in the theatre. He gently placed my bag in my hands and said, ‘Theatre is an art, isn’t it? So, you’re an artist.’ (Honestly, at this point I was basically swooning. Yes, Security Guard! YES! Theatre is an ART!)
As I was walking into the exhibition, he called after me, ‘So, your name… it’s Julie?’ A little taken aback, I replied that my name was Jenny, but that Julie was my mother’s name. Totally serious, he said he was psychic and he would now tell me my favourite food. He stared at me for a little longer and said, ‘One of your favourite foods is…. sushi.’
Which is an easy guess from what he found out about me… but is still true!
The exhibition was fine, but, really…. it was the security guard that made my day.