So today I had a meeting in the joyous wilds of one of the essexes upon seas via C2C. It’s a weird time of year to visit the seaside and with that comes the weird people. Like Mr. Zim C2C. I’ll give you a clue to the ending: It didn’t end well

Clue 1

So there I was on the c2c from Fenchurch street chatting to my friend in Scotland about her latest dating woes. Apparently, he has some issues which can’t be resolved quickly. Surprise, surprise.

I spot a guy walking through the train on his phone with copious bags and sway. Then he stops and looks back at me. I look at him whilst on the phone, squinting in case I recognised him, and then he says something, and I say hi. He hesitates and then walks through. My friend on the phone asks what’s going on and I tell her that some dude was just being extra on the train but he’s gone through now and we continue with our conversation trying to decipher her latest dude’s texts. We leave it with me suggesting that they stop texting as it sounds a little difficult to really know what’s going on and we ring off. Cool. Another dating crisis averted.

Clue 1 is that he thinks everywhere as his potential pickup playground including a train to the end of the world at 10ish am.

Clue 2

Then dude comes back through the train and comes to say hi again. Immediately I pick up a Southern African accent. I ask if he’s South African and this confuses him.  Did I hear him on the phone earlier he wonders out loud. No, I’m just perceptive. Eventually we establish he’s from Zimbabwe. He looks shifty then confesses that he left all of his bags in the other carriage in case I blew him off. He rushes off to get them. 2 big carrier bags like he’s going home airport style. Transpires that he’s just on the way back from Plymouth visiting a female cousin. Uhuh

Clue 2 is the shiftiness and the female cousin. I don’t need to know that it’s a she. That’s guilt talking because you went to visit your girlfriend.

Clue 3

He’s amusing and I don’t think he means to be? Just funny things which I realise now is just wastemanese for my life is not sorted but I make it sound cute. He asks for my number and I think it’s premature but acquiesced because I’m always being told that I’m too quick to dismiss opportunities.

He takes out a Nokia from 2003 and orders me not to laugh at his phone. I think Nokias are cute until he asks me to type in my name and I forget the double / treble click rule. My name is therefore now  AGKDLDA.

We chat and it turns out that he’s a hustler. He does whatever he can whilst having a minimum wage warehouse job. He lights up when I say I live in West London as he lives with his brother and ….

Clue 3 when they are already moving in with you in their head.   

Clue 4

We get to the station and he gets off at the same one. I put my ticket through the barriers and he goes through with me because, he’s a fare dodger! Oh hell no. I don’t have time for this shit. He’s also standing now and I realise that people will think he’s my son. Turns out he’s 7/8 years younger. He looks like he wears sliders with the lights and wheels.

Clue 4 is deal breaker. Fare dodgers are not the one.

Clue 5

Turns out he got off a stop too early and he’s walking me to my meeting or a coffee at his. I tell him my meeting hasn’t disappeared. It’s a real thing and I don’t have time for a 40 minute detour. He says I should come and see him afterwards and hang out as his brother doesn’t come home until…..

Clue 5 : Those looking for a quick leg over on the C2C are not the one! Imagine I’m in a stranger’s house with a child and his girlfriend comes over to surprise him. Nah!

So despite the text later about hanging out I head back into London because standards aren’t low yet and I don’t have to settle for Hustler Dick on the Train. As I write this I realise I’ve already forgotten what he looks likes. I really need to STOP making eye contact with strangers. They either ask me for money or sex. I’m not up for either

Be safe out there on that C2C line, folks!

© Chelsea Black 2019

Chelsea Black is a writer. Romantically seeking her Fubo (future boyfriend) she often gets distracted by misadventures. She is currently working on her second book, first baby (sperm to be confirmed) and first real career. Chocolate and cocktails are food groups