The Look

Today was a good day for ‘The Look’.

Let me set the scene… It’s mid March, daffodils are peeking out from the waterlogged and barren flowerbeds, and the evenings are getting pleasingly light. In fact, I’d go so far as to say, it’s Spring.

And yet this morning, an icy wind was blowing from the east, and by lunchtime a blizzard was sweeping past the office window, obscuring buildings just a few metres away and blanketing the citycscape in white. By hometime, the sun was out again, but there was a thin icy layer coating the roads and that raw wind was still blowing from the east.

My cycle route home happens to be south-east, so into the teeth of winter I went. I passed maybe 20 or so cyclists on the way, and each and every one of them gave me The Look.

It requires very little effort to give The Look: it’s little more than a slight upturning of the corners of the mouth and an almost imperceptible nod. But yet it speaks volumes. It says “I see you, and I feel as you feel. I’m frozen through, I can’t smile properly because my face is too cold, and I, like you, can think of no greater pleasure right now than a hot brew and a pair of fluffy slippers. This wind is a bitch, these drivers are idiots, and why oh why did I not wear my winter gloves today?”

It’s a look of proper camaraderie, of common human experience and empathy, and you don’t get that sat in a traffic jam.

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