Wednesday, January 22, 2014

First Word: Susan Siddeley: Charm


Can it be undressed? 

            Nigel ‘please sit’ Havers, smooth from Brylcreemed hair through well-cut jacket, creased trousers to two-tone shoes, oozed it. Or was that Noel, elegantly poised, pointedly poignant, so blasé tinkling on a piano. Then again it could have been Adrian whats-his-face with the lopsided smile and head tilt. Trouble is these don’t deal with traffic jams, overflowing litter bins and dust settling in your toe cleavages. 
            Charm lodges in drawing rooms, theatre and at The Ritz; demanding isolation, cushioning behind giant tyres like the ones in you see in open-pit copper mine trucks. Charm works as effortlessly as the electric windows in my car until one day they didn’t. And all the charisma in the world couldn’t fix it…
            I suppose it’s possible flowers can be charming, and maybe Doulton figurines, but give me a smooth-cheeked man (none of your modern stubble) a pressed shirt, sincere ear and a languid tongue rolling words seductive as Neruda’s from his warm mouth, and all over me richer than Jersey Cream, and I’m sunk. (That is cream that barely needs any whisking to turn it into trifle topping for when Nigel, Noel, Cary or Fred call round, carnation button-holes winking.)

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