A construction entrepreneur named Mr. Nathan who I accidentally slept with during the tube strike. Not because there was a tube strike, you understand, it was a dinner, which turned into drinks, which turned into more drinks, which turned into his place, which turned into waking up the following morning in London Bridge.
Ironically i had permission to work from home, so then had to make my way to Liverpool Street and fight to a train, in order to avoid having to do the walk of shame back to the office.
Not expecting to hear much more of him (I had, after all, broken the cardinal rule of all London dating – DON’T SLEEP WITH HIM STRAIGHT AWAY) I was somewhat surprised when he asked me out again. As we sat sipping our drinks after a delicious steak dinner in The City, I bluntly asked if I was into him. It was refreshing, in a way, usually there’s at least a month of mind games before you can juts grow up and be frank with one another. Another reason to date older men; they get to the point quickly.
Deciding to just be honest, I said “yes.”
“That’s a problem,” came his chuckled response.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I really like you too. I just think you might be too young for me. You look far younger than 27.”
I assured him I was, indeed, 27. It’s not a fact I can forget that easily. He said it was very obvious that when I spoke, I showed maturity beyond my years, but that the dave difference of almost 2 decades was still something he thought might bother me. I assured him it didn’t. Having grown up in a house with a parental age gap, and having always been attracted to the maturer man (are those two facts related? Perhaps best not to wander down that route. Could be Freudian) I didn’t see it as an issue.
We’re due to have lunch on Friday, depending on his schedule. But something about it bothers me. Is it doomed from the start if he’s questioning the relationship on date two? I love his honesty, the fact he could be so up front so early was incredibly refreshing, but is he strong enough to see past our age difference and into how great we could be? I think there’s something there. Does he?
And from something there to something not, tonight I went on a 2nd date with a Russian pianist at the Royal Opera, named Mr. Sergei. We connected well on our first, but I think tonight is the last I’ll see of him. We had lots in common, but tonight I just wasn’t feeling the connection. He was handsome, he was clever, he was articulate and strong, but for some reason it just wasn’t clicking. Somewhere in my brain I kept telling myself I was supposed to find him charming and sexy, but all I could think was, honestly, I didn’t want him to kiss me. friends? Maybe. Lovers? Never.
On the tube on the way home a guy came and sat opposite me. In three years, I don’t think I’d ever seen a guy who looked so beautiful. Strong, muscular body, shirt and suit trousers, golden sandy hair. I kept willing him to look up at me, for our eyes to meet so i could glance flirtatiously at him. Unfortunately, his phone seemed to be holding all of his attention. I imagined who he was, what his name might be. Neil? Michael? Richard? Something unbelievably masculine. I thought about how much I wanted someone who looked like him. How maybe one day in the future we’d have our own apartment together, how we’d go to museums and galleries. I loved the way his arms and shoulders filled out his shirt, which rose and fell with the rhythm of his breath. I imagined him lying next to me, of waking up in the night and seeing his bare chest rising and falling in steady rhythm. I imagined him catching my eye, of the romance beginning. The smiles, the flirt, the movement.
Then I had an idea. Taking one of my business cards from my bag, I surreptitiously placed it on my seat in the tube. For all intents and purposes, as though it had fallen out my pocket. I imaged him picking it up off my seat, of emailing me, of the story starting that way. I laughed at the thought, but it suddenly entered my mind how fun it would be to start doing it regularly. Just to leave a business card in odd places around London. I mean, all it has on there is my email and Twitter handle. In a city where loneliness is a crippling problem, where nobody talks to one another, could it be the solution? I wondered who would see it, where it would end up. It felt like I’d thrown something out there, a connection from me to London.
Of course I knew the truth. My business card is probably going to end up in the trash, with everything else that gets left behind in the underground. The beautiful man opposite wouldn’t eye me back, or pick up the card I left. But I’m a writer. I can imagine.
Just think of it as Russian roulette.