On Sunday I drive for what seems like an eternity to get to Cambridge to see The Artist. I arrive after lunch and I get to meet her friends whom I instantly like. We get in my car which she makes approving sounds about while I’m struck by how natural it feels to be with her. It doesn’t take long for the chemistry between us to be almost touchable. I’m pretty sure that we like the look of each other, but there’s a definite meeting of minds as well.
The Artist has her hair down today and she looks lovely. I even tell her so and my words seem to lift her up. I find us parking in a multi-story car park in the centre of Cambridge and there is little drama involved. I can’t help but think how with my Exgf this mundane activity could lead to an argument. Outside we instantly hold hands and it feels good to me. I think she’s a instinctive hand-holder too.
Walking and talking with The Artist feels perfect. We feed off each other’s input and the last time I had this happen was with Baltic Babe. Through the confused streets of the academic district of Cambridge we walk, but I don’t think either of us notice a thing really; we only have eyes and ears for each other. We could be anywhere, it didn’t matter, we are engrossed in each other, lost in each other.
After a while I have a strange feeling inside me, like I’m in free-fall, but I know I’m not, it’s just a strange sensation that feels good. We can’t stop holding hands and I’m pleased that it feels like a totally natural fit the way our hands and fingers entwine. I can’t help but stop occasionally and kiss her. Each time it feels like it is our first ever kiss, it’s that good and exciting for me. Her smile tells me that she likes it too.
We wander aimlessly, just enjoying doing this together. This is what I want, this is what I have been missing, this is what I’ve been waiting for.
We stop in at a museum that The Artist visits regularly as part of her work. She needs to use the ladies and upon her return says to me the words I was hoping to hear. “Come, I want to show you my favourite things.” It tells me that she wants to share her world with me and is not afraid of rejection. It could also be her testing me, but I don’t think that that is her style of doing things.
It doesn’t take long before we’re standing in front of an exhibit and I watch in awe as The Artist comes into her own before me. She starts telling me about the technique of producing what we’re looking at, explains the variations and the history of these derivations. I listen politely as she speaks, not daring to interrupt her, but marvelling at her obvious passion for what she is talking about. It’s a beautiful moment that I will treasure forever more.
After a while we move along, making our way to the exit when I spot something that presents an opportunity to show her my cultural side, to display my knowledge of history which I think gives her some kind of brain-erection. She seems suitably impressed and interested in what I have to tell her too. We are definitely an intellectual match; that’s worth a lot in any relationship.
Dusk approaches and we become hungry, so we walk back to a pub that The Artist liked the look of. Sitting comfortably at a table for two, it’s a perfect romantic setting. Conversation is still flowing like a river of sweet nectar and we can’t get enough of each other. As the meal progresses it becomes dark outside, the restaurant dims the lights and staff put candles on the tables. She even looks beautiful by candlelight.
We hold hands across the table and I decide it’s the perfect time to find out conclusively just how compatible we are. I walk her through the Magical Forest scene and at the waterfall scene she jumps straight in. Perfect; same as me. With the wolf she stood her ground, while the house she first went in then ate what she wanted. That again is very similar to me in that she doesn’t run away from her problems (I attack) and she has a zest for life, just like me. I realize that her answers are the most similar to mine that anyone has ever given me in the almost thirty years I’ve asked these questions. Inwardly I go ice-cold while my heart goes warm; could she be The One? It looks and feels like it.
I want to tell her something nice, feeling cute, I beckon to her to come closer. She thinks I want to kiss her and she smiles. The Artist innocently leans across the table towards me. I smile to myself.
Her hair catches alight!
There’s a football-sized yellow fireball on one side of her head and it’s about to spread to her face!
The strands from one side of her tresses has fallen onto the candle in the middle of the table. She must have used hairspray on herself for our date. Before she realizes it I’m swatting her hair with my hands as the fire is slowly spreading. Luckily I’m quick about it and douse it just as she realizes from my actions, the sound and pungent smell what is happening to her.
The Artist jumps up and runs off to the ladies. I look around the restaurant to see everyone there looking at us. The waiting staff are all rooted to their spots next to the tables they’re attending to, their jaws hanging open. The patrons all have eyes like golf balls. There’s not a sound to be heard. I think bubbles in champagne flutes stopped moving too. I look away and sounds of normal life return as voices murmur, cutlery clinks and bubbles flow again.
I think that this date will end here when The Artist returns to the table. She’ll probably ask me to take her to the train station. The embarrassment might be too much for her and I might never see her again. Damn.
When I set off this morning to fetch her, I had thought of this being a hot date; this is not what I had in mind.
The Artist returns and gives me the sweetest smile. Her hair seems fine, amazingly no trace of damage. There’s just an awful smell in the air, like that of grilled excrement but we try to ignore it as we resume our conversation. To my surprise she has regained her composure and continues like nothing has happened.
I was expecting the worst, but she is obviously intent on still being with me. I know for sure now that she wants me. Any other woman would have wanted to go home, but not The Artist, no she wants to keep going. My sense of relief is followed by a sense of comforting satisfaction. I think I’ve finally found The One.
After another hour of easy conversation I ask her opinion about Californication and she hasn’t even heard of it. I wonder what she’ll make of it? I have so many questions that I crave the answer to and I suspect that she does too.
The meal ends, but we don’t want the night to end. A moonlit stroll around the deserted historied streets of Cambridge seems a good idea – it might rid us of that awful smell from her hair – but after a while it becomes too chilly for her. I need a plan and quickly too otherwise this date will peter out and before I know it we’ll be at the nearby train station. Think, dammit, think!
“I don’t suppose I can tempt you with the first few episodes of Californication back at my place?”
“That might be fun,” she says with a coy smile.
Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One
I’m thoroughly miserable. Nothing gives me pleasure and I don’t yearn for anything, not even kinky sex with a new lover. I’ve lost my spark, my drive, my interest in everything. I don’t see the point of any of this any more. I’ve not had a history of a life-long battle with depression like some people have. Yes, I had some ups and downs as a teenager, but who didn’t? I’m feeling things that I’ve only ever felt once before.
I was on a 5-star luxury tour of Italy with my ex-wife and we were both between new contracts. On the last day of the tour we got an email from our landlord in which he gave us a month’s notice to vacate our home because he was selling it. The news hit my soul like a fiery sledgehammer and I was lurched into a deep depression that lasted for months. It was the feeling of vulnerability and helplessness that dragged me under. It was a paralysing Novocaine for my soul. Until then her and I had been through a lot of challenges together and we came out smiling every time. This time was different. What snapped me out of it was seeing her collapse to the floor, clutching my jeans at the knees, sobbing her eyes out as she begged me to get a job, any job. We had just finished moving into our new home, a rented one again and it had been an exhausting process for both of us. I did as she asked and things got better from there. Now that feeling was back and with a vengeance.
I think it’s only when we’re depressed that we see things clearly. When nothing and nobody gives us pleasure only then can we see what’s really going on around us. There’s a simplicity and clarity that is lacking at other times, those times when we’re like everyone else. We can see the everyday, mundane things and question their validity and usefulness. We can look at things we’ve repeatedly done and ask why we’ve done this, for the first time thinking about it, really thinking about and seeing the familiar in a new way. It’s not necessarily a better way or just an alternative viewpoint, it’s seeing everything in a different context that makes it all seem illogical to the point of insane.
You see people mindlessly, cheerily going about their lives, doing the same things over and over, hardly ever thinking about it. There is much to be said for blissful ignorance, for it frees you from the burden of true consciousness. Being fully aware of the absurdity of modern life can drive a thinking person crazy.
If you were to think about it, you would realize that there is no point to life. That realization hits us all at some point, but how we react to it is what matters. It can paralyze some people, liberate others and do absolutely nothing either way for some of us.
Life is the biggest joke going because no matter what you do, you die. Nobody survives life. Whether you do or you don’t, it doesn’t really matter because the end result is the same. You dream, you struggle, you sacrifice, you suffer, you hurt and, no matter what, the result is the same for all of us. It’s a difficult phase, that bit between birth and death.
The problem comes when you believe everything is futile, that there’s no point. Nothing gives you pleasure and nothing matters. That’s when a negative spiral kicks in and you get dragged under into a world that feels lonely, cold and overwhelmingly intense.
What has brought this on in me this time?
First, I’m feeling angry towards women. I feel that they’ve been toying with me, using me, wasting my time and money, exploiting me. Some of their bad ways have rubbed off on to me and I’ve hurt two good women: Busty Blonde and Busty Czech. I feel that my dating experiences have degraded me, made me into a worse person than I was before I started out. If I knew that things were going to turn out this way, would I have bothered? Probably not.
This latest episode with the MILF of Xmas is yet another disappointment in what has proven a lengthy procession of disappointments. It feels like the Cunt Carousel has spun me around one more time and thrown me off into a puddle of mud, a puddle made up of dog faeces, pussy juices and urine. It’s the type of puddle that dries in the park, then families come and sit on while I watch them when I’m in the gym. Shit everywhere; it’s all just shit.
Second, my working life is a disaster. It’s been almost a year and a half since I walked out of my job. The duplicitous nature of everyone I worked with has scarred me. I have no faith left in people. Mark Twain said, “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog”. I agree with him although I don’t have a dog. I have no desire to get back into the so-called “formal” workplace. The thought of sitting in an office surrounded by snakes in suits makes my stomach turn. I’ve half-heartedly applied for dozens of jobs in the past year because I need the money but haven’t been called for an interview once, despite reworking my resume several times. It feels like my industry is done with me, more than I feel done with it.
On the back of that, while the job search was running in the background, I decided it prudent to start building a business of my own. Working for a salary provides a living, but making profits can lead to a fortune. I’ve poured my energy into resurrecting an online business, but that effort didn’t result in a fraction of the money that I am beginning to need. I had an idea for an eBay business that I threw myself into, but that also proved a fruitless waste of time. A sense of desperation started creeping in and I resorted to an old hobby of mine that has proven a financial roller-coaster: day-trading. I may as well have blown that money on Lotto tickets.
Women perceive themselves through all the roles that they fulfil in life and chastise themselves about the one that they are doing worst at. Men are very different. We largely see ourselves through our work. That thing we spend most of our waking time doing is what defines us. If we’re unhappy in our work, then we’re unhappy in our life. I’ve realized that many of the dates that I went on were doomed because I was using dating as a crutch for a frustrated working life.
Third, which is related to my aforementioned second point, is the fact that my finances are running low and I’m starting to panic about it. I’ve been living off my savings as frugally as I can since the day I quit my job because I knew it might be some time before I had money coming in again. That “some time” has proven longer than I can afford. I’ve only got money left to last me for a few months. The pressure of this is starting to rot my brain some days.
Fourth, I’ve had a falling out with my best friend. We’ve been the best of buddies since we were fourteen, or so I thought. Then one day I saw a posting on Facebook about fake friends. You might have seen it, it starts with “friends don’t get jealous…”. That stunned me because it encapsulated his behaviour towards me over the years. He was never to be seen or heard from when I was having a rough time, except the time I left my Exgf and he let me stay for two months. Other than that he was visibly missing when my life was shit. He is also the biggest liar I have ever known, a side to him that has grown over the years and has increasingly bothered me. In recent years the friendship had degenerated into him being an ask-hole in which he would phone me up to debate a problem he was having and then he would do exactly what I suggested should not be done. When his son was kidnapped a year ago by his ex-wife (the boy’s mother) I volunteered to fly at my own expense to snatch the boy back, then drive across two continents to return him home. That was the plan if the various legal routes failed, of which one didn’t. My “friend” would never have even thought of doing that, let alone have the balls and brains to make it happen. The final straw was an incident just before Christmas which showed me his true colours and his attitude towards me. This acidic revelation about his true nature felt as great a betrayal as my ex-wife’s lies. It has rocked my faith in all people. It has shaken my faith in myself because how could I have been so blind for so long?
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, I’m now seriously doubting that The One exists. Why should she? Is it all just an illusion, a foolish notion that I’ve allowed to take on life-consuming importance? If I didn’t have this quest, what would I have applied myself to? I honestly don’t know. Trying to find Her gave my life some meaning. It gave me a reason to get out of bed each day. Scouring screens of pretty faces was often the highlight of my day. Now I don’t see the point in all that any more and I’m left feeling empty. My dating life has been a crutch to lean on when what truly ails me was left unattended. All along my life has lacked purpose, I can see that now, but I don’t know what to do about it. It’s hard to find a purpose when nothing gives you pleasure, people are a source of pain and you’re about to run out of money.
I’m tired of living a life predicated on being too dumb to steal and too proud to beg. I’m tired of aspiring to things that are not likely to happen for me. I totally get why some people resort to a life of crime, but that’s not for me. Apparently “hope to a man is like winding is to a clock”. I’ve run out of hope. This clock is broken. There’s no helping hand to put it back to working order. I feel totally and utterly defeated by life and now I hope for nothing.
I’ve hit an all-time low.
Today I bought boxes of ibuprofen after doing a circuit to the supermarkets in my town. Collected into a neat little pile they stand proud on the stool in front of my sofa, the stool that I’ve fucked so many women on. I’ve lost count of how many it was. What does it matter? What does all of this matter? If I do something or I don’t do something, what does it matter? It’s just me, this tottering tree in an unfeeling, deaf forest. Nobody cares. I don’t matter to anyone. If I’m here or not, it doesn’t matter; I don’t matter. I won’t be missed. I don’t think many people will attend my funeral.
I’ll leave my front door unlocked. The smell will eventually become too much for my neighbours. No, that’s not fair to them; they don’t deserve to find me like that. I know, I’ll leave a cryptic message on Facebook after midnight. The next morning somebody will figure it out and come around. Should I be like Benny Hill and surround myself in money or some things equally garish? Unused condoms? Should I be well-dressed? A gentleman should always look his best.
The boxes of pills before me silently shout at me, crying out for attention, imploring to be used in one reckless gush. They seem stronger than me.
Scraggly birds outside in a naked tree start making a noise under the dark sky. An angry magpie is arguing with an indignant pigeon. They must have an IQ of what, three? Collectively? What do they have to look forward to? Why do they bother? It’s near to freezing now and icy drops of rain are spitting on them, but they don’t notice or don’t care. They too seem stronger than me.
The boxes clamour for my attention…
The Wanted – All Time Low
A male friend of mine has been nudging me into meeting a female friend of his. We’re all ex-South Africans so there’s an immediate connection that can not be easily ignored. I’ve checked out her Facebook page and she’s attractive enough but a brunette, which isn’t really a show-stopper. I’ve come to accept that my ideal women is unlikely to exist and if she does then the likelihood of finding her is slim. Thus I must be willing to make allowances in exchange for higher order needs being met.
What does bother me slightly about her is her obvious obsession with cats. At least twice an hour all day, every day she posts a picture on Facebook to do with cats. On weekends the tempo escalates to dozens of pictures an hour. All she seems to do is sit on Facebook posting photos, videos and cartoons about cats. A typical example is a of a kitten sitting with it’s back turned to the camera, it is gazing off into the distance and a caption reads, “Solitude enlivens the soul”.
Now this might surprise you, but I decide to call her ‘Cat Lady’ and all before we’ve even met. Is she a stereotypical ‘crazy cat lady’? I owe it to myself to find out.
The disappointment of Musician Gal and Career Girl of last week still rankles, but I have to put that aside and get back on the horse that keeps throwing me off. I am kind of grateful for being able to ‘get back in the saddle’ with my Exgf whenever it suits us both, but I know that our fuckbuddy scene is nearing its use-by date. Besides ultimately a loving relationship is what I want. I am tired of going off to meet women who don’t look like their pictures. I am tired of meeting women whose heads are all messed up. I’m tired of meeting women who don’t have love as their highest priority.
Could Cat Lady be The One?
Well, not likely. I’m starting to wise up about the viability of anyone new I’m meeting. I’ve learned that having a couple of women on the go at the same time has benefits, primarily by way of my demeanour being different than when I have no other woman on the scene. Let me explain.
When I was married I was surprised the first few times when women suggested having an affair with me. As a younger man I was genuinely shocked and disgusted by the proposition. As I aged and my marriage went to sleep from the dangerous cocktail of security and routine, my ego would be flattered when a younger women made her interest clear. I’m proud of never having succumbed to temptation; I’m just not the cheating type. Most women seem to think that all men are cheats, whilst the reality is that one in four do, depending on the culture. Just as many women cheat. In my lifetime (now forty-something years) I have only known four men who cheated; one was my father. I think it was the pain that I saw in my mother’s eyes that made me swear to myself to never cheat.
I got to thinking about why women wanted to have an affair with me, a married man. At first I thought that it was because they were just being naughty. Then I realized that these women all seemed to be of a type, a type that felt like a powerful woman if they were able to woo a man off of another woman. They wanted to derive a false sense of security by being so powerful that they could seduce any man they wanted, while also being a superior woman compared to another. This is a fool’s paradise. Did they not realize that if a man was cheating with them that it was only a matter of time before he cheated on them too?
I also realized that my sporting a wedding ring sent out a message to womankind. It said that I was the committing type – a lot of women find that an attractive character trait in a man. To most women it said that I was spoken for and off-limits, but to a small section of womankind this made me a target, because I was what they wanted.
Within myself I was at peace in my relationship and never intentionally flirted with another woman; there would be no point. My behaviour was such that I now realize just how different it was now that I’m single again…and therein lies one of Life’s Truths as far as I’m concerned: women want what they can’t have.
When married and unavailable, women wanted me. Now single and available, women don’t want me.
Now why is that? Women can’t really discern a change in my circumstance, so what has changed? My behaviour. I see myself differently and therefore behave differently. My behaviour, my aura, my vibe as a singleton is not attracting the kind of woman that I want. I’ve seen this on a micro-scale when I go Passive-Disinterested in a woman during a date. It’s my becoming unavailable that makes them increase their interest and even desire for me. The subliminal message I’m sending out is that I’m the one doing the choosing, I’m the one who needs to be won over. If I have it in my mind that there’s another date, another woman, waiting in the wings, then my behaviour becomes how I was when I was married…and women like it.
I think that I must also come across as non-needy, not creepy, not desperate, not just wanting to bed her, not in a hurry about anything. I must seem ‘solid’, safe, sane and stable, all of which are things that I am, but I’m coming across with this in a better way than if I had no other woman on the horizon.
To this end I’m keeping women moving through my Pipeline, until the day I meet The One. Until then I’ll have the fun that I didn’t have when I was a younger man because I had got too serious at too young an age. I’ve got some living to do.
I friended Cat Lady on Facebook, making mention of our mutual friend whom I surmised had told her about me. We get to swapping messages and the exchanges are positive and friendly. Not one for wanting to engage in what I call email ping-pong I suggest that we meet one lunchtime for a coffee and she agrees.
It’s a sunny Wednesday as I make for the opposite end of London. It’s Krazy Girl’s birthday and I sent her a brief email wishing her a great day, not expecting any kind of response. I’m sitting on a Tube train watching dormitory suburbs go by and people of all types joining and leaving the train. Only one in four Londoners was born in London and more than half are immigrants to this island; it shows on the Tube. London is the diversity of our planet in one city. That diversity has also been reflected in my dating life and so it continues. In a few minutes’ time I’m meeting a South African then in the evening I’m meeting an Irishwoman.
As we had agreed I wait for Cat Lady in a Starbucks at noon; she’s something of a coffee addict and her office where she works as an accountant is just around the corner. I order myself a bad cup of over-priced coffee and make myself comfortable once I’ve texted her that I’ve arrived. It’s not long before she appears in the doorway and spots me.
“Oh good, you’re tall,” she blurts out as she approaches me while I stand up.
“Wow, you’re tall!” is what I say to myself in my head as I see her and realize that she’s almost six foot tall. I am a couple of inches over six foot and today I appreciate every single one of them. The few times in my life that I’ve had a woman tower over me I have found most disconcerting.
Cat Lady’s in proportion and quite shapely with a pleasant, pretty face. Her boobicles are surprisingly large and a good size for my hands I guesstimate. I fancy her and can imagine myself on top of her. Yes, it’s that instinctive and that quick.
We get down to making the usual polite small-talk and from the get-go I’m struck by how girly-ish her voice is. It’s too high-pitched for a woman of her size, but after a while I don’t notice it. I expect her to want to talk about cats, but not a word of it gets said, to my relief.
It’s refreshing to meet someone with a very similar background and what I am struck by most is that I can indulge in a sense of humour with a woman that I haven’t been able to whilst online dating until now. We always have one more sense of humour than the number of languages in which we are fluent and so it is with Cat Lady because I can mix up our mutual languages and play on words. She seems to appreciate this and because of that I decide that she is my intellectual equal.
Lunchtime flies by amid us laughing and swapping anecdotes about our early days in London, cultural nuances, cultural faux pas and obviously our former lives in South Africa. It feels like we can talk all day long and I easily make her laugh. We’re off to a good start in the conversation stakes, but with a sudden jolt she realizes that an hour has passed by. I walk her to her office building, stopping near the front door.
“Would you like to get together another time?” I ask.
“Ja, I’d like that,” she squeaks.
“How about this Sunday?”
“Ja, works for me,” Cat Lady says with a broad smile.
“I’ll text you the details,” I say and give her a polite kiss on a cheek, to which she spins around and walks off into her office. I catch her reflection in a window and I can see that she’s smiling, a happy naughty smile that make her cheeks round and rosy.
As first encounters go, this was a fun experience. There is definitely a little buzz between us, but I think it’s largely because of our mutual heritage. Perhaps there is more to it than that and I’m prepared to find out.
However, before then, in a couple of hours time I’m meeting someone new.
Got to keep that Pipeline moving…
I had seen that photo somewhere before. She was wearing a black tophat, her chin lifted and in profile with an imperious look in her eye. Natural long blonde hair draped her neck and shoulders. It was the end of August and I had come across a dating site that was “skinned” for a famous newspaper. This means it was a single database of profiles with various websites using it, but with a “skin” that was in keeping with each website.
Her narrative spoke of a happy person who had done adventurous things in her life. She claimed to have old-fashioned values and hinted at wanting to be a home-maker. Travel was important to her. The five photos included were all clear and tasteful too. I liked the look of her; she was pretty and, of course, blonde. There wasn’t anything in her profile that I did not like, so I wrote to her at lunchtime, not really expecting a response.
Later that night she wrote back. It was an open and honest reply, far longer and serious than a regular first message from a woman. She said that she hoped to be married and living in the countryside one day. This took me aback a little and made me think about my own position on marriage. She also wanted to see more than one photo of me as my profile only had one. She boldly stated “I love a fit man…no exceptions!”
She knew exactly what she was about and wanted. Nor was she afraid to ask for what she wanted – I liked that. The next morning I uploaded more pictures of me on to my profile and wrote a short message to her. I replied in a non-committal way to her assertion about marriage with: “For the record, I have no objection to marriage. It’s a fine institution. Some of my friends might say I’m just about ready for an institution.”
The next morning, a Saturday, a very lengthy reply was waiting for me. She told me of her passion for travel, her love of food and her yearning to live in the countryside. She told me of her job, her hobbies and sporting interests. She detailed her exercise habits and said that she was going to have an operation on her left knee in October. It all sounded like she was a wonderful match for me. I had been in this position before and knew not to get my hopes up. People in person are almost always very different from their profile and email persona. I did very much want to meet her.
The next day, the Sunday, I wrote a reciprocal response and over the course of the day we exchanged several open and honest messages. She told me that she was a trombone player and practised with a band every week. I decided to call her “Musician Gal” in my mind. We described our perfect days, which were remarkably similar, involving walks in the country, great lunches, bathing and then falling asleep together. We were getting along well via email, so I suggested that we meet and gave her my mobile number.
There was no response and the conversation died. It seemed to me that she was just another woman looking for attention via the safety of a computer screen. At the merest mention of actually meeting in person they baulk and run away, scared like little girls being summoned behind the bike sheds by an older boy. I knew enough not to pursue her, otherwise I would come across as desperate. In nature, if you run at a wild animal, it will run away. So it is with women too. I knew also that the best course of action was inaction tempered with patience. These two concepts do not come naturally to me. A part of me also did not expect to hear from her again.
A few days went by and then on a cool Wednesday night my phone rang. It was Musician Gal, walking over Westminster Bridge after work, seemingly in the mood for a chat and, to my mind, a screening phone call. Her voice was deeper and more strident than what I expected. She oozed confidence and I could tell that she was a high-energy person, but all that might be bravado and nervousness. We chatted about nothing in particular and were like two heavy-weight boxers in a ring, manoeuvring around each other, careful not to show a moment of weakness, but keen to make an impact when the opportunity presented itself.
The small talk was going well and I thought it the right time to suggest that we get together. I had not come across as a weirdo or prat and before I inadvertently did, no matter how subtly, I just had to make my move. She thought about it for a split second and said “How about tomorrow night?” I like a decisive woman. Dithering and agonising over getting together is such a turn-off. The point of internet dating is the “dating” bit, is it not?
Could she be The One?
Thursday 5th September and I’m standing outside my regular spot outside Tower Hill Tube station. I swear that some of the tourists looked familiar, I’ve been there that often in the past year. It was a pleasant evening with a light breeze clearing the air. Summer was leaving us and I knew this night might be one of the last for al fresco dining. I had my mind set on the Dickens Inn yet again. Why not? It’s familiar ground and a great setting. All the other girls were impressed by it. It certainly was a safe bet.
Several women who looked like Musician Gal had arrived, loitered, fiddled with their phones, checked their look and then met up with someone. There were a couple of women who looked like older versions of her and I so hoped that they weren’t her. I just don’t have a poker face and the disappointment on my face would be noticeable if my date’s appearance was not to my liking.
You know that feeling? That strange inexplicable feeling that someone was looking at you? I looked instinctively to my left and locked eyes with Musician Gal. My inner dialogue couldn’t help but blurt out “Oh, YES!”. She was lovelier than I imagined. Her pictures didn’t do her justice. Musician Gal WAS pretty and obviously a natural blonde, there were no hints of dark roots. Her profile did state that she was 5 foot 4 inches tall, but I was surprised by the difference in our height as she was shorter than I had imagined. Her body was neither slim nor over-weight and there was a hint of boobage. She was elegantly dressed in a cream-coloured ladies suit with a small handbag draped over one shoulder and was carrying what looked like a laptop bag in one hand.
She was coming out of the Tube station and was leaning on a hand railing with her free hand in an attempt to help herself up the few stairs before her. Our eyes unlocked and she looked down at the stairs in front of her. I could see obvious discomfort flash momentarily across her face as she pulled herself up. Her knee condition was pretty serious.
I traipsed down the few stairs in front of me to meet her. My heart was pounding and I was excited in the right way. Could she finally be The One? She certainly looked the part. I think we all carry a vague impression in our minds eye of what kind of person we find physically attractive. Almost all of us have a “type” that we are irresistibly drawn to. Musician Gal was my “type”. I could quite easily imagine how she felt under me, as I splayed her legs open with my thighs and rested my weight on my elbows, kissing passionately as I slid my penis in to her moist pussy. Physical attraction is not a choice, it’s a reaction that we can’t control. Either it’s there or it isn’t. For the first time in a long time, since Krazy Gal in March in fact, it was there – it was before me.
We met on the landing and I uttered something before kissing her on each cheek. She was smiling. It was a genuine happy smile. I took that to mean that she liked the look of me too. Presumptuous perhaps, but I’ve been on a enough dates to know. I looked at the long steps below us that lead to St Katharines Dock and suggested that we follow the road that lead to Tower Bridge as that had a gentle decline. Before I could offer to do the gentlemanly thing by way of offering her my arm, she grabbed it and leaned gently on it. This was out of necessity as it was obvious to me that her knee was causing her pain.
Arm in arm we hobbled past the numerous sets of traffic lights when it was safe to cross the road. To my relief, light and pleasant conversation came easily to us, but she seemed more nervous than me. We arrived at a set of stairs on the approach to Tower Bridge that lead down to the restaurants on the outskirts of St Katharine Docks. Musician Gal seemed apprehensive, so I offered to carry her down. Naturally she guffawed and declined my offer, but I was dead serious. Instead she suggested that I walk in front of her and one step down so that she could lean on my shoulder. Like that we hobbled down about 20 stairs.
I mentioned to Musician Gal that I had the Dickens Inn in mind as where we would eat. Her neck stiffened and her face showed disapproval. I couldn’t help think that her reaction was borne out of some past experience there. A really bad date or a favourite haunt of an ex-boyfriend perhaps? I wasn’t going to ask. A French-themed restaurant chain had a branch to the right of where we were standing. She suggested that we stopped off there for pre-dinner drinks. I got the impression that she didn’t want to walk further than was necessary.
The greeter at the front of the restaurant took us to a table outside and away from the noisy crowds that were starting to form in the area. There were several other eateries with outside space occupied by people standing drinking or sitting and eating. A quiet space was at a premium and I would have preferred the much quieter Dickens Inn. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to make a fuss and decided that when the noise level became a problem that we would move on for food elsewhere.
I noticed that the greeter had a South African accent, so I started a quick conversation in Afrikaans with her. She was astounded to have a random punter suddenly speaking her native tongue. Musician Gal was smiling and bemused. I did this deliberately not because it is polite to engage in conversation with a fellow ex-South African, but I wanted to see how my date dealt with the situation. Would she be put out that I was talking to another woman in a language that she did not understand? Would she deal with it in good grace? It was the latter.
Musician Gal selected an Australian voignier and her knowledge of wine impressed me. In fact, everything about her had so far impressed me. She was attractive, well groomed, positive, lively, confident, well mannered and easy to talk to. She seemed very interested in me, which I deduced from how she spoke to me, how she looked at me and what she asked about. Just her asking questions in itself was a very good sign. We were off to a good start.
The conversation flowed easily and involved the usual first date topics of conversation. Safe topics such as work history, travel experiences, favourite films and books, memorable pop concerts and living in London all showed a lot of common ground and indicated no obvious or serious issues that could be deal-breakers. Drinking chilled wine during sunset was going down well and we became a little tactile, with little touches on forearms to emphasize a point, or her playfully slapping me on the shoulder if I said something cheeky. The intensity of this first date was increasing at a sure and steady pace; it was all heading in the right direction. We obviously fancied each other and were getting along well.
Stars in the skies were coming on and the bottle of wine had evaporated. It was only when a gregarious waiter came along did we realise we needed some food. After briefly agreeing to stay where we were for dinner, we quickly scanned the menu and ordered what we felt like. A noticeable breeze had picked up and we were exposed to it, so we moved around a corner to a wind-sheltered area that was more secluded, quieter and private. By now I found myself wondering what it would be like to kiss her.
She was talkative and lively and was one of the most confident women I had ever met. I liked all that. I find it hard work to always be the one to make conversation and to decide things. I wanted an equal partner who wasn’t afraid to make decisions, nor reluctant to say what she wanted.
The conversation started to turn serious when she told me that she had ADHD. My godson has the condition so I knew a little about it. It explained her high-energy, upbeat demeanour. She told me how her brain worked differently to other people’s. She told me about her learning difficulties and her hyperactive nature. I did pause for a moment to consider whether I could live with a hyperactive person. I’m inclined to say “not”, but I didn’t say that to her. I had meant it when I wrote on my profile that “I’m not perfect, nor do I expect my other half to be perfect. What I do expect is that when we’re together, it all feels perfect.” However, was this something I could put up with in a relationship? I would have to think about it…more information required.
Our starters arrived and we were both hungrier than we realized. Conversation died down as we ate, but we did maintain eye contact. ADHD or not, I knew that I wanted to kiss her that night. We took turns feeding each other morsels from our respective plates. We had both chosen well, the food was good. Uncharacteristically I ordered another bottle of the same wine that we had just finished. I say it’s uncharacteristic for me because I normally don’t drink so much on a date, but that night felt different. It felt like we could spend the entire night there, talking, laughing, occasionally touching, just enjoying each other’s company.
After a few more minutes of banter, our main courses arrived. Like a couple who had seen many Summers together, we shared what we had on our plates. We were that comfortable with each other within hours of first meeting. What happens when two grounded, confident people meet? I was finding out.
Once we had finished our dinner under the stars, the conversation became more subdued, vulnerable even. I judged her demeanour to be calm, relaxed and her natural defences for a first date were down. I couldn’t resist the urge and leaned over, cupped her head with my left hand and gently pulled her towards me. There was a moment’s resistance and hesitation on her part, surprise largely I would guess, but she came forward and our lips locked. Hers were soft, moist…and surprisingly muscular. She was a trombone player after all and it showed.
I love that moment when I have a first kiss with a woman. Everything around me disappears. Even sound seems to stand still. It’s as if the entire planet has frozen, awaiting the outcome. An instant hush takes hold and time stands still, just for us.
I had read somewhere to not be the first to use the tongue when kissing, but instead wait for the woman to do so. I ignored this advice and gave a gentle prod with my tongue against her bottom teeth, a little teaser. The response was instantaneous and powerful. Her tongue came to life in the forefront of my mouth and it was strong…that trombone again. It brought back memories of the time my mouth was raped by the Baltic Babe.
We parted and she was smiling, half pleased, half surprised. I think she liked my act of confidence. We sipped our wine and made some small talk, not referring to what had just happened. Then I had a naughty idea. I took a mouthful of wine, but didn’t swallow. I leaned over to her again, no hand involved this time and she came forward willingly, oblivious as to what I was about to do. Again our lips locked, but after a few seconds I slowly widened my mouth and let a little wine slip out into her mouth. She was surprised, making a muffled sound, but didn’t disengage. I slowly released the rest of the wine in my mouth in to hers and she seemed to accept it eagerly. I could feel her body rising in response to what was happening to her. Was I turning her on?
We sat back, both smiling. I think she was feeling a gamut of emotions. I’m sure that she was having fun; I was. The South African greeter arrived to see if we wanted dessert. I looked around to see that the hordes of people had struck their bargains for the night and had left. The wind might have blown some of them away, but a few die-hard couples were stilling resolutely chatting away, scattered in the exposed open areas. Musician Gal decided to excuse herself and visit the ladies room. I chatted with my compatriot until my date returned who also joined in the conversation, which switched into English. I was paying attention to how she spoke to the greeter. I had learned to observe how a date treats someone who is powerless before them. It’s an indicator as to how they will behave towards you in a relationship. Musician Gal was polite, respectful and affable.
We declined dessert and the greeter left us. It was getting late and the wine needed finishing. We imbibed and she leaned over to me. I suspected what was coming and went along with it. We kissed and she poured wine in to my mouth. The sincerest form of flattery is imitation, is it not?
Sitting back, laughing, I asked a waiter for the bill. I knew it was time to bring the evening to an end. The night could have lasted forever as far as I was concerned, but I knew then already that there would be other nights such as this with my Musician Gal. Perhaps even many.
I walked her to the Docklands Light Railway station at Tower Gateway. We stood at the foot of the escalators, kissing freely, without inhibition and passionately. She had a thing about being hugged. She wanted to fit snugly in a man’s chest as he held her. It was time for her acid test. I wrapped my arms around her back and held her close against me. She fitted me well. It all felt good and natural.
Not wanting the evening to end there, like that, I escorted her to her train that was waiting. I stood on the platform and she inside the doorway of the carriage. I don’t remember how it came to be, but I found myself pulling her blouse towards me with my index finger and peering down in to her cleavage. I think having had a bottle of wine each was starting to have an effect. The train started making a beeping noise, so we kissed one last time and said good night.
I walked to trusty Tower Hill Tube station in a wonderful frame of mind accompanied by a fuzzy feeling all over my body. No, it wasn’t the alcohol, it was the cumulative effect of the entire night. It was one of my best dates ever and I really liked Musician Gal. I could see the potential of a relationship with her. It was a scary and exciting notion, all in one. Had I finally found what I had been looking for for so long?
The next day she sent me a text message which simply read:
“I did think we could talk for hours which was a really good sign! 🙂 X”
I responded elaborately with:
“Agreed. Apparently I’m a 98% match for you. 🙂 What a dreary day. If we were many months in to a relationship and it was a weekend…I’d put Top Gun on my big telly, we’d snuggle under a blankie and feed each other popcorn, occasionally sipping fine wine…my bodyheat warming you. Decadent, huh?”
“Many months?! Weeks! X”
The coming weekend Musician Gal was going to New York and only returning on Tuesday but suggested that we meet that night. Career Girl was returning on Monday and she has asked if we could go out together that night. There was also someone new who I would be meeting on Tuesday. Before all that happened the Sunday was my birthday and I had lustful plans of revenge for my Exgf.
Foreigner – Waiting For A Girl Like You
I hate my job! I detest it, it’s the bane of my existence. It pays bloody well. Nevertheless my working days are a bitter disappointment to me, they’re soul-destroying. I would liken my job to a roll of toilet paper in that I’m constantly taking shit from some arsehole. If that’s not happening, when its quieter and I’m on my own and nobody can hear or see, then it feels like I’m slowly choking on someone else’s vomit. When I sit in meetings I imagine rubbing their faces in their own bullshit, making these erect egos drink piss from each other’s mouths, making them stab a pen in each other’s eyes when they tell a lie. An eye for an eye might make the world blind, but it would be fun to watch it happen. Yes, you guessed it, I work in IT (Intelligent Twats), but I’m not a programmer.
Finding myself constantly at odds with ego-maniacal eggheads, educated fools and clever idiots is not how I want to spend my days. My role involves facts and figures, but I’m more of a words and ideas person. I’m much happier debating where a comma should go in a sentence rather then where it should go in a line of computer code.
I know exactly how this guy feels.
Like any young person I was in a hurry to grow up, but this shit is not what I was expecting. I expected that as I got older that life would get easier because I knew more; I was wrong. I fell into my line of work by accident, initially enticed then enslaved by the money. Twenty years of trying to break free has not gone well. Always the optimist I have gone off to work with the best of intentions, then cretins happen. Sucking hard on my bank account has compensated for my career’s lack of using lubricant.
I was recruited by my current employers with the plan of getting me trained up and then deployed to America as their part of a joint venture. A few months into my training the deal fell through and my superiors didn’t know what to do with me. A stream of endless helping-out assignments ensues and I start to feel like a bag of weed at a frat party during a police raid.
Eventually I’m given a team to lead during a pointless make-work exercise that keeps a bunch of misfits, oddballs and delinquents busy so that they didn’t impact on people doing useful work. I was told that my personality was ideal to keep them in check. Charming.
I soon find out that trying to understand my staff is like trying to smell the colour five. At times I feel like a kindergarten teacher while my managers weren’t managing, they were barely coping. These men of straw were all playing the ‘LinkedIn Game’ whereby decisions were made on the basis of how it would look on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, not on the basis of commercial sense or a business case. My respect for them hit rock bottom and started digging it’s way to China when my line-manager starts asking for and acting on my advice for his problems at work.
One of my other bosses and I have lunch in the corporate canteen every Friday. As we’ve gotten to know each other he has become increasingly interested in hearing about my dating adventures. We’ve got to the point now where he doesn’t want to discuss work and just presses me for details of my shenanigans. He married his teenage sweetheart when they were at university together; it’s been over twenty years. I’m pretty sure that after talking to me he goes and has a wank in the toilets next to the chief executive’s office.
I want more from life than getting up, surviving, going back to bed and living for the weekend. Many a time sitting in gridlock traffic I look around, look at all of us in our shiny cars and wonder if there’s a better way to live. When I leave for work in the mornings I see Little Birds parking their cars outside my apartment complex before they spend an hour on a train. The Little Birds give up life in exchange for the money to pay for his car that sits outside my home for longer than outside his own home and to pay for the train fare. The Little Bird spends more time at his desk than being awake in the dwelling that is in effect just a personalised hotel suite. If he’s been a good obedient rule-abiding Little Bird he can borrow money to buy his nest that will become his shortly before he dies. Born free and swamped in debt is not for me.
If Charles Dickens were to see a modern office setting, he would recognize his dark satanic mills, except that there is now better lighting and everyone is a typist. My worth is so much more than just knowing in what sequence to press a button on a keyboard.
In Biblical times slaves were used to construct ancient wonders. Nowadays share-holding, bonus-incentivised, politically enfranchised employees who can find themselves unemployed at short notice are used to build modern wonders. What’s really changed? Our perception of ourselves in that we think we’re free and have power. We’re not and we don’t. We have the illusion of freedom and the responsibility of power, but not the authority.
I’m becoming increasingly uneasy living in this so-called ‘modern society’. I don’t watch the news because every story is either a crisis or a shock. Television series have as their lead character the sort of person our parents warned us about. The rich pay no tax and if they fuck up, taxpayers bail them out in exchange for being told that sacrifices need to be made…by the taxpayer! Sacrifices? Okay, let’s burn the rich as offerings instead of our tax money. Watch how quickly things improve then. I don’t see how throwing a bucket of ice-water over my head is going to make things better.
In the iconic movie The Matrix, there’s a scene in which Neo is presented with a choice between swallowing a red pill and seeing the world as it really is, or swallowing a blue pill and remaining blissfully ignorant. Somewhere along the line in the shit-storm that is my life I inadvertently swallowed the red pill. I see things as they are, for what they are and I don’t always like what I see. I understand things in a way that few others do, but am at a loss to suggest or enact a better option. The emperor has no clothes and I can’t stop staring despite not wanting to.
The Matrix – Blue Pill or Red Pill scene
The recent weeks of bad dates along with my finding familiar faces on SugarDaddy and MissTravel has lowered my opinion of women. I’m now seeing women in a very negative way to the extent that I doubt that The One exists. This almost insane need to want to share my life with someone who loves me as much as I love her is starting to feel like a fool’s errand. All my life I’ve played the game, tried my hardest to live up to my ex-wife’s expectations, put my Exgf’s needs as my highest priority, been the guy to rely on at work, always assumed the best of every woman I met on a date…and where has it got me?
My working life has become a burden and now a health hazard. I’m waking up before the dreaded alarm goes off and what distracts me from thinking about something shit I know I have to do that day is an icy tingling feeling in my left arm. What the hell for? I’m sorry, but I have no burning desire to make already rich people even richer. I’ve never been the type of person to buy things I don’t need, at prices I can’t afford, to impress people I can’t stand. I don’t need a badge or a label to feel better about myself. All I really need is the love of a good woman.
That’s all I need…and I only want one thing.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I am at my happiest when I’m recording what is in my mind but life has always got in the way. That and other people’s expectations plus my wanderlust. I feel it’s time for me to be true to myself and do what I love. I have experiences and insights that I believe others will enjoy reading. Will people read my story about trying to find The One, about modern dating, about my lessons learned? I feel an overwhelming need to sit down and write, day in and day out, writing to remember and writing to forget. I want to write not because I might like it or because I want to, but because I need to.
It’s Monday morning after the weekend date with The Bitch, angry sex with my Exgf and the disappointing phonecall with Baltic Babe. I’m now fed up with women, sick and tired of being sick and tired about my job, becoming increasingly disillusioned with “society”. So much of the office politics of late has been clashing with my trust issues; I now don’t trust anybody I work with.
I’m at a stand-up meeting with everybody on the project. My staff start acting up and my superiors kowtow to them over an issue that badly effects my position on “the team” but I say nothing. I’m not going into the detail, but it was enough for me to walk over to my desk, quietly pack up my stuff and walk out without saying a word to anybody.
This is not the life I want or deserve.
I don’t know where I’m going or what I’m going to do, but I’m breaking free…
Ultra Naté – Free
She must be Caucasian with blonde or light brown hair, shorter than me, preferably fitting snugly under my chin, average or slender frame, petite is nice too, but not too short so that we look odd together. A couple of years older but no more than 10 years younger; we wouldn’t have similar tastes in much otherwise methinks.
She should be a non-smoker and abhor drug use. She should have no tattoos. She should preferably have large breasts; c-cup minimum.
She should be physically fit and not a slob. It would be helpful if we had a similar energy level, so that she isn’t hyper-active or manic-depressant compared to me.
I find her physically attractive and the feeling should be mutual. When I look at her I should involuntarily exhale and something inside should go soft.
We should live within an hour’s travelling time from each other. We should have similar dietary requirements, i.e. no vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians or belly-button fluff eaters.
We should ideally be sexually compatible. A low libido can be a problem as can her being a prude. Sex should be important and fun to her, but she shouldn’t have any weird fetish or perversion.
She shouldn’t be submissive or a tyrant, just strong enough to have her own ideas but not selfish in any way and always having to have her way. She should be smart enough to know how to deal with me, but pure of spirit and good in heart not to take advantage of me, deceive me or take me for granted.
She shouldn’t have or want children.
She should be emotionally healthy and not hung up on previous boyfriends or be damaged by failed relationships. She should know what she wants from life and be a finished article.
Somebody sane, not prone to extremes in negative behaviour and should be down-to-earth.
I’m agnostic but wouldn’t have a problem if she observed a faith as long as she didn’t expect me to join in.
She should be intelligent, but not a nerd.
She should be a good cook and be house-proud, but not be OCD.
She should be effortlessly feminine and not a tom-boy who can drink me under the table. She should dress well, but not be a slavish fashionista. She should be refined and elegant; a true lady.
She should have a way about her that I find beguiling.
We should have chemistry and I should secretly be in awe of her. We will always have lots to talk about. We should have similar interests, such as history, reading, sport (hopefully a rugby fan) and travel. Differing tastes in movies and music is not a bad thing so that we broaden each other’s horizons.
She should support me or back me up, no matter what, even if afterwards she privately and tactfully told me that she thought I was in the wrong.
We should want the same things from the future and have the life experience to find a mechanism that works for us when it comes to dealing with inevitable differences.
We should work well together, complimenting each other’s strengths and weaknesses – true partners; infinitely better for being together.
She should have her own money and not be looking to live off of me.
I should feel proud to have her by my side at all times; she should never embarrass me or herself in public.
I should be prepared to die to protect her. She should invoke that strength of passion within me. Having her in my life should give it a greater purpose than the pointless, selfish existence I have led so far. That said, I have an expensively won freedom that I am enjoying, so I won’t be trading it in easily or cheaply – she has to be worth it.
I’m not interested in a short-term relationship. I want to find “Her”, to cherish her, please her, protect her, love her, for the rest of my life. I want her to be able to believe in me in the same way that I believe in her.
A vitally important factor is that we have a similar sense of humour. I believe that a couple that laughs together, stays together.
It is the “not wanting children” bit that is a particularly big challenge for me. Roughly speaking, 90% of women want children and 5% are lesbian. Of the remaining 5%, half are smokers. Of this remaining 2.5%, I’m only interested in the blondes. Then I’m only interested in ladies that I find attractive AND we have chemistry. Then add in all my criteria above.
Too prescriptive and restrictive? Should I give up now?
Of course I know that the likelihood of such a woman existing is small and the chances of finding her even smaller. The beautiful truth is that all these factors are up for negotiation or compromise if that all-important “chemistry” is there.
That hard-to-define feeling, a knowing, that when I look at her and merely think of her, that something inside me stirs and feels at one with her. I want that feeling of knowing that I would happily forsake all other women because I have her in my life. I would be happy to accept that I would spend the remainder of my ever-dwindling days and nights with her.
Luckily I live just outside London, a large city where half the women aged 25 to 45 are single. London is a city of lonely, single people, characterised by hard-working professionals who crave having someone to make life special.
You’ll be surprised by how many dates I’ve been on in my quest to find Her…