You're saying it, I'm saying it: what the f*ck am I meeting S again for?
A brief flick through earlier posts delivers the reminder that he is a charming womaniser who is 20 years too old and has previously made it painfully clear he doesn't want a relationship with me. To make it worse, I have – in true pushover style – agreed to go for dinner at a Japanese restaurant when I can’t abide Japanese food.
Unfortunately S is also a fantastic kisser, kindly, entertaining, easy company and I fancy the pants off him despite the grandad zip-up cardigans and being, essentially, an only slightly hotter version of Sacha from Holby City (a clear sign that I have got it either "really bad", or just "really wrong").
Thus I regress to age 16, step into my semi-gothic charleston outfit, and find myself supping half a barely swallowable blackthorn in a dingy pub in Camden, having arrived early and nervous.
Dinner, S style, consisted of him ordering a banquet of a thousand starters (“to share” – yeah right!) as well as a couple of mains. Some of them were surprisingly edible (not the rubbery fluorescent seaweed which made a gallant effort to resist peristalsis), and the game of blind-testing beers helped me with some of the more inedible items – e.g. gelatinous shitake mushrooms - the clue’s in the first syllable. We also sampled a Colico - "Japan's favourite drink" – but certainly not mine (something akin to an effervescent aspirin).
However, greater culinary problems were to be in store when I realised the crunchy texture of my aubergine was not some crystal of carelessly strewn gravel, but actually my once-again-broken false tooth. Cursing myself for having allowed S to sit "gap-side", I attempted to surreptitiously regurgitate the offending piece of porcelain and its plastic bridge into my napkin and deposit the articles into my handbag (for a fifth super-gluing on the morrow). This manouvre was somewhat impeded by the plate being securely wedged between the roof of my mouth and a large mouthful of semi-masticated soy-flavoured sludge. I battled on. The only consolation of this grotesquery was that S’s dislike of my new haircut was no longer of any consequence!
Should I be generous and believe that S graciously chose not to notice this ineptly executed and – frankly – disgusting performance? Or, in the light of previous posts, would it be more accurate to record that he was too engrossed in the morsels between his chopsticks to notice? You reader, may decide.
Either way (or perhaps it was pity), he unleashed the charm. Sample: “You can have any man you want”; “You’re really one of the smartest women I've met” (clearly a lie – he lectures at one of the world’s top universities) and – in an infinitely more self-sacrificing gesture – gave me the last lychee.
Over jasmine tea he laid his hand on my arm. Over double cointreaus he took my hand and started playing with my fingers. Although this time I had come fully prepared with my week’s wages in cash, he generously treated me to dinner (for finishing my MA, he said).
“I was hoping you'd be wearing a basque,” he said, a little coyly. Yes, I thought, then I’d really look like your prostitute. “You’ll need to meet me on a Friday instead then.” I deadpanned.
We got up to leave. He pulled me forward for a kiss as I was heading to the bathroom. Then mumbled a sweet nothing into my ear. What were these beautiful words of wooing? Let me record it verbatim: “Those glasses really do absolutely nothing for you.”
In the cold light of the bathroom, I wondered had he also reflected that the newly-acquired Mr Greedy-style potbelly did similarly little for him?
I decided to score points instead through a virtuoso display of crossword-completion on the tube, and treated him to a bag of maltesers on our way back to his.
|Oh my! What a lot of toothbrushes you have!|
After furnishing me with my own new toothbrush (later I wished I’d checked to see how many he had – I have visions of a full pirate’s chest).
In bed, I took his glasses off. “I'll put them back on thanks!” My '20s haircut was even "growing on" him.
Well, I barely slept a wink (two causes both beginning with 'S', the second being "snoring"), but he made reparation by making me comfortable on his shoulder, bringing tea and biscuits in bed, offering to iron my shirt for work, and providing me with a mini-packed lunch.
Feeling confident I later texted: Fancy an encore?
His reply: Yes please, followed by a standing ovation!