Friendless and single isn’t something anyone wants to be.
I did have friends but after a year of sitting in their lounge rooms, drinking wine and bemoaning the lack of a partner I decided it was time to venture out into the world of possibility.
Enter Meetup. I went from having an empty calendar to a week full of social activities, bands, dining, dancing, dress up parties. A veritable feast of great things to do. Joined The Happy Hour Commandos and my Friday night went from a lonesome drunk vigil in front of the TV to an opportunity to meet men – over 150 people would be attending.
The Happy Hour Commandos – promising good times, good drinks, good company, good prices. Enjoy the thrill of seeking out the best happy Hours at the best establishments with the best company. This week the Spice Market – a groovy inner city bar taking you to the Souks of Turkey.
Straight from work I venture into this exotic venue, I’m excited and nervous and hoping for magic. Right – time to chat, I approach some people, say hello, start the difficult task of small talk, a task I am ill suited too. Move on, try again. Shake hands, say names, decline drinks, mention the weather, what do you do for a living, where do you work – the night travels on, more people arrive, groups expand and shrink, I’m ignored or included in conversations, nothing is certain when you venture out alone.
I meet Daniel.
Daniel is one of the tallest Spaniards I’ve ever met, maybe one of the tallest men actually. Quite handsome and surprisingly I am conscious that he has a clear view of the top of my head – no hiding the grey hair. I make jokes and try to understand what hes saying. His accent thick and his voice high pitched – I miss so much of the conversation but I laugh and joke and play.
Without a hint of slime, his arm slips around my shoulder and mine around his waist. This casual proximity is promisingly comfortable. Its reassuring to have his arm around me – almost like a safety vest. We stand comfortably together watching the crowd.
I see him again a fortnight later at another Happy Hour Commandos event and once again we finish the night with arms resting casually on each other. He kisses me goodnight – its nice.
We catch up for dinner at the deceptively named Naked for Satan – a tapas bar in Collingwood. Its been years since I’ve been on a date or felt a mans touch on my naked skin.
I miss the warning signs, the alarm bells, the wake up call. (Leaving the Tapas bill unpaid, I only realise hes headed to the upstairs bar when he fails to return from the bathroom after 15 minutes. I pay the bill – but I hate the less than chivalrous way he’s handled the who pays issue and that he’s just left me sitting on my own. He returns, we leave, I don’t tackle the rudeness – it will take me a long time to learn how to address that type of disrespect.)
We head over to his place – a two bedroom time-warped 70’s flat in a rundown busted part of Coburg. His kitchen overtaken by the Atlas Stand Alone Gym Set, the sullen garbage bin overflowing with takeaway containers, the sink groaning under the weight of unwashed dishes. Underpants lie casually on the back of chairs. I just close me eyes to it all – my standards of hygiene aren’t for everyone!!
We know we are heading towards bed – its been years for me and I am so keen to feel the touch of a man. What I wasn’t prepared for was the failure of my body to function – after years of no intercourse, no intercourse was possible – or should I say pleasurable.
Whilst he didn’t intend to hurt me – the whole process was massively painful and disappointing for us both.
For me it was obvious that I wouldn’t be seeing him again but more importantly I had better see a Doctor about what was left of my capacity to function as a sexual being, my fear that I was doomed to a life of celibacy too horrible to contemplate. I use to love sex.
Post script – I saw Daniel several months later at a Meetup, he didn’t remember my name.