Tag Archives: drunk

The Reluctant Casanova

Stats: 31, 6’, brown/light brown, London
Where: Soho, W1
Pre-date rating: 8/10

I lean forward on my hand and do my best ‘interested’ face as tonight’s contestant, dark-eyed, floppy-haired Matthew, regales me with stories about his ex-boyfriends. Well, I say, boyfriends – he’s dispatched them with a fervour and speed usually reserved for delousing a nit-ridden child.

“I just can’t seem to tie myself down to one person,” he drawls, his eyes flicking to all corners of the room – no doubt scoping it out for any other, sexier men, just in case this date doesn’t turn out well.

“What are you doing on a dating site, then?” I ask, much less confrontationally than he deserves.

“Well,” he shrugs, “I suppose at the time I really do think I want to settle down, but when I get into it, it doesn’t really happen that way.”

I’m puzzled, but more intrigued. Why would a potential date try to present themselves as such an emotional fuck-up on the first meeting? Is it a misguided attempt at a boast? And yet I can’t help myself; I have to find out more.

“And so how does it happen?” I find myself blurting.

He raises an eyebrow in what appears to be a well-practised move. My buttocks clench. “Same thing happens every time,” he says. “They fall in love, I get bored, and I break their heart. Every. Fucking. Time.” His eyes rest on me as he finishes his little speech.

I laugh out loud at his conceit. I think I’m a bit drunk already. He certainly is. “And pray, oh mighty one,” I mock, “just how many hearts have you broken?”

He takes me through the trail of destruction he’s left behind him, and I imagine his bedroom wall lined with pelts of his previous conquests – a tattooed arm here, an ironic haircut there.

I can believe the prospect of never having his mouth on you again would lead to much weeping and wailing. He’s so pretty, so charming (at first), that you’d be reluctant to let him go. But let him go you must, before he drives you totally mad.

He may think he’s ruining their lives when he ditches his latest fling, but in the long run he’s doing them a favour – being in love with such a heartless work of art would be an expressway to insanity.

I have already decided I’ll sleep with him, purely to see what it would be like but I almost don’t want to give him the victory he so obviously expects.

Although I really want to break the mould and be the fly in his ointment, I’d only be taking a scalpel to own nose if I were to go home alone. Do I care whether he does a celebratory fist pump as I leave, his run of bedpost notches unchallenged?

While I’m not eager to further feed his monstrous ego – it’s already morbidly obese – sometimes itches should be scratched. I prefer my disappointments first thing in the morning, with a whole day ahead to ruminate before shrugging them off.

Not for me a frustrated bus ride home on a rainy night, with a cold duvet at the end of it and a sleepless night of “what if” beyond.

“OK,” I say. “I’ve heard enough. Let’s go.”

We leave the pub, but I don’t let him hold my hand. I’m fairly certain my heart, encased as it is in my iron will, is sure to remain intact. But I may as well let him have a crack at it. He’s got one night only.

Post-date rating: 7.5/10
Date in one sentence: This damaged Casanova comes up against the hardest heart to break.

– A truncated version of this post originally appeared in my monthly column in Gay Times.


The Boyfriend

As you schlep your way through single life, you find yourself arriving at a lot of parties alone. At first, you try to avoid it, and make plans with friends to meet up at least 10 minutes beforehand at a nearby tube station or off-licence so you don’t have the awkwardness of standing on the doorstep by yourself, eagerly pressing the buzzer. After a while, though, you care less and less; you become more accustomed to your status as a solitary animal. Insecurities at no longer being one of two fade like old newsprint.

I am at a party full of people I don’t really know. Somebody I used to work with has invited me, and while there are former colleagues dotted about here and there and the odd face I recognise, I have never taken my lead from Ally McBeal when it comes to work relationships – I prefer to keep them strictly professional, save for the odd foray into disastrously going on a date with one. So I am alone for more than a few moments, hovering awkwardly in doorways like a vague scent, not quite brave enough to edge myself into strangers’ conversations, but not quite willing to give in and go home by myself. There is gin here, and champagne. And I am thirsty.

I slink over to the kitchen and scour the worktops for a tipple. I settle on a big bottle of Plymouth gin and glug as much as decency will allow into the nearest clean glass, before peeking around the kitchen, meerkat-like, on the search for tonic. I soon see a bottle of it; it is attached to the hand of God, or his nearest approximation on Earth. A man made from the 10 hottest Hollywood leading men melted down into one is sloshing tonic into two glasses. Seeing that I want the tonic too, he smiles and waves the bottle at me, holding out his hand for my glass. He takes it from me and holds it up in mock horror.

“Wow, I like your measures,” he says, with a wicked grin. “I wish you were coming to my house on Christmas Day – my mum usually controls the gin and she does so religiously!”
I am instantly at ease with this delectable deity and so move a little closer, shuffling along the worktop to stand next to him.
“If everyone can still see straight by the Queen’s speech, I obviously haven’t been doing my job right,” I chuckle, and we clink glasses. He looks over his shoulder but obviously doesn’t find what he’s looking for and so we talk a little more and fix another round of drinks with equally dangerous measures. His name is Rod (“short for Roderick, NOT Rodney, I swear”) and he designs T-shirts in between studying architecture. I’ve no idea how old he is, but on the surface of it he is an embryo to my fossil.

Just as we are laughing a bit too loudly over a really stupid, unfunny joke, a taller, slightly older guy comes along and snakes his arm between us. He’s not moving in for a bear hug, however; he’s come to retrieve his drink. The second G&T Rod was making – it feels like hours ago, and the gin now looks stagnant – was for him.
He doesn’t stop to chat, just gives me a cursory glance that could wilt lilies, snatches his drink and nods to Rod. “I’ll be through there, babe,” he spits, before turning on his heels and gliding away into the next room where something dangerously hip is booming out of the speakers.

“That’s my other half,” Rod explains, almost dolefully.
I nod and smile weakly.
“What about you? Who are you here with? Boyfriend? Uh, girlfriend?”
I reply with a hollow laugh. “Errr, no, I have no other half. I am, um, my whole.”
His eyes crinkle in confusion.  “You’re a hole?” It really was a big gin.
“No, no, I’m two halves of the same whole. You see?” I’m floundering. “Shit. No. I mean I’m single. There is no boyfriend. Not yet. Not now.”
He grins. I see him consider me. “Ah, okay. Cool.”

We continue chatting for a while and are just finishing another round of lethal gins when I see Rod’s boyfriend coming into view. I ask good-naturedly if he too would like a drink and he says yes, his eyes slits. Rod then excuses himself to go to the loo. I hand the boyfriend his G&T and he sips it. I can tell it’s too strong for him, but he is desperately trying not to show it in his face. The eyes, as narrowed in distaste as they are, don’t lie, though.

He asks my name and when I tell him, he repeats it a couple of times, in sibilant monotone. He then asks where my boyfriend is, and when I reply that I don’t have one, he fixes me with a chilly “I see”, and looks me up and down, eyes suddenly widening in a failed attempt at breeziness. He leans in and touches my arm.
“It can be so hard to meet someone these days,” he smiles, sourly. “Everyone our age seems to be paired up, I suppose. Well, I say our age – how old are you?”
I laugh at the blatant barb and tell him.
“Well,” he gushes in faux-sincerity, “I don’t think you look it at all. And I’m sure the right guy is out there for you somewhere.” But not here, his eyes say. Not my guy. Subtle.

At that moment, Rod comes back. The boyfriend gives me one last withering look and turns to Rod. “Shall we go soon?”
Rod shrugs, disappointed. “Well, I suppose so, if you want.”
“I do,” says the boyfriend. “I’ll just go for one more quick boogie. You coming?”
“Yeah,” says Rod. “I’ll get us another drink for the road.”
“Fine,” replies his paramour, dismissively waving to me as he walks away. “Bye, then,” he says, giving my name one more swirl around his tongue like it’s a particularly nasty-tasting mouthwash. And he’s gone.

Rod turns to me. “Another?”
I nod. As he pours, he keeps looking furtively at me. Like he wants to say something, but obviously doesn’t feel he can. I’m not quite drunk enough to drag it out of him, so I just gaze back at him and smile like a simpleton. Until…

“It’s been great to talk to you,” he stutters. “We should exchange numbers or something. And, uh, meet up or something.”
I start to tremble a bit. My slight inebriation gifts me a brief frankness: “And will you be bringing your boyfriend along?”
Rod flushes red and breathes quickly. “No, I definitely won’t.”

I look back at him and then my eyes flick to the other room. I can just see Rod’s boyfriend in the distance, his back to me, talking to a girl who’s laughing uproariously at whatever he’s saying. I look back at Rod, who has his phone in his hand, primed to take those digits. I look back one final time to the boyfriend.

I should do this to you, I think. I should take his number and give him mine and meet him, just to spite you, you sour bastard. I should teach you a lesson for looking down your nose at me just for talking to your precious – and, yes, ridiculously handsome – boyfriend in the kitchen, you insecure dolt. I should meet him and meet him again and meet him yet again and eventually take him from you, and prove it isn’t really “hard to find someone” at all, and that even though “everyone is paired up at our age”, pairs can be halved. Relationships can be sliced right in two before your very eyes. I should ruin you. I sigh. But I won’t. I know I won’t.

It isn’t for me to serve him his own head on a plate. If Rod is to go a-wandering – and something tells me that eventuality isn’t too far off – I don’t want it to be with me. I don’t want that responsibility and have no desire to cause someone else that heartache. Not to mention, I don’t want to be the one creeping through to the kitchen at all subsequent parties just to check my beautiful boyfriend isn’t talking to yet another gin-pouring stranger with his eyes on my man.

I reel off my telephone number to Rod, switching out the last digit for another incorrect one so he won’t get through to me should he try, shake his hand and go in for a light hug. Then I drain the last of my gin and watch him walk off toward his boyfriend, who now has at least one more chance to keep Rod all to himself.

At the next party, he may not be so lucky.

Pre-date rating: N/A
Post-date rating:
8.5/10 – knocking off 0.5 for the adulterous potential and another 1 for terrible taste in men.

Date in one sentence: You will always find me in the kitchen at parties, probably talking to your boyfriend.

Image: Flickr

The Graduate

Stats: 5’ 11”, 24, black/green, Oxfordshire
Where: The local
When: November 2011
Pre-date rating: 9/10

The true currency of dating, the one you never really think about, is time. Whether you’re buttering up a honey in a noisy bar, doing extra lengths at the swimming pool to impress a buff lifeguard or stumbling through endless online profiles, the amount of time you spend on this initial process can be disheartening if the end result is less than satisfactory. Checking out pictures, flicking through your favourites and, of course, fielding all those interested parties (if you’re lucky enough to have more than one contestant take a shine to you) all takes up precious time, not to mention – once you’ve locked on to the one you want – the synchronisation of diaries, agonising over what to wear and where to go, followed by the biggest time-consumer of all: the actual date.

It’s refreshing, then, to encounter somebody who cuts straight to the chase. Dawdling, flirting and textual one-upmanship cast aside by somebody who knows what they want – you. Sure, build-up is important and can set the tone for your date, but we live in modern times. We eat fast food, rely on our phones to remember pretty much anything and can, if we so wish, arrange a late-night sexual assignation at the click of a mouse and without any money changing hands. Now, now, now! More! Now! With this in mind, enter our new Guy, who contacts me, exchanges monosyllabic pleasantries and asks if we can arrange a date within about 30 minutes of me first laying eyes on him. Continue reading The Graduate

The Youngling

Young people. I tend to have very little contact with them, except for the ones who play dubstep through their mobile phones on buses or ‘tsk’ me loudly if I take too long a while packing my shopping bags in the supermarket.

So it is with a sense of dread that I discover on the dating site I have been ‘favourited’ by a mere 25-year-old. He first adds me as a favourite way back when I first join the dating site, and although he doesn’t have any publicly-available pictures –  a no-no from me usually – something about the way he describes himself makes me warm to him. I’m a sucker for a well-constructed sentence, after all. I consider the fact that no 25-year-old in their right mind would ever look twice at me in the street and my vanity gets the better of me, I’m afraid; I send him a brief message saying hello. I’m not entirely surprised that I don’t hear anything back and so shrug it off and forget about it, and indeed him.

Months later, I see he’s been looking at my profile again. There are no secrets on this dating website: practically every move you make is monitored and reported back to those it may or may not concern, like a particularly keen office gossip. If he’s looking again, it must mean he’s interested, right?

I send him another message, inviting him to show me his photos and opening myself up to an acre of disappointment and embarrassment if he doesn’t respond. Eventually, he does. I’m expecting Frankenstein’s monster, but I take a look.

He’s cute. He doesn’t look quite as young as his 26 years (he’s had a birthday since we first ‘met’), yet still has a fresh, cheeky face. I’m intrigued. Why the secrecy? He won’t say. We arrange to meet.

The day of the date, I wake up with tonsillitis, and have to cancel. Is this a sign? He’s fairly unperturbed and seems happy to rearrange, which we do – a couple of weeks later once my tonsils have retracted back to a more manageable size, ripe for tickling. We are to meet at a railway station, straight after work. A fairly insalubrious venue, yes, but I’m conscious of retreading the same old ground and/or bumping into someone I’ve already been on a date with. So here I am at the station. Continue reading The Youngling

The Drunk Mexican

Stats: 5’10″, 32, black/brown, Mexico
When: Saturday 31 July, 1pm and 10.30pm
Where: South-east London
Pre-date rating: 7/10

The dates are becoming more and more disillusioning as time goes on, to be honest. This one is a little different from the others, though. I meet him on a different site, one where you know less information about your potential date, but you talk through instant messenger, rather than emails. (Edit: Grindr – why am I so afraid to say Grindr?!) We seem to get on well, at first missing each other and not being online at the same time, but showing mutual appreciation. When we finally do talk ‘live’, he’s away on business in Germany. We arrange to meet in a pub, round the corner from my house, as he also lives locally, the following Saturday at 1pm. He says he likes an afternoon pint. Nice.

I walk into the pub precisely three minutes late and there is no sign. I order a pint — even though the last thing I want to do is drink — and sit outside in the sun. From where I’m sitting, I have all entrances to the pub covered. I half look out for him and half mess about with my phone. It gets to 1.10pm, and alarm bells are ringing. I realise I don’t have his mobile number. How stupid of me. I message him via the website and say I’m here. Time ticks on. No response. I sit and finish my pint, reading in the sun and wondering what on Earth is going on. By now, it’s 1.45pm and he’s clearly not coming. Furious but not wanting to show my anger, I send him a message telling him that I’m leaving now and that it was a shame that he couldn’t make it. Continue reading The Drunk Mexican

The Drunk

Here we are again then.

It goes without saying that I haven’t heard back from the previous guy, and I’m not particularly devastated about this.

Gotta tell you, I’m not feeling too confident about this one, either. I can’t discern from his photos whether he’s attractive or not. There’s a lot of sympathetic (i.e. non-existent) lighting and “Oh, look, here I am in the distance!” posing in his pictures.

Within his profile blurb, he seems at pains to point out that he’s quite wealthy so maybe he’s trying to compensate. I don’t even know why I’m going on the date. I am secretly hoping that his photos will just be poor quality, and that in actual real life he will be devastatingly handsome.

He chooses the venue. When I walk in, bang on time, it is empty save for two males sitting at the bar. They are not together.

I think one of them may be the guy but I can’t tell, given that his photos were about as revealing as a child’s drawing on an Etch-A-Sketch.

I stand at the bar and order a drink, taking out my phone to text the date and tell him I am here. The men at the end of the bar don’t look up as I text so I assume he’s not one of them.

Incoming reply: ‘Me too!”

Yes, great. But where? I text again to say I’m standing at the bar. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the man at the very end of the bar move. I do not look in his direction.

He’s coming over.

He pulls up a stool next to me – the screech of it against the floor cutting right through me – and says my name.

I turn. Oh. Oh. I see.

Oh. Continue reading The Drunk