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22. Misfits

I’m filling my mate in on my disastrous date with the Irish:

“Why are so many people so terrible at making conversation?” she laughs “it’s like it’s a dying art form. I mean, it’s not that hard to ask a few questions!”

“I know! I blame the internet.”

“So, I had a date with a girl who gave very good conversation and who I think you’d really like. We had a really good time but I think we both agreed there was no spark. Would it be weird if I set you up?”

“Did you kiss her?”


“Then it’s not weird. Hook me up!”

I meet the Researcher in a quaint little nook of a pub one night after work. She’s attractive in a posh, buttoned-up sort of way; bookish with bright eyes and a keen smile. We order drinks – half pint for her, large wine for me – and while away a lovely evening, only tottering into the street when the barman’s packing up the stools.

For our next date we head to a rooftop bar to catch the last of the summer views. And even though we have a good time it all feels a bit…well…polite; I can’t quite let my guard down. She’s so gentle and measured I feel like I need to hide my scratchiness from her; my swearing and smoking and bellowing, billowing nonsense. I pop to the loos and imagine having sex with her:

“Erm, would you mind, removing your knickers?”

“No no, not at all.”

“Wonderful, thank you. What lovely knickers.”

“Thank you, they were on sale in M&S.”

“I love M&S”

“Me too”

“I think my vagina just died.”

We finish our drinks and head outside, dithering in the street like a pair of lemons two tequilas short of a kiss.

“Would you like to go for another drink or…?”

“I’m easy, whatever you fancy. Happy to go for another one.”

“Erm…I should probably head home” she says.

She hops onto her bike, gives me a wave and disappears into the night.

Maybe I should have just been myself. Maybe one of us should have made a move. Maybe beneath the tranquil surface lies a raging temptress, awash with lusty fires. Maybe it’ll take someone else to light the match.

Photo by Lucas Gallone on Unsplash

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