A few months ago I noticed I was putting on weight. My tummy was a little rounder, my thighs a little plumper and my breasts were kind of spilling out everywhere. I do not like being overweight. But I also struggle to diet. I tried … Continue reading Cherries and other dangerous things.
Today I had a very long and lovely but painfully slow interaction with a man.
‘Hey…Violet… I…met… you… at… the… dog… park… thought… we… could… follow… up… with… a… coffee?’
‘Hiya, nice to hear from you, yes that sounds great.’
I was kinda doing a million things at once, work and writing and baking and texting and I know I’m a good multi-tasker but I also drank two whiskeys, had a bath, masturbated and considered having a cigarette while I waited for his texts.
It was just too slow.
And strike me down dead because I know it makes me a terrible person if I don’t want to date a man who types slowly, but for fucks sake it is 2016 and get real guys, work on your skills.
I have decided to change my bio.
Types at least 100 words a minute.
Never makes a mistake.
Texts quicker than you can ever imagine.
Seeks similar male.
an empty whisky bottle
Wearing old pajamas
Listening to fragments
From next door
Holding my head
Had so much
My date last night was good. Not the traditional kind of little black dress and legs touching under the table good, no seductive sharing of strawberries dipped in chocolate good, and definitely no smouldering sexy looks or even a hint of sex good.
But really good in a different way. We sat in the kitchen where it was warm and cosy and listened to Leonard Cohen. We drank whisky while we thought about slashing our wrists, because of Leonard Cohen. And we spoke about our lives, memories brought on by the magnificent Leonard Cohen.
He cooked while I chopped the mushrooms. He didn’t know that I’d once chased my ex-husband round the kitchen table with a chopping knife. Now he does. He still trusted me with the knife.
He shouldn’t have.
He told me many stories. He showed me photographs. I may have rolled my eyes at the photographs, because sweet dear god yellow t-shirt, you just don’t show photographs on a first date.
You never ever do that.
But still; it was a cool first date.
I don’t know if it will go anywhere. He has a fuckload of baggage. I have a fuckload too.
He’s also not perfect. He’s anti-social, colour codes his clothing and there’s that thing of his virility.
And he’s a little shy and a lot vulnerable. And the timing is not great.
But he looks good in waistcoats and he cooks really well
I’m a bit sorry we never got to kiss.
I hear the same thing from my girlfriends all the time. There are not enough men to go around. Where can we meet them, which is the best dating site, and should we try Tinder?
Well, I am here to tell you to go hang out in the small town of Magoebaskloof. That one, up there in Limpopo, five hours out of Johannesburg.
The weather report in Magoebaskloof this weekend? It’s raining.
But it’s raining men.
It’s also five hours out of Johannesburg, off the beaten track, surrounded by the most beautiful mountains and forests, and is especially known for it’s walking and biking trails.
Off I went on this romantic idea – strong, brave Violet – on a journey of self-discovery. I booked myself a small cottage by the lake, took my yoga mat, muesli and fresh orange juice, and planned a retreat. I would rediscover myself, my inner beauty, find my spiritual core, maybe do a bit of writing, try my hand at poetry…
I discovered Men.
Men in leather. Men in hiking boots. Men on bicycles. Men who were in good shape. Farming Men. Mining Men. Business Men. Men who were with other Men.
And Men in uniform. Firemen and policemen. Strong Men. Handsome Men. Helpful Men.
Next door to my little cottage was a large hotel, and after struggling with the very first line of my would-be poem, I headed to the bar for a whisky.
Whisky is an integral part of the journey of self-discovery.
I sat next to a Fireman. That heavy uniform, big boots, red- hot fire engine outside.
My knees went weak. I dropped my poetry book.
The Policeman sitting nearby picked it up for me. Handcuffs dangling off his leather belt, a truncheon by his side.
I knocked over my whisky.
The bikers nearby ordered me another.
Bikers. Helmets on the floor, in their leathers, mud splashed jeans, drinking beer, very sexy, delicious bikers.
All these men were incredibly polite. And helpful . They helped me with my poetry. They helped me unroll my yoga mat, they helped me light my fire. They helped me find my core, my spiritual well being, and one of them may have even helped me find my g-spot.
I wrote. Reams and reams of poetry. Mostly senseless I think, but hey who cares, I wrote. And when I’d finished writing, I was ready to come home. Inspired.
I stopped at the small coffee shop in the village of Haenatzburg on the way home.
Farmers. In their khaki pants, wearing gumboots, bearing pick-axes.
Mountain climbers. Carrying rope, strong, tanned and muscular.
I had to leave before I got into trouble. I picked up my latte, packed my yoga mat and headed to my car.
Of course it was the policeman who gave me a speeding ticket as I sped off on the windy roads. But he winked as he handed over the R 500 fine. And I winked back.
Magoebaskloof. My new spiritual homeland.
I can be impulsive. So a while back when a guy from Canada that I was quite attracted to online said ‘Let’s meet in France’, it took me all of three minutes to say ‘Oui.’ He had loads of money and was delighted to pay. I was delighted to accept. I’m a hopeless romantic and always open to new experiences, love, adventure, and possibility.
Online he was perfect. Witty. Charming. Mysterious. Bilingual. And of course, sexy. Offline – who knew? But I was willing to take the chance. He could be the right guy for me.
And so just a few weeks later I found myself bound for Paris, sipping champagne in business class, popping caviar in my mouth, and being a terrible flyer, waiting for the plane to crash. I probably deserved to die, leaving my children behind and going off on a wild adventure. But we didn’t crash, the plane landed safely, and I checked in to the magnificent hotel, the two bedroomed suite that he’d arranged.
I was a little nervous. A lot nervous. We met in the hotel bar. I’d arrived first, and was perched on a bar stool, in my sexy but not too sexy dress, a few scotches under my suspenders to calm my nerves.
He walked in. Oh my. Every bit as good looking as his profile pic. Better. Suave. And very ,very stylish. This was going to be good. We kissed hello, a little awkwardly, and he sat down next to me.
You know – you know immediately if you’re attracted to someone. It’s this thing where your heart beats fast, your inner thighs tingle, you have this euphoric feeling, this ‘oh my god this is amazing feeling’, this ‘I just have to reach over right now and touch him feeling.’
I did not have this feeling. Because he was incredibly anxious. His hands were shaking, his bottom lip trembled, and droplets of perspiration lined his upper lip. He ordered a coke. In English. And drank it in one go. And then a cheese burger. A cheese burger. In Paris. In the most beautiful bar, filled with olives and oysters and escargot. I went with it, not wanting to question his choices. Or to rush to judgement too quickly. But here’s the thing. He had not been honest.
All his online stuff about living on the edge, loving to travel, speaking French, being an intrepid explorer. It was a lie. Turned out he was a Canadian who had never left Canada, and the adventure for him was merely leaving Canada and being able to say to his friends – ‘Hey, I’m meeting a strange chick in Paris…’
And I was the strange chick who said yes. The week was a disaster. He developed a cough, Heisenberg status. I knew it was an anxiety cough, but he spent his time in Paris meeting different doctors and instead of sampling French delicacies, he sampled French antibiotics. I saw Paris on my own. I didn’t mind too much. I love Paris – smoking Gauloises on a pavement café, and sipping wine, window shopping, popping into galleries and museums. But I felt cheated. Not because there was no romance, but because he hadn’t been honest.
He wasn’t a serial killer. He wasn’t dangerous. I never once felt threatened. He just was not who he portrayed himself to be. We called it a ‘misadventure’. I never confronted him, because he had a fragility about him that I did not want to take on. And I wondered too if perhaps in a way I had misrepresented myself as well. Perhaps he was enormously disappointed too.
The most difficult thing was coming home. I mean, I loved coming home, because it’s home and because it’s real, but he kept mailing me as if everything had been totally normal and that we were still good online friends. And I tried to explain that we couldn’t be online friends because we hadn’t managed to be offline friends. And he never got it. He still doesn’t get it. ‘Didn’t we have a great time?’ he says, and I guess in a way, we did have an adventure together. Even if it hadn’t worked out.
I have learned this. I am never meeting a stranger in a strange city again. Don’t even think of asking me. It’s too stressful. And things are never quite what they seem. Unless – Italy, you say? Florence. Cobblestone streets. The statue of David? Maybe!