- Date: 15.01.2016
- Venue: Happiness Forgets; Eckovision
- Participant: Polish Girl (Round 3)
And so we found ourselves at the next next time. It almost didn’t happen. In accordance with previous conversations I’d arranged it for a Friday, but just after lunch time on said Friday she messaged saying she was ill and couldn’t make it. She was very apologetic, and said she would do any other day. I believed her. But that wasn’t the point. If it was any other day of the week I wouldn’t have minded so much. But it was a sacred Friday. And I had a lot of girls on the go at the moment who I needed to fit in, but it was now too late to offer it up to anyone else. It was messing with the tight and tricky logistics I was currently immersed in.
Instead I went out for a couple of drinks with colleagues before heading back to Brixton to see if anyone was around for a few more. But, on exiting the station, I received a message from the Pole saying that now she did want to go out. I still hadn’t made any plans so I agreed, trying to guilt trip her into coming to Brixton. Not now, later, were her sentiments. So a trek to Shoreditch was required. I informed her that it would have been much easier to come straight from work and that it was her turn to chooses venue; I had no motivation to think of somewhere new. This solicited the following response:
I know & I’m sorry for being so unorganized & last minute. Though I’d prefer to call it ‘being spontaneous” [winking tongue out emoji]
Let’s just meet & we’ll decide then. Everywhere is gonna be full so we can choose the place that’s least crowdy [sic].
That’s how I’m gonna choose the place for tonight [laughing crying emoji]
This perfectly summed up a large swathe of her personality. Moreover, she probably thought the use of the ampersand was saving time in her busy life, despite it using up exactly the same number of key strokes as writing ‘and’ properly.
We met at Old Street, and of course she hadn’t a plan of where to go. So I decided we should walk to Hoxton Square, where there would be a choice of bars. I decided to try a basement cocktail place called Happiness Forgets; a place a previous date had tried to take me to, but was too busy on that particular occasion. This time we were seated within five minutes.
It was a good date venue, and one I would be using again. She got a cocktail, I got a Sauvignon, we went through the motions. There was too much necking again, and the lip biting was becoming more vigorous, exacerbating the ulcers she had already furnished me with. I wasn’t enjoying it, I just wanted to get her back to Brixton, but it seemed like I would have to endure more of this first.
After they finished serving she wanted to go somewhere else. Again I suggested going back to Brixton. Again she was reluctant. I reasoned that we would be more likely to find bars that were open. This seemed to have a slight effect; the bigger effect came from the suggestion of watching Friends back at mine. I have no idea where this came from, but she did love Friends.
Eventually I managed to get her to come back to Brixton. Job done. Or so I thought. She wanted to drag it out even longer by going to another bar. I took her to Eckovision. It was busy, full of hot girls. She went to the toilet. I went to the bar. I waited at a table with her G&T and my Sauvignon. Two hot girls were looking in my direction, and they soon came to dance / stand with me. They couldn’t see the spare G&T on the table. Did I have time to have a quick chat and a number close? No. Too risky. I actually wished I was there alone. I imagine the girls were disappointed when the Pole returned and I went off with her. I asked her if upstairs was busy. It wasn’t. So we went upstairs and sat at the table in the corner. This was prime real estate. It had always been too busy up there to land such a location.
We finished our first drink there; I’d had enough alcohol by this point, and she certainly had, so it was time for us to move things on. “Let’s go back to mine.”
“Why? What are we going to do there?” What do you think? And guess what she said next… “We need to save something…”
“What do you want to do back there? You’re in Brixton now, it doesn’t make sense to go all the way back home…” I thought that was why you came back to Brixton?
“We could watch some Friends…?” Oh, for fuck s… I went along with it. Perhaps she wanted to pretend she was coming back for something innocent, or perhaps it was just some ‘Netfilx and chill’ bullshit.
“Yeah, we can do that if you want. I’ve got some old episodes lying around.” Gosling had his ‘Dirty Dancing’ move, I had my ‘Watch friends’ move.
“Great! I luurrrrrrrve Friends.” Was she being serious? Was that what she wanted to actually do?
“Well, shall we head back now then?”
“Let’s get another drink first. There’s no rush. Plus, it’s good to save something.” Oh for fuck s… I thought we’d just got over all this. And then she launched straight at my mouth again, and was increasingly putting her hand in inappropriate places, lifting up my t-shirt, drawing unwanted attention from the barmaids, with whom I always tried to maintain an air of respectability, and making me feel too uncomfortable to extract even a minutia of enjoyment from the whole experience.
I’d come to the acceptance that this was unlikely to escalate tonight, if ever at all, but I still fancied another drink, and I also needed to put a halt to the incessant mouth attacks. So I went to the bar. And when a girl started talking to me I was certainly going to entertain it, regardless of leaving a date upstairs. We had a brief chat whilst waiting for our drinks, and then obtained her number, before heading back to some more futile, and somewhat painful necking, all the time wishing I could just stay downstairs with the new girl.
We were coming to the end of this drink, and I’d had enough of playing trivial pursuit. I was ready to go home, with or without her: “So shall we go back to mine?” I made no mention of Friends.
“But it’s good to save something…”
“For next time?” This time my interjection was vocalised.
It’s at this point I’d decided there wasn’t going to be a next next next time. So I decided to call her out on it. (I’d like to state that the following exchange does not – technically – contain any lies…)
“There might not be a next time. I’m not going to keep doing this indefinitely for it to go nowhere.”
“But we have to save something.”
“I know, I know. You said this the first time. You said this the second time. You’re saying it the third time. By experience and mathematical induction, you’re going to say this the fourth, nay the nth, time.”
I didn’t actually say that last part to her. Nevertheless, my theory was that every date would follow this formula:
D(n) = b + k + p = Nt
n = number of dates
D(n) = outcome of date
b = banter
k = necking
p = proposition (of coming to mine)
NT = Next time
My proof was as follows:
D(1) = b + k + p = Nt
D(2) = b + k + p = Nt
D(3) = b + k + p = Nt
D(n) = b + k + p = Nt
One can see that I could probably have worked this out sooner.
And so I queried: “Are you lying? Are you going to keep doing this?”
And that was it, I’d said my piece. That would be all, and it was likely I’d never see her again. And I was fine with that. Write it off as a bad debt. Whilst the ‘promises’ of a ‘next time’ had originally increased my optimism of a successful outcome, each new utterance on this occasion now eroded into the increasingly diminishing confidence that remained. My optimism had hit its all-time low.
“But what are we going to do at yours?” Was there a glimmer of hope here?
“What do you think?” I had given up on internalising my thoughts by this point.
I’m not quite sure what changed her mind, but she did finally come back to mine. In the above equation I hadn’t accounted for quantum or quality of any of the variables. The banter variable had remained consistent, even got slightly worse if anything. I – actually, more she – had increased the quantity of the necking variable in date two, but this hadn’t had an effect on the outcome. I don’t think I increased the quantum of propositions between the second and third date, but perhaps it was the quality, or moreover the nature, of the p variable in the third date.
When we reached my place, I poured myself a glass of Sauvignon, then swiftly took her up to my room. She spoke and laughed throughout the whole preamble. She asked if we were going to watch Friends. It was too late for Friends, I told her, the Friends-ship had sailed.
It wasn’t so much an anger fuck, but more a shut the fuck up fuck.
The following morning – partly due to my Irish Catholic guilt, and partly because she refused to follow a blue dot – I walked her to the station. She’d never been to Brixton, so I decided to show her a few Brixton sights en route, knowing that she’d love the kitsch shops more than the incomparable eateries and drinkeries. And, knowing she liked raaaaack music, I also took her to the shrine that had emerged around the mural of the recently deceased David Bowie, where there was a busker with a sitar playing Ziggy Stardust, but ch-ch-ch-changing the lyrics to Ziggy plays – well, I’m sure you can work it out.
When we got to the station I gave her a parting kiss, making sure to keep it brief, not allowing her to get carried away. I informed her of her route home that she couldn’t look up on City Mapper, gently ushered her down the stairs, towards the platform, turned my back, and walked away.
There wouldn’t be a next next next time.