It is Saturday evening, a little after 10 p.m. My gmail status – currently one of the most reliable windows into my soul – reads “manshopping”.
Despite the fact that it is a Tadpole-free weekend, somehow I have managed not to sort something out for Saturday night. My inconsiderate friends have watertight alibis: in Australia, watching the rugby at the Stade de France, having friends over to stay. There has been a text message exchange with an antipodean boy I haven’t seen for a while, but even that trail seems to have gone cold.
The previous evening, a “quiet night in” to eat curry with friends spontaneously combusted into an all night chatfest, after which I slept on the couch, stayed for both a (midday) breakfast and an afternoon tartiflette. This should have made me feel better about the small gap in my weekend entertainment schedule. Should have, but hasn’t. I’m bored and borderline desperate. Although slightly hung over, and with my right nostril dripping accusingly, I still feel the need to get out. I crave company.
And so I sit in front of my computer feeling lonely, and it’s probably no coincidence that I’m back on an internet dating site for the first time since May, looking to see whether the shelves of the supermarket of sleaze have been re-stocked since my last visit. A cup of tea steams by my side and I frown at it, wishing I could wave Tadpole’s fairy wand and turn it into a medicinal mojito. My skin is rosy pink, fresh from a short, hot soak in the smallest bath in the world (TM); my towelling bathrobe keeps sliding off my dejectedly drooping shoulders.
Thankfully a girlfriend is home alone too, and available to chat:
a: In on a Saturday, duckling? Everything alright?
me: No! Bored. And ever so slightly man-achey.
me: I need a man for, er, stuff
Wow. The pinnacle of articulacy. I’m sure you can see why I got a book deal now?
[A six minute gap. I start to worry.]
me:I scared you off? You went to fetch a toy? Or your best Gainsbourg impression?
We shoot the breeze for a while, and then I plead fatigue, stick the kettle on for the last brew of the day, cast around for a DVD to watch in bed. Suddenly my mobile phone trills. It is the occasional antipodean boy. He sounds tipsy, and slurs something apologetic about his phone battery and the lateness of the hour. He is in Ménilmontant, it transpires. In a bar, with a big group of male friends. Would I like to join them?
I look at my tea, my bathrobe, and back at my tea again. It’s a ten minute walk, I would need another ten or so to make myself presentable. Hmm. A big group of male friends, he said?
* * * * * * * * *
The next day, my gmail status reads “itch duly scratched”.
a: good GOD
did you hire a male prostitute or something?
or am I going to deeply regret that question?