He’s waiting on the sideline, yet I spot him from a great distance. 110 kilo’s and 190 cm tall. But it’s most of all his presence that makes him stand out so giant-like. Or maybe I just stared a little too long at his profile photo where he comfortably cuddles a real-life tiger.
“Hey! How come you saw me first?” my internet date asks in shock, when I pull his furred coat, as sort of a welcome.
“How could someone possibly spot you eh? “ I mock him. “Is it okay if I call you Hagrid?”
“Jeeeezzzzzz,” he rolls his eyes up. “Bud Spencer. Big Lebowski. John Travolta’s Michael,” he sums up the other big men from the movie screen who he’s been compared to. “But if we have sex after, you can call me anything.”
“We’re not going to have sex after,” I say.
“Oh women!” he quotes with a smile. “They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.”
“The Big Lebowski?” I offer.
“Nope. Nietzsche,” he answers. “A very wise man. Just like me.”
And then he gives me three kisses. His beard tickles and there is a hint of alcohol in his breath. Neither surprises or bothers me.
The evening is cold and quiet, the canals are dark. A few men admire the blonde by his side. Women look at him with a mixture of admiration and fear. The same look as I have on my face.
“You’re my first date in a long time,” I confess.
“Really? Why? You only have sex and never leave the house?”
But I shake my head. “No. And last time I had sex was in the holiday season.”
“That does not count any more,” he agrees. “That was 2009.”
Hagrid describes his love life. Usually one or two relationships, and flings on the side. “I was married and monogamous for a long time, but now I am poly amorous.”
The meaning of the words sink in slowly, like I am sedated. Women. Condoms. I muse on viruses that are common with men who sleep around. Our feet walk the same rhythm, his black boots next to my high boots.
“If only I could stop going to prostitutes, I would be such a rich man,” he dreams.
We have dinner at a rock café, where we can choose between meat, more meat, mixed meat or a vegetarian enchilada.
“And I think I’ll have a bottle of wine,” Hagrid studies the menu.
“I won’t drink more than one glass,” I warn him.
He throws me a big smile from behind his beard. “I had no idea you wanted wine too.”
Dinner is served; tasteful, satisfying, real good food. Hagrid empties his whole plate, including the salad, and for the first time in my life someone beats me to the French fries. Before I can even touch them the bowl is empty.
“Dessert!” he announces. We both choose Death by Chocolate, which he again finishes, whereas I have to leave some in order to avoid instant death.
Hagrid pays the check. The restaurant leaves a lollypop for each.
He walks me back to the station through unknown streets, playing his lolly around in his mouth. Mine is safely tucked away in my purse. I am not trusting him with the sight of me sucking anything.
“You know, there is something I don’t understand,” I ask the million dollar question.
“All those women. Why do they want to have sex with you?”
“Not every woman is into brown 20 year olds,” he answers. “You’re blocking things.”
“You’re not my type,” I defend myself. “My type is smaller. And I don’t feel safe with you.”
He laughs. “That’s okay pumpkin. Maybe next time you’ll feel safer.“
We say our goodbyes. He gives his three kisses. I reach up and throw my arms around him. The small hesitation in his response tells he is surprised.
We hug, and for 10 whole seconds, I feel safe.