Someone suggested talcum powder; to rub it on the two squeaking planks, that were supporting my antique bed. I didn’t expect it to work, yet my boisterous white bed, that I would have kept even if the whole street could give me an alibi for every hour I tossed, turned or tingled with pleasure, became quiet. Now I really had the perfect bed. Enjoying the new-found silence I mused on how much luck this bed had brought me. It really had been years since I had slept with the wrong men.
Nathan. I ran into him again a few days ago. For the first time, dating back to 2007 Anno Domini, the American didn’t even bother to pretend he liked seeing me and only said hi after I cornered him and his suitcase with my bike. I didn’t get a kiss. Nor did I find out, in those hasty two minutes of formalities, where his hostility came from. Were the rumours true and was he back with my ex-best friend Lara? Or had he heard that I had spent a whole night drinking with the girl he had betrayed for over 5 years? She was an expat from the Middle East, and I met her at a party last December. I affectionately nicknamed her Cleopatra.
Nathan and I had initially broken things up after a few months. I cried an afternoon, but the tears dried up. I stopped talking about Nathan and signed up for a dating site. And it was in this treacherous, year long interbellum of our relationship, that I dated two other questionable men.
Luca. The Italian photographer. I’m not in love with you. We’ re not having a relationship. For someone baptized a Catholic, he was remarkably truthful and rude. But maybe that was because he had become a Buddhist. The hedonistic pallet of wooing and courting, which would have served us so well in our afternoons of lovemaking and wine drinking, had been replaced with telling the truth. A habit I despised. Along with his beer drinking in bed.
M50 aka “the spy”. I don’t recommend dating 50 year olds. Especially not when they have a belly, still smoke, and you yourself are a 35 year old Yoga Goddess. I really don’t. But if you have to, then please check his kitchen cabinets for herbs, if his profile claims he likes to cook; root the dishwasher for double wine glasses; verify the bedroom for long hairs that do not match your colour. And get the fuck out of his camera surrounded apartment (“Those are for the jewelry store below”) when his insurance agent insists that your British boyfriend is an Israeli. Do not postpone your departure until after you have located the armory.
January 2009. Despite the labyrinth of unpacked boxes, my new house oozed happiness. It had not been my choice to physically separate, my ex and I had been good housemates, but now that I had my own place I loved it. Even the trauma of Nathan finalizing things, for good this time, was wearing off its sharpest edges. Cleopatra described her break-up with Nathan as the worst thing she had ever experienced. It had taken her a year before she started dating again. For me it would be 9 months, including the loss of the friendship with Lara when she started dating Nathan behind my back. But in July 2009, with a new house, new best friend and an antique bed that I had painted myself, I was ready. That same month I had sex with South American surfer/rockstar A.
Kissing a linguist, stripped down to my waist under the streetlight.
Spooning up to a runner, cold, hard and bony.
Considering sex with a closet case gay.
A car salesman.
Yes, I made mistakes since my come-back to the dating market. But they never made it to my bed and we never had sex. Those faux pas were frozen in that comfortable zone where they make good anecdotes, not tragedies.
Tonight I’m going out on a date. He’s closer to 50 than 35. More belly than bony. He’s married, mischievous and could very well be a spy. Yet I’m confident that whatever happens, my bed will repel any foul play. I am safeguarded from the Nathans, Lucas and spies of this world, for as long as my bed remains.
Your gaze wanders back to the part where I was stripped down…. Hey, it was Summer, okay!