If this was a movie he’d be buried in the credits as second tall guy. I’d got bored and decided it was time to go on a date again…
On paper he seemed like my type – tall, chiselled, blue eyed and, well, into me! Only once I’d scratched the surface it turned out he was missing some vital ingredients. For a start he’d never been anywhere outside of a two hour radius of Melbourne, his life’s ambitions had peaked at buying a racing seat for his car and by the grand old age of 30 he was stacking shelves at night. Did I mention he also lived with his mum? As a jobless traveller I didn’t feel in the position to judge and he was nice enough so I agreed to a second date. The premise sounded ok, an evening tour of Melbourne with the promise of ice cream along the way (it was mainly the ice cream that sold the second date offer).
“Ok, I’ll come on this night tour of the city as long as you promise you’re not a serial killer, deal?” I joked. He laughed a little too hard. It turns out, driving around Melbourne at night is pretty dull, there just aren’t enough stand out sites and making conversation with someone who can’t make eye contact or do two things at once such as talk and turn a corner isn’t that easy.
“If you look to the right, yeah there, that bar. That’s where a girl got followed and murdered last year” he informed me as we drove through a dodgy area. It wasn’t the best date talk I’d ever experienced; a few roads later he pointed out another spot “and that’s where another girl got murdered by this guy just out of jail”.
“Yeahhhh you’re not reassuring me, you’re not a serial killer! You will drop me home later right?” I joked, beginning to feel uneasy.”When you say home, you mean my basement?” he thought he was being funny, he wasn’t, only succeeding in making things more awkward.
The ice cream was just a Mcflurry “aren’t you going to eat yours?” I asked sneaking pieces of his topping into my pot, hoping he wouldn’t notice in the dark as he drove. “Yeah, I was just going to drive us to my favourite spot in Melbourne” he turned the car around the bend onto the ascent of a hill. Ughh why does every guy in Melbourne seem to think it’s a great idea to take a girl to his favourite spot? It’s not romantic when you don’t know the person, it’s just cold and uncomfortable!
We pulled over on a bridge with a view of the city lights in the distance, partly obscured by the trees. “My brother and I used to race up here before he died” he paused for effect “Oh, I didn’t get a chance to hug you when I picked you up, we need to get out the car so I can hug you now” he declared unbuckling his seatbelt. The wind was bashing against the car and all I could think was ‘ah shit, this is his and his brothers place, he thinks I’m going to find it really deep and sentimental and then he’s going to lean in for a kiss. No, just no!’.
“Umm it’s cold out there, I don’t want to get out the car” I insisted. “Oh” he was slightly taken aback “well I’m just going to get out for a second” he stepped out the car, I watched as he walked to the bridge, staring at the view and taking deep breaths with heaving shoulders, it was all so staged.
My phone beeped, a message flashed up from Teacher. I’d met Teacher six months before when I’d first arrived in Australia, we’d ended up in the same bar after the horse races, it had been his housemate who’d taken my number but that had quickly ended after a few disastrous dates and then Teacher started texting me.
I’d found it odd he was contacting me when I’d been out with his housemate first but he argued that I seemed like a nice English girl (ha!) and we should hangout as mates. I hadn’t believed him but he was persistent, eventually we went for pizza and before long we’d meet up every couple of weeks, conversation was good and before long he was leaning in for that kiss at the end of the night. There is only so many times you can dodge it before it gets weird, plus he was nice enough, why not, there was nothing in it. I was far too obsessed with Deadlocks to take things any further any way.
“What you up to tomorrow or Saturday? Want to go out?” he enquired. Tall guy climbed back in the car, staring at the steering wheel, still taking deep breaths, with all the drama and over acting it required “sorry, I just, sorry, this places always reminds me of my dead brother, sorry. It always makes me feel emotional” he turned to look at me with sad puppy dog eyes, almost pleadingly as if wanting me to lean in and kiss him. Instead I found it strange, it’s not like I’d take some guy on a first (or second) date to a bench my mum and I used to sit on and hope he’d suddenly want to save me. “Do you think you could drive me home now please?” I asked, turning away to look out the window. I pulled out my phone and replied to Teacher, at least he seemed normal “yeah sure, tomorrow then?”.
We were having drinks in a bar designed to look like a 1960’s apartment; after I’d kicked his ass at giant jenga we sat in the bath, swinging our legs over the edge and rested our drinks on the old TV stand, watching a girl lie on the bed in front of us chatting to her date. She was wearing a skirt about three inches too short for such a relaxed position, a view highly enjoyed by the group of lads leaning up against the old fridge in the fake kitchen.
“Yeah, Burma was fascinating, I stayed in this hut on the beach and just read for days, it was really spiritual, I had a moment there, kind of like finding God I guess, like being one with nature. I’ve started writing a book” Teacher was updating me on his trip during the Christmas and New Years break. “A book?” my interest had sparked “about what?”.
“Well have you read Shantaram?” I rolled my eyes internally, not that I’d read the book myself but in every hostel in the world there is at least one person stuffing a well thumbed copy into their backpack, on this journey to ‘find themselves’ on some emotional quest, it’s so clique! “My story is about the ying and yang of life from a travellers perspective, about a guy and the people you meet on the way” he explained. It’s not like every traveller hasn’t had the same idea, thinking all their experiences are unique and therefore of great interest for everyone else to read (shut up, this blog is about the grief journey, the travel stuff is just a facilitation for that, it’s not the same ok!). “Can I read some?” I asked, hoping he’d have something different to say.
“Come on drink up, we’re going” he declared a beer later. “Oh ok” it wasn’t late but I guess he’d had enough, I clambered out the bath which really isn’t as easy as you’d think, as you’d expect I managed it gracefully, landing on all fours and speedily jumping up before he could notice me in a heap on the floor.
“You’ve just driven past my house?” I remarked, as he turned the road to his, two roads from mine.”I’m not staying over!” I demanded, I’d stayed over before Christmas a few days after I’d walked out on Santa, we’d spent the evening playing battleships (I’d lost every game) and ended up back at his for more drinks before falling asleep with nothing at all happening, he’d just hugged me that night and kissed my forehead. He turned the car around and drove back to mine “no I meant we could get a beer, just I’m not staying over” I said, not wanting to end the night at 10pm on a Friday. He returned the car to his “errr I meant a drink in a bar! Never mind, we’re here now, let’s have a beer and I can read some of your book” this was my first mistake.
“Nice desk, new?” I gestured to the gleaming white structure taking up one side of his room. “Yeah, I thought it would help with writing the book, only I turned one of the screws too tightly and drove it straight through the middle” he moved a book to reveal the splintered hole in the surface, ruining the finish.
I sat on the bed with crossed legs, reading his words as he handed me a beer. The story was told from the point of view of a traveller sitting on a bus in a foreign country commenting on the people he sees out the windows. “What’s your characters flaw?” I enquired. “What do you mean? He doesn’t have a flaw” he kicked his shoes off and pushed a pile of washing to the corner of the room with his toe. “He has to have a flaw! How is your character suppose to resolve anything by the end? You need a resolution or the audience will feel unfulfilled, we need to be satisfied that he’s learnt from the journey of the story, that’s the point!” I’d clearly been paying attention to my course!
“Huh, ok. Let’s see, he’s a drug dealer!” Teacher pulled off his socks. “What? No! That’s not a flaw, that’s just a career choice, albeit perhaps not a very good one but being a drug dealer doesn’t automatically make you a bad person in need of saving. Look at Leon! He was a hit man but everyone routed for him because he was a nice guy!” I lectured.
I continued reading in silence, noticing out the corner of my eye Teacher taking off more and more items of clothing. By the time I’d finished reading he was naked, as soon as I closed the notebook he flipped the light off and climbed on top of me.
Errrrrrrr this is happening is it? I’m not sure I’m really up for this with you! But I’m British and it didn’t seem quite polite to say ‘actually’ I’m really not feeling this situation, I think I’ll just leave now thanks very much’ which seems crazy, of course it’s ok to say ‘get off me yucky naked man, I’m out of here!’. But I felt responsible for letting it get that far, I suppose we’d been building up to it for six months, I had gone back to his after all, I knew perfectly well how these things happen – although generally people get naked at the same time and there is usually kissing and touching involved.
I knew he was a nice guy, I could have stopped it at any second but sometimes it feels easier to go through with things rather than cause a scene (which makes me want to slap myself and say ’cause a scene, cause a scene every single bloody time if you’re not 100% into something but then that’s easier said in retrospect’).
“So I guess I should take me clothes off then?” it was the most clinical sexual experience of my life! I didn’t really need to be there at all, he’d have had more fun had he cut a hole in his mattress or sat on his hand for awhile. He pumped away like a Duracell bunny with no interest other than relieving his own load whilst I pondered how many of the 50 US states I could name in my head. I got to 12 before WHAM he’d got carried away and rammed into my pelvic bone, rolling himself off me in agony to clutch his manhood and wither in pain beside me on the bed. “Yeah, I think I’ll go home now” I declared pulling on my clothes. “I’ll drive you” he squeaked. That ride home wasn’t awkward at all “so thanks for offering to let me stay over” I said dryly.
I awoke the next morning feeling absolutely rotten, annoyed at him, more annoyed at myself. Feeling cheap and nasty. I relaid the tale to my housemate over breakfast “ugh that’s disgusting, what’s wrong with guys these days!” she exclaimed. “I know! But it’s my own fault, I was never into him in the first place and now I feel all embarrassed and used. Ughhhhhh” I moaned, shoving a tablespoon of chocolate milo cereal into my mouth.
“Never again! Never again am I going to put myself in a situation where I have sex with someone because it might make things weird if I don’t!” I declared waving my spoon in the air to illustrate my point.”I hear ya sister, we’ve all been there! Why do we hook up with these losers because we feel we’ve led them on and owe them something?” she complained into her coffee. “Because we feel guilty and don’t want to hurt their feelings” I chased the last of the cereal around the bowl. “I bet he’s not even given it a second thought today, as far as he’s concerned he got laid last night” I continued.
“I’d be embarrassed if I were him!” she remarked. “Well he should be! He screwed me as badly as his new desk! Plus he’s probably got a broken dick right now!” I smiled. “I’m done you know, I’ve been dating these guys for all the wrong reasons, I was just trying to fill a gap. No more dating, that’s it! I’m going to be celibate and, and well all nun like or something!” I explained, once again waving my spoon in the air, conducting my orchestra of imaginary, approving nuns. “Yeah, good luck with that!” my housemate smirked over the brim of her coffee cup.
The worrying thing was, as I relayed this tale to various girlfriends over drinks weeks later, each and everyone of them said they had found themselves in the exact same situation (minus the snapping incident, that might just be me!), having sex with some asshole because it was easier to go through with things than stop in the middle or make things difficult. I find this quite terrifying, when did it become acceptable to think like this?!