Sometimes if you examine your own behaviour, it is difficult to make sense of. I guess the thing is, that if you’ve been discarded by the person you stood in front of all your family and friends and pledged your life to, it’s easy to spiral into a circle of such disregard for yourself that you care far less about the perception others have of you than you did before. I guess that’s how I find myself at eight thirty at night on a Sunday with an attractive American man who is only in London for a holiday.
John from Seattle
Employment – Runs a video game company
Age – late thirties
Nationality – American
Interests – Hiking, climbing, designing video games, gym, creativity
Source – OK Cupid
Anatomy – Lovely, blue eyes, intense gaze, handsome face, great arms.
The Story – We begin talking in mid afternoon on OK Cupid, and then John from Seattle asks if I feel like doing something spontaneous?
So 40 minutes later, I walk into a bar in Angel, and meet a handsome 6’4 American guy who is softly spoken, well mannered and creative. He’s also got a great body and a good sense of humour. What’s the catch? He leaves town in 10 days and the last time he visited London was 15 years ago. 15 years is a long time to wait for a second date.
Venue – Hoxley & Porter
Location – Islington, N1 1RA
Eating/Drinking – Good espresso martinis, I didn’t eat, but the food looked great
Activities – Drinking!
Atmosphere – On a Sunday night, there were a few other people in the bar, but plenty of empty tables and it was easy to chat and get to know one another – the background music wasn’t intrusive
Service – Good, reasonably attentive
It was the first time I’d ever been asked to suggest a date venue, which was novel. I chose Islington for the ease of access for both of us, and I’d been to Hoxley and Porter a year or so ago for martinis with a friend, so it seemed like the best suggestion to make in very limited time. It was the first time that I understood the pressure that the guys must feel (those that care) about choosing a venue that will reflect well on them. I guess there’s arguably more pressure when the girl chooses the venue, as tradition goes that either the guy pays, or we go dutch, there is very little suggestion that I will pay for the whole tab… which means that I’m effectively spending someone I have never met’s money for him. Odd.
Anyway, if John from Seattle did mind about the venue choice, he didn’t vocalise it, which was fortunate. I’d already had a couple of gin and tonics before I arrived, so I was feeling a lot more relaxed than I usually would about the first meeting. I arrived and he was already sitting at a table, but I recognised him immediately and introduced myself. There was a pause when we first met when we sort of breathed each other in, absorbed each other’s realness and then leant in for a kiss.
I ordered a glass of wine, sat down and began to chat. John from Seattle’s accent was warm and calming, and he was an ideal mix of creative and passionate about his work. Conversation flowed easily, we discussed families, how long we’d been single, work, travel and politics. I’m not sure whether it’s an American dating rule, but John from Seattle said a very similar thing to American Chris:
No religion, politics or sex.
Well that’s no fun now, is it.
As our conversation flowed so easily, gently, John from Seattle even asked about my history:
“How long were you together?”
“Were you married?”
I thought it was tactful, and refreshing, that he then didn’t continue to probe about my marriage, and conversation moved on.
We had both had a couple of glasses of wine, when he suggested that we move elsewhere. Walking towards the tube, we nipped into The Library on Upper Street for a drink. The bar staff outnumbered the patrons, and the music was far too loud RnB. However, by this point in the evening, it didn’t matter. Whereas at Hoxley & Porter we’d been on stools at a high table, here we were able to slink into a booth and begin to cuddle up, which was exactly where I wanted to be. He leant over and kissed me, and he was beautiful and warm and comforting; I wanted him.
So when we stood up to leave the pub, and he asked if we should go elsewhere, I said that we could go to my area, but the only place I knew to show him there was my flat. He agreed willingly.
As we got onto the tube, he held my hand, we kissed and we played. He made me feel admired.
Back at the flat, I put on some chilled out house music, we sat on the carpet, and we kissed. Slowly, we began to strip each other, getting to know each other’s bodies and covering each other with kisses. Sometimes, the connection that you have with someone is so instant and so uncomplicated. That’s how it felt.
John from Seattle wasn’t feeling well, I wrapped him in a blanket and cuddled him. I stroked his hair and admired his beautiful blue eyes. I had to remember every moment, the way he looked now on my living room floor, this was only transient. I wanted to be able to hold it to me as a memory I could keep forever.
You’re so British, so exotic
I took him to bed, he was attentive, considerate and passionate. He also had a beautiful body, which always makes me feel guilty for not spending more time in the gym.
In the morning, I was late to work. I woke early, but was distracted by the sight of a gorgeous American man nestled in my bed. I showered, I dressed, I tried to be a good girl and ignore it, but when it came to say goodbye, the thought crossed my mind that I would never see him again. Knowing that, instead of kissing him goodbye, I leant down and whispered,
“I have to leave for work soon, but before I do, I want ten minutes of your time.”
John from Seattle was asleep, but he woke up as I began to strip beside him.
He tried to put up a fight, saying, “You’ll go into the office all worked up.”
The pencil skirt and red polo neck I’d just put on were swiftly removed, but then I rolled on top of him to straddle him, wearing a lacy black bra and knickers and stockings. Leaning over him, I kissed him, and guided his hands towards me; soon his groans of disapproval turned to much more appreciative noises.
I was very late for work.
When I got home from work, he’d left a note on my kitchen table which just said: “For the beautiful evening, thank you – John.” You can’t fault these Americans, they’re smooth.
I was proud of myself for not crying, I had a hot bath, went to bed early, and tried to forget he’s in the world and not contacting me.