The drama of life doesn’t start at birth. Nor does it start with your first love. No, the drama of life starts in your parent’s bedroom. That one glorious squirt that resulted (on this occasion) in the 42 year-old man before me.
Unluv – that was his name – a miserable, hateful, fuckup with all the compassion and charisma of a dead horse at a dressage recital.
It was Valentine’s Day, 2016. Me; a single female human with breasts and hair; lips, ears, all the trimmings; you know the sort of thing, a woman with little care for her own appearance. I had given up. 35 and dating weird wash-ups like this guy.
He looked at me over his steaming lobster. Not a stare. No smile. Just a blank face with two eyes in the middle of it.
‘Enjoying your lobster?’ I said. He looked down at it and then back up at me. ‘Okie dokie then,’ I said.
The waiter came over and offered for me to taste the wine. I nodded and smiled. The waiter poured a splash into my glass and Unluv shot his arm across the table and took the glass from in front of me and the bottle from the waiter. He poured a proper glass. I glared at him, although really, I kind of liked his fed-up with life attitude.
‘Fuck off,’ he said to the waiter.
We drank. We ate.
His whole name was Jason Tolstoy Unluv. He wasn’t Russian (so he told me) he said his parents were lunatics who dedicated their lives to fucking with him in as many ways as possible.
His name fit though. I wondered if it’s a coincidence that he’s completely loveless, and unlovable, or if his name has dictated his outlook on life in some way. Nominative determinism in action.
I began to find his total absence of being, his total lack of any kind of reality, his inhumane quietness, weirdly endearing.
He picked up his lobster with one hand and turned it. He looked into its face. The lobster was dead, but this action seemed to give the lobster more life than Unluv had. He put it back down again and with the same hand picked up his knife and stabbed it. He let go of the knife and it stayed there, sticking out of its back like a flag. He watched it mournfully.
‘More wine?’ I said.
He didn’t answer.
You know, getting fellas is not something I’ve ever been particularly successful at. I could go to a night club right now and wave my tits in some lads face and he would run a mile. I could even try a more subtle approach, but it would make little difference. Men are repelled by me. Maybe, if I want to get laid, I should start slinging snatch. You know what I mean? Like a gunslinger who shoots from the groin. The funny thing is no one in their right mind would fuck me just because I came on to them in a bar but if you tell a guy you’re charging they will not only give you that impersonal bang you’ve been gagging for, but pay you for it afterwards. That’s why most street hookers resemble alcoholic vending-machines in drag while that pretty girl at the bar is single. The human condition, at least in men, is in no condition at all.
I think a shag with Unluv, although not particularly appealing, is probably on the cards. It’s like he knows that to get in to a girls panties you must first dine them. So that’s what this is. That explains why he isn’t doing anything. It’s mechanical. He waits for me to feed myself, we go for a walk, he stands awkwardly outside my house waiting for the code word that means fucking; ‘coffee?,’ and up we go for some unpleasant wooden rutting.
He pulled the knife out of the lobster and dropped it on the plate. It made that awful clanging sound that makes my teeth want to escape into my scull.
I watched him pick the lobster back up and break it in half. I drank my second glass of wine – my lobster was already gone, cake is coming – and looked at him more closely. He had large shoulders and the possibility of a firm chest under his jumper. His jumper was green. An unflattering colour for most. Most things would be unflattering on Unluv. A brief image flashed into my mind of grasping those big shoulders while he pounds into me. I cross my legs under the table. He looks up at me and I dry up.
His eyes are strong. His hair is thick and matted.
He used his desert spoon to dig out the insides of the lobster on to his plate and then ate it with his big hands.
I leaned the wine bottle towards me and looked into it. I knew it was empty but we all know what these gestures mean. Hunched over his plate clumsily eating his white meat he watched me check the bottle with a movement of his brow.
He licked the butter from his fingers and stopped a waiter who was walking by.
He spoke sternly and to the point. If he had ordered the waiter to kill for him he probably would have done it.
When the waiter returned he had two portions of chocolate cake and another bottle of wine. Chocolate and white wine together is essentially disgusting but we managed it.
When the cake was crumbs and the wine was gone Unluv stood. He dropped a few notes on the table and pulled his jacket off the back of the chair. I got the message.
Outside, the sky was black and clear. There were only three stars and the moon was absent. It was cold. Unluv walked half a pace ahead of me. I held my jacket tightly around me as I hurried along after him.
He turned into an off-licence. The bell rang his entrance. He bought 20 cigarettes and a bottle of vodka. Not Russian my arse.
He lit a cigarette and left it in his mouth. I had never seen anyone smoke a whole cigarette without taking it out of his mouth before. When he was done he either swallowed it or spat it out, I didn’t see it happen so I can’t be sure, but his hands remained in his pocket the whole walk back. I watched him as we walked, me lagging slightly behind. He had a broad back and a walk that told the world to back the fuck off.
We stopped outside my house and he looked at me under his heavy brow.
‘Coffee?’ I said.
He walked up the steps to my front door and tried the handle. I walked up and squeezed in front of him and unlocked the door.
In the kitchen I got two glasses out and he filled them with vodka. He lit another cigarette and picked up the glasses. He watched me. I would say expectantly but it wasn’t. He just watched me. Even so, I took his base body language to mean, ‘We’re drinking these in your bedroom.’
Valentine’s day; for the single woman you feel like a Jew at Christmas. It’s shit and depressing. If you were Jewish and people wished you a happy Christmas regardless of your fake sideburns I bet you’d wish you could stab them with you seven candled Menorah, and shout, ‘Happy Hanukkah you fucking moron!’
There should be a Valentine’s Day for single people. It should be called Sunday (this year at least).
We fucked. He squirted. Nine months later I gave birth to a lump of wood with a granite face. Happy Sunday you fucking morons!