We meet on Tinder. I almost don’t show up to meet him, I change my mind at the last minute. It’s high summer, I’ve been eating watermelon at Alexander’s house all day. I have already been on one unsuccessful date today. The guy is an American student travelling. He suggests the organic food shop as a meeting place. Unorthodox, but I’m willing to go for it. He’s good looking but goofy, examining bottles of kefir for their protein content. When we get back to his rented flat, his friend is there, an economist who works at a bank. They’re in their mid-twenties and clearly not short on funds. They are so far removed from my world that I’m not sure what to make of them. The goofy man wants to have breakfast and get blazed. There’s no way. I leave and head back to Alexander’s. I think it’s probably futile to even bother meeting Henk, it’ll probably be yet more disappointment. Fucking dating apps. Yet something makes me change my mind at the last minute.
I head out to meet him, wearing a short spaghetti strap black shift and high heeled sandals. Armed with bleached hair, sunglasses, tattoos and twenty Euros for drinks. I’m too broke to have a functioning phone and don’t know where the bar is, he says let’s meet on the bridge nearby. “I’m two metres tall with sunglasses”. And so he is, leaning against the railing. Two metres tall, skinny jeans, sunglasses, beer in hand. Strawberry blonde hair shaved at the back and sides, longer on top. He’s a peacock, performatively wild and very obviously a fuckboy. Just my type.
His face is handsome, in a boyish way. He is nuts, in a compelling way. We wander down to the waterside bar, the one in the disused car park. It’s packed, we get whisky and sit on a bench overlooking the water. We click instantly, the chemistry is breath-taking. He is extremely vivacious, we talk about philosophy, jumping from subject to subject. What we have in common is a desire to be free, misguided attempts to remove ourselves from social constraints.
We talk about our exes, we’re both recently single. I should know from how he dumped his that he’s trouble. He arranged for her to catch him cheating, he says. He usually only cheated when she was away. She’s a model, he shows me pictures. She’s gorgeous, willowy and blue-eyed, with long blonde hair, classically beautiful. They were at school together, childhood sweethearts.
He’s technically studying philosophy at the university, who knows how much actual studying he does though. Probably about as much as I do, my studying has stalled for the summer and I’m only in it for the party at the moment. My own personal renaissance break up crisis, the long bloody labour to birth the person I had prevented myself from becoming in my twenties by means of a bad relationship. We talk about freedom, I can feel myself being the feisty, idealistic version of me. I think he likes it, the way he looks at me is so intense, as though he’s seeing his own reflection for the first time.
It’s less than twenty minutes before we’re making out on the bench, grabbing each other with overwhelming desire, twisting our limbs together, fingers digging into flesh. Ten minutes more and we’re in a taxi back to the friend’s place where he’s staying in the wake of his breakup.
We open red wine in his friend’s living room, undressing. His long body is straight up and down like a ruler, large but lanky. Playfully we kiss, pulling towards each other and away, diving into the sofa, standing again, eyeing each other’s naked bodies. His cock is large and weighty, uncircumcised, it looks hard even when it’s only halfway there.
We have no condoms, how ridiculous that I didn’t bring any, I really should have known better, especially given how much I’ve been fucking around of late. I could easily have borrowed some off Alexander. At first he’s hesitant to have sex. He asks me, “do you have HIV?”
“No. Or at least I’m pretty sure I don’t. I got tested recently.”
“The last gir…