Up until now, my dates had been fairly normal. The people had been very different but quite normal people. Which is good. And not what I’d expected from online dating at all. And when I say normal, it’s meant in no term of disrespect. The spectrum of ‘normal’ people is totally vast and it includes me and probably you too. You’ll quite often hear ‘nobody likes normal’ or ‘nobody wants to be normal’ thrown about like confetti But, when was the last time you met someone who was genuinely not right in the bonce and who wasn’t a total stranger. People have their quirks, fine. I’m talking beyond that. I’m talking about that….uneasy feeling.
I can’t actually recall the initial messages and subsequent text conversations that lead to this date, which leads me to believe that given it was date 4, I went in willy nilly thinking that I was totally infallable and immune to bad exoeriences. That would soon change, gentle reader. I was about to be exposed to the peculiar side of the interwebs.
The one thing – more than anything – that continues to haunt me about ‘Kate’ is her eyes. They were a combination of intense and dead, like a person who was tasered in the middle of a really nice roast dinner. They were whole, almost one giant colour. They were a deep, dark forest you had no intention of going into. The local kids would talk about it, telling stories of trolls and ghouls who resided inside so they’d avoid it at all costs yet as an adult you’d happily walk past, but a glance at the shadowed entrance made you walk a step or two away from the somewhat inviting path.
I walk that path daily. DAILY.
It actually started boring enough. We met. At a pub. I’d been there before. Never really liked it. We had drinks. Standard shit. And, although I’d noticed an element of weird-eye about her, it hadnt really clicked. The conversation up to that point had actually been quite dull. And then it came.
Kate: “A lot of people say I look identicical to Kate Winslet. Don’t you think I look like Kate Winslet? Seriously, look at me. Don’t you think I do?”
Me: “Errr….Yeah, I guess, a little bit?
Kate: “Haha, you’re just bering polite. I really do look like her. And, see, the thing is that you look quite a lot like Leo. You know, Leonardo Dicaprio.
If you’re wondering, I don’t. So put it away
Despite having eyes that were alarming, and the conversational nuance of someone a few nuggets short of a happy meal, we went back to hers. In fact, I must have had a death wish as I’m fairly certain I insisted we did. We got back, had some wine, and watched Little Miss Sunshine because it’s absolutely marvellous.
There was a moment. We were laying on her bed. A glass of wine each. Dim lighting. Chatting. She said something, or I said something, which I felt warranted a little pat on the bottom. But it wasn’t a spank. I can’t even explain the type of pat I’m talking about…it was the sort of pat you’d give to a fellow footballer to send him on his way or wish him luck. Minor. Friendly. A pat of camaraderie.
Now, I’m not going to say I know what you’re thinking, but I know what you’re thinking. And no, I’m not that guy. You need spend no more than 10 minutes with a sober me to realise that. I didn’t pat her bottom then immediately ask her to make me double egg and chips. Or put the kettle on. It was not a sexy pat either, so I didn’t ask her to drop her kecks or to ‘clean my pipes’. I can’t really explain the motive behind the pat, or the sentiment of it, but it was in no way meant to belittle anybody, claim superiority over anybody or otherwise distress anybody in any way.
But fuck me, distress her it did.
We weren’t standing at the time, we were laying, half clasped with one another. The atmosphere immediately went to tense and I was very much on the defensive, and rightly so. If I’d made her uncomfortable, certainly in a way that could have been interpreted as assault, then a thousand apologies wouldn’t have been sufficient. But as it turns out, three or four were enough, and after the film we went to sleep.
The next day, I was semi-raped in the morning, then I went to work. Then I went over that evening and it had all become quite clear that she was absolutely mental and all of her housemates avoided her like the plague for reasons of mentalness. It wasn’t the bum slap – I probably deserved it despite it having all the sexiness and menance of a bum slap from my mother. It wasn’t even the Kate Winslet debacle. It was just the whole aura about her. The intensity. The use of words. The peculiar, uneasy, dream-like presence you get in a movie that’s about to make you jump.
We didn’t see eachother again.
She didn’t mind.