Friday, November 2, 2012
Its funny how you can have THE best relationship with someone through texting and phone calls but then when you meet… well that’s a whole different story! Why is that? Why is it that you can talk for hours on end on the phone with someone and then when it comes to meeting them in real life, face to face, it can feel awkward and all of a sudden you have nothing to say? I feel like I'm the same person over the phone as I am face to face so it’s a mystery to me. But sexy barman was one of those people.
He and I shared the exact same sense of humour. We would text each other none stop during the day and in the evening talk for hours, the conversation just flowed so easily, so effortlessly. I had more or less started to come off the site and uni was now taking up my evenings. It was only until he had mentioned that I realised, we’d been talking for about two months and never met!! It didn't even seem weird. We’d tell each other about who we went on dates with, what work was like etc It was almost like we had automatically fallen into the ‘friendship zone.’
So, you know how that saying that goes ‘leave well enough alone’?...He had suggested a restaurant in North London but that’s all he would tell me apart from what tube stop it was. I was so certain that this was going to be a good date, I mean how could it not be?! Right?
The best part of the whole date was seeing him at the tube station as I hadn't seen him since he gave me his number all that time ago. And yep, that was about it…
We did the usual kiss on the cheek and hug then walked started walking to the restaurant, I lead the conversation for a little bit giving him the low down on random stuff. Then silence… he looked at me and smiled then more silence. I asked him a few questions and he gave me one word answers. I absolutely HATE it when people do that! You’re not under interrogation so feel free to speak at will my friend. He seemed to know everyone at the restaurant. And then he spoke and I wished he just stayed quiet.
‘Hey Bob isn’t she the most beautiful black girl you’ve ever seen!’
‘Joey, come take a look. I told you! Never seen a black girl like her have you!’
I SWEAR I have never been so aware of being THE only black person in a place in all my life (until I went to Deal but that’s a whole different story!)
Now everyone was looking at me and I just smiled. I was in shock, I mean who does that?! Ok fine get over it I thought to myself, it could be taken as a compliment right? So that’s how I was going to take it. Sitting at the table he was just staring at me, he didn't speak he just stared. I wasn't even sure he was blinking. And then he spoke and again I wish he hadn't.
‘How does it feel to be black?’
(Say what now?)
‘How does it feel? I’ve always wanted to know.’
‘Errrmmm…. ‘ I was literally lost for words at this point. And then I said what I say when I don’t know if answering the question sarcastically or rudely is the best way. ‘ I'm not sure how to answer that question to be honest’
Another smile and he was back to staring at me. He was starting to creep me out; this date was definitely going to end early. I began to talk about the décor of the place, using it as an excuse to look around checking that there was no one standing behind me with a machete in their hands. Then out of the blue …
‘I mean don’t get me wrong I love black people…’
Now I was the one staring at him not blinking trying to understand what the hell was going on!
‘ I'm happy for you. Is this what you consider normal conversation?’
‘Oh I get it. You don’t like being black.’
Having already decided that I was leaving because I simply couldn't make head or tails of this conversation he was trying to have I asked him what had happened? What had happened to the cool smooth funny intelligent guy I’d been talking to for months?! He didn't have an answer he just stared at me, STILL! So I told him I was leaving and I did just that. Every one watched as I got up, part of me felt like tap dancing out of there to give them all the show they’d clearly been waiting for. But I thought better of it though I did give them all a wave. And SB, well he just sat there and watched me walk out. When I got outside I hesitate for a moment, surely he’d come after me?...
By the time I got to the tube station I had two missed calls from him. Maybe this whole thing was a joke? Was he playing a trick on me? Then a text came through ‘Really enjoyed tonight. Hope we can do it again soon x’ Needles to say I had no reply…
A few months later I was out in Covent Garden having a few drinks with friends and I saw SB, standing outside in a corner smoking. I had to do a few takes at first before I was certain. Seeing him like that made me miss him, the him I knew from our phone calls and texts, not the him in person. We moved on from that bar and I had moved on from him.
A few weeks later I got another text...
‘Still the most beautiful black girl I've ever seen x’