TO A friend of mine told me about a guy he met in line at Tesco Metro. They both went for the same meatball wrap, and he said, “This is like the part of the movie that we fell in love with,” which didn’t happen, but they went to the pub and then to a nightclub, where they stopped. so close to the speakers that they could feel the sound in the air like it was wind. When the lights came on, they went back to their apartment and had some great sex, watched by a Simon Cowell clipping left over from a party. After climbing through a window to the roof of her apartment, she stayed until the sky changed from flamingo pink to lilac to dark blue, and it was time to go home and get some sleep.
“I was going to ask for his number, but it was so perfect that I said, ‘If it’s meant to be, I’ll see you again.’
“And did you do it?” I asked.
“Yes, he touched my shoulder at a festival a few months later, but by then I already had a boyfriend, so I ignored him. Anyway, it was better to leave it at that. Just a perfect night. ”
I found my friend’s story deeply frustrating. Why wouldn’t you want to experience brighter moments, instead of worrying about the memory of just one? The pandemic only exacerbated this trend. So little happened that when something happened, it felt like it really had to mean something. Each relationship was strung, unpacked, and reevaluated until nothing was left. There was a guy who texted me regularly and I asked him out so many times that his messages stopped. I was wondering if my ex and I should give it one more chance, just to be safe. I was wondering if my husband from work should become my real husband.
But summer is coming, I can hear it in the music that plays through the car windows; I can feel it on my thighs as the sweat causes the skin to grip and rub until it turns red, and I start to feel very differently about my friend’s story of a perfect one-night stand. Having spent much of the past year thinking in terms of the future or thinking about the past, I want to be, and sorry to sound like someone who writes inspirational statements on LinkedIn, in the moment. I want to let men go as freely as I let them go, instead of persuading them to stay until we get boring and repetitive; until they know that I have to whistle to piss; until you know they put their socks on backwards to take off other wear and tear. I want a summer of beautiful cartoons. I don’t need to be disappointed that the guy who was staring at me over his laptop at my local coffee shop didn’t ask me out, because the butterflies he gave me were enough. I don’t need to try to watch that Hinge game again, because the funny anecdote that his mother caught me tiptoeing to the bathroom was enough.
“The length of a relationship does not dictate its importance,” my friend said of her unique encounter with the Tesco Metro man. It made me think of someone I kissed at the Notting Hill Carnival in 2019. He danced towards me and spun me around. We didn’t really talk because we couldn’t hear each other through the music, and I really didn’t know what it looked like because I had huge sunglasses on. But I liked it. I remember the slight wetness on her upper lip and the feel of her hand on my hip. I remember thinking: I don’t think you understand how much this means to me right now.
After a while, he danced away over the stream of the crowd that he washed up on. I spent the rest of the day looking over my friend’s shoulder, trying to find him again. I wanted to get his number, go have a drink, and find out what he does at work. Of course I never did. Now I like to think that if that same man were to dance with me again, I would not try to find him later. Instead, I would just let him go, knowing that he will mean more to me that way than if he stayed.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism