March 5, 2019
The Last Tinder Date: Chapter 2
I took my date to my favorite French-inspired cafe where local mid-level Mafiosos would gossip over cigarettes. It was very atmospheric. I mostly went there in the hopes of witnessing an assassination but, that never happened.
We took the table near the window, removed our heavy winter layers, and continued talking. I liked talking with him because he didn't look at me like he was waiting for a blowjob. The entitlement of some guys, I tell ya. It was a level of respect I hadn't seen in some time.
I settled into the chair, I could feel his eyes examining my outfit. This meant only one thing - I had to act fast. When the waitress made her way to our table, I shook out my hair and smiled at him, while softly releasing the phrase, "two cappuccinos" into the air.
I had horrible fashion sense and though I never cared about clothes, he made me want to. The good thing was I knew my strengths: hair and smile. I figured by this sequence of sultry moves, I refocused his attention away from my combination of deteriorating pants and stained beige sweater and onto something less offensive, my face.
"So," I said confidently, "why did you come to Belgrade?"
What I thought would be a simple answer, turned out to be a story. Most people come here for the cheap booze and hot escorts trying to pay for college, but not him.
Instead, he was on a road trip with his friends from Israel. How scandalous. One of his friends was dying from Multiple Sclerosis; they decided to take him on a final road trip. With the Gypsy Kings playing in Skopje, Slovenia, they thought it was a good reason to tour the Balkans. It's a weird concert to inspire a road trip. No one thinks to themselves "road trip!" while listening to Spanish guitar. But I liked that he had a dying friend. I find attractive people don't have many.
"How was the concert?" I asked while eating the foam off the top of my cappuccino.
He explained he met the Gypsy Kings backstage after using his friend's Multiple Sclerosis story to emotionally soften the bouncer. Naturally, the bouncer had a heart of gold and led all of them backstage, but his dying friend didn't make it backstage with them. He had left two minutes before to take a shit.
That's right. His dying friend never got to meet the Gypsy Kings. He was busy shitting.
I liked the story. I always gravitated to stories where people fail to achieve their goals because of their immediate need to shit. Brownie point.
We talked four hours straight. Which even for me is a lot. Usually, by the first hour, I'm mapping out the route I'm going to take home. Bus 52 can probably take me there, oh, wait, maybe I'll walk until I get to the park and then take bus 18. I think it's better. I wonder if mom left me any dinner, fuck, I should have asked her to leave me some. Oh wait, what did he just say about dogs? But with him, the conversation was more than effortless, it synced. I felt like Drew Barrymore in every chick flick she's been in minus the slight lisp. We talked about Louis C.K. jerking off while on the phone, his thoughts on body hair, and sang half a Gypsy King song.
By the end of the date, I already wanted to see him again. But like all good things, he had to catch a plane back home.
"Fuck," he said as he looked at his watch. "I told my friends I'd be back two hours ago, we have to drive back to Romania." He looked away and bit his thumb gently. Holy fuck, he is thinking about staying? But he quickly snapped out of his daze, "fuck, time just flew by. Uh, yeah I don't really know where the car is, can you kinda point me in the right direction?"
"I can take you there, no problem," I said happily. But I wasn't happy. I didn't want him to go. Of course, you like him and he doesn't live here, Natasha. When are you going to stop going for foreign guys, this shit never works out. But I like him! No, no you desperate hoe, you need to rescue dogs and live in a village. We left the cafe and walked towards his car in silence.
As we passed a construction site, he stopped walking. "Wait a minute," as he took my hand and twirled me into him. Oh, he got you, he got you good. Construction workers were yelling at each other, semi-trucks were being filled with sand, and the constant sound of drilling filled the air. But the second he kissed me, I didn't hear a fucking thing.
Layers of clothing blocked our bodies from touching, but I felt as if our skin were pressed against each other. I placed my hand in his and wrapped my other hand around his neck as we swayed back and forth to the beat of clanking pipes and construction boots. I don't know how much time passed, but I could feel my nose getting numb from the winter air.
A drop of water hit me on the forehead, I pulled back slowly and looked at him. He wiped my forehead dry with his thumb.
"I guess you have to get to the car, your friends are waiting."
"Fuck my friends," as he smiled.
"Have a safe road trip back," I said somewhat mysteriously, in hopes of masking my disappointment. He kissed me one last time.
"I'll write you," he replied. That is the last thing you need to hear, girl. I tried not to believe him, but I did.
We parted ways on the street corner and I watched him walk away towards the car. I tried to catch a glimpse of his friends, but teenagers filled the streets for their afternoon break and he disappeared in the crowd.
To be continued...