Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday 25 May 2010

Dream: I arrange a date with a blonde lady and when she turns up she is pregnant and needy.  Back to the drawing board.

Today I awaken around 8.10AM.  After my brief bout of company loyalty late yesterday in the end I opt for taking my day off with view to heading up to Gosh Comics for the Dan Clowes book signing at lunchtime.

Also on the agenda today is snagging Millwall tickets for Wembley as they go on sale to the general public.  I should be shot for not renewing my membership card this year, especially after the exact same thing as this happened last year.  Unfortunately in the run up to when the tickets become available, I find myself looking at naughty websites out of boredom.

The website (See Tickets) flips on at 9AM and suddenly there’s a deluge of people clicking links and attempting to buy tickets.  I aim for the most expensive tickets (as per last year) and it all seems too easy.

Indeed it was all running far too simply as promptly after I enter all my personal and bank details into the See Tickets website it immediately bounces me out saying that there are no tickets available in the combination I requested (two adult tickets for fucks sake).  So what, are thousands of people suddenly jumping online and purchasing single tickets?  It is funny how a few moments ago (seconds not minutes) seats were available.  I try again and get the exact same response.  Then when I attempt a third time the website now appears to take delight/glee in telling me that all the tickets are sold out.

From here I begin roaming my other options.  At the moment there just about appear to be some options available but the seats seem nosebleed, loser selections that aren’t overly appealing.  It doesn’t pay to be snobby.  Then suddenly my fears become realised as it begins to look like I have truly fucked up and that it just isn’t going to happen this year.  I don’t think I’m going to be able to get any tickets.

I decide to take a break away from the website in the hope that things will have calmed down by the time I return.  With this I wind up watching the live episode of Will & Grace before finding myself gawping at Supernanny in America almost without realising.  She sure is a whole lot of woman.

Eventually I go back to trying to buy tickets online but it only results in more fail.  By this stage the wind has truly been knocked from my sails as I lose energy and enthusiasm for things football.

With view to regaining interest in the beautiful game I decide to tear open my copy of The Game on DVD.  This was a TV show Danny Baker made in 1991 where he covered various park matches from Sunday leagues in London (Hackney Marshes) to hilarious results.  This was (and still is) football of the workingman.

Unfortunately after the bad start to the day it only achieves/reaches more curmudgeon as the hours pass and it slips towards the afternoon.  With this in mind it is perhaps not the best time to be meeting a person for the first time (for a date).  Regardless an early email from Sophie suggesting that we meet at 6.15PM instead of 1PM still gets a response from me in the affirmative.

Just as things appear unable to falter any further my PC begins to blink when it appears that the video card is now on the way out.  Regardless I return to attempting (and failing) to snag Wembley tickets as today begins to resemble more and more failure.

Eventually I have lunch, trying to keep things light so that it doesn’t wreck/ruin me or my chances later on.  Am I really serious in thinking that this will make an ounce of difference?  Then from here I step into the home straight of preparing to meet up as I hop in the bath and begin to freshen up.

As I wait for the bath to cool I sit on the toilet and read Wilson in one go (one sitting).  It’s a cool book, not as nihilistic or in depth as I was hoping, but humorous and touching all the same.

In the afternoon I find myself falling asleep while Diagnosis Murder plays out on daytime TV.  This is hardly inspiring stuff.

Finally I pull myself together just after 4PM and drive to the train station where I swiftly board the 4.30PM train.  With this I arrive in London just before 5.30PM and soon hit the Central Line to Tottenham Court Road and my eventual fate.  Upon arrival I walk down towards Covent Garden and onto St Martins Lane where I snag yet another mint Caffé Nero frappe milkshake.  These are king.

Walking along St Martins Lane I spot yet another tiny elephant but when I get to Trafalgar Square I am surprised that I cannot see any.  The scattering of these things around the city is weird.

Before long it comes time to meet up with Sophie so I head to Covent Garden in good time for our scheduled 6.15PM meet up.  The last time I stood here waiting for a date was Szesze.  And we all know how that turned out.

Pretty much on cue/time she turns up, catching me unawares just as I am probably adjusting myself or something.  When she says “Jason?” I look up to find myself confronted by a glowing individual.  She is tall, taller than me and larger than was to be expected.  The again I guess so am I.

As with any meeting the initial moments are awkward but at least we appear to be putting in the effort as we decide on where to go.  I know I should be assertive and lead at this point but I really don’t know the area.

We go through the customary of asking how each other’s day have been.  It feels unbalanced with her having had a day at work (with meetings) while I have spent the day at home trying to buy football tickets online and even failing in that.

She leads us towards Shaftesbury Avenue and down some stairs into a strange bar called Freud.  Very Freudian.  It appears to be either a Boho joint or somewhere that will be nice when it is finished.  From here I head to the bar to buy us a couple of glasses of wine which get served in tumblers.  If this is a classy lady used to the good things in life, this will surely represent a fail.  Then again it was her that brought us her.

We get into chat and its fun and not too laboured, not too awkward.  She speaks at 100 words per minute, mainly looking in a direction away from me.  That is not good.  I also struggle to believe that she is 36 years old.  She looks good for it, unspoiled and still fresh.  What a terrible thing to think and say.

It is plainly obvious that she is more accomplished than me.  It’s not long into proceedings before she reveals that she works for PWC (the NFL).  To this she adds that she even lived in Boston a few years ago.  Immediately in comparison my “career” feels small beer, unfocused and unaccomplished.  As a result we probably talk shop a bit too much but its fascinating stuff, I really am interested in what motivates and spurs a person on.  Its something I sure as fuck can’t uncover.

It turns out that when she claims to be from Essex she means Theydon Bois, which isn’t necessarily a place that registers highly on my map of Essex.  We talk about the fun stuff that we both do but often/regularly conversation reverts back to our respective jobs.  As ever I continue to sell my job.

As things move on slowly it turns out that as per her email address (“Pimlicogirl”), she lives in Pimlico.  The only other person I’ve met that lived in Pimlico was Michelle, the lady from Holland.  Best not go down that route.  She actually owns her apartment there for which her parents stumped up the deposit.  That’s nice for her.

Early I notice that she has only her thumb painted with nail polish.  Is this some explicit (and slightly lame) attempt at rebellion?  Equally listening to her hectic lifestyle perhaps she only had time to do this one or maybe she even just ran out of time.  Of course the third option is that she might be a psycho but at this stage I’m not sensing so.

Soon I am buying us a second glass of wine (served in a tumbler) as things begin to get hazy.  With this we begin to discuss topics such as her Craigslist advert. Later she mentions she is heading to Latitude this summer, which leads to a strange story of her friend overdosing on legal highs at Guilfest.  Unfortunately this then leads me onto an anecdote about Mephedrone in reply, which doesn’t quite go down as well.

Moving onto the subject of family it turns out that she has a brother who is a lawyer as she reveals to me that, as above, it was her parents who helped her out in purchasing her Pimlico property.

By this point the lights have dimmed in the bar and the music has been turned on as an annoying gay couple pitch up sat next to us.  I wouldn’t care were it not that the animated one (the bitch) proceeds to drown us out with his foreign chit chat and no real importance.  My brief exchange with the guy gets off to a bad start as he pulls a funny face at us when he sits down.  What’s his fucking problem?

As we finish up our second tumblers of wine she goes to the toilet leaving/giving me opportunity to take stock of things as they begin to get hazy.  When she returns we decide to move on elsewhere.  Desiring something quiet and sedate I suggest the bar at the Curzon.  It’s not great but I like it.

While we walk along Shaftesbury Avenue (past Forbidden Planet) again it becomes apparent to me how much taller she is than I.  Suddenly I begin to feel like some kind of George Costanza type attempting to woo a tall woman.

I begin asking her about her boxing training and it turns out that she was having private lessons.  Despite her size thankfully this remains feminine and I manage to refrain for making any kind of foxy boxing comment, instead comparing it to my own kickboxing experiences.  A private trainer though, that must have been expensive.

By this point we are passing Fopp and crossing Charing Cross Road before finally stepping into the middle Curzon bar where she orders us two more glasses of wine.  It is at this point I catch a glimpse/reflection of the pair of us in the mirror of the bar.  Will the sight of me and a lady ever cease to look odd?

At this I ask her why she placed an ad on Craigslist and almost immediately I begin to regret my enquiry.  She tells me that she split up with her boyfriend six months ago and now wants to meet people again.  Then she asks me why I was on the website and I don’t have a decent reply, at least not one that doesn’t make me sound desperate or needy.

From here we hop on a couple of stools and continue to chat.  For some reason when I acknowledge that she is a director a PWC she reacts strangely, defensive as if I were being invasive.  Perhaps she shouldn’t have put in on her Linkedin profile.  Then again perhaps I shouldn’t have looked at it.

Conversation meanders to past bad experiences at which point I probably unwisely mentions Bella while she tells me about some gay dude that was apparently obsessed with her at Durham University.  I’m sure that was good for her ego.

With proceedings reaching 9PM she makes comment that she still has some work to do back at the office this evening.  Now this could either be her escape route or equally a reality judging at what a career overachiever she is.  She then shows me a hole in her tights pointing out how Essex it is.

At this point to bring things to a conclusion I make the mistake of explaining what I want from our meeting (or any meeting).  Perhaps I should not have used the word fun.

Around 9.15PM we exit the Curzon and head up along Shaftesbury Avenue towards Cambridge Circus.  She says to me “are you going to show me Fopp then?”  Is this the most I have to offer?

It is at this point Sophie the opportunity to tell me that she doesn’t think it is going to work.  After a pretty decent and solid three hours of conversation this comes as quite the genuine shock to me and I am truly flabbergasted.  Upon making this declaration she promptly begins apologising profusely, even saying, “well what do you think?”  I think all is lost.

We arrive at the traffic lights in the shadow of the Palace Theatre.  As we stop I begin to pick my jaw up from off the floor.  I cannot look her in the eye and she continues with her spiel going “I hope you don’t feel I have wasted your time.”  Quite frankly she has but by saying this she is deflecting any opportunity for me to respond unreasonably.  She asks “have I upset you?” and I have to concede that she has but more I am taken aback.  What went wrong here?  What did I do?  There are definite holes in my plight and my effort but nothing I would view as defeating as this response.

Finally I am able to muster some kind of honest response and rather than getting angry I just concede “I don’t understand” to which she bites/chews “there just isn’t the chemistry” which is a term so horribly close/similar to what Sarah said to me the other week.  How can she possibly be coming to this conclusion after such a short space of time?  Obviously with my self loathing nature I could offer up a hundred reasons why she shouldn’t be with me but naively I truly felt that this was not the case tonight.

Not for the first time this month my heart goes, gets trampled by a person who perhaps should not necessarily hold such power/influence over me.  She begins to repeat herself in a vain effort to make things better but with her grand declaration by this point all is lost.

At this stage now there is nothing I can do.  In a matter of minutes in my eyes she goes from being a nice person to being a complete and utter bitch.  Maybe it is good she is being so straight with me at this stage (or so she is trying to persuade me) but if something has legs you cannot realistically expect it to run immediately.  For all my faults there is serious greatness in me but these are not traits that are necessarily explicit after three hours conversation with me.

As I stop listening to her I point out Fopp to her, there is not much else I can possibly do.  In a matter of seconds I decide to nip it in the butt.  I was willing to walk her back to work, to make sure things ended gentlemanly and kind but now such gestures just feel pointless and insignificantly.

Replaying things over in my mind I cannot decide whether my response was the right one or not, whether it was too soft or wimpy or even immature.  Realising that this brief encounter is coming to an end I take my iPhone out of my pocket followed by my headphones as I get ready to make an exit.

Like a typical fucking female she keeps on blabbering (even saying she cannot handle her drink) while I just shake my head.  I tell her that it’s “best not to drag things out” as I quickly turn cold to her, expressing it explicitly.  I don’t bother to make any kind of exiting gesture instead I just say “take care” and stop short of wishing her a “happy life.”  Within seconds I turn away and head up Charing Cross Road towards Tottenham Court Road.  I feel out of breath in that way that suggests you may be about to be overcome by emotion and cry and I storm/stomp away from her as quick as possible in an effort to not lose any more face.

The stride is a swift one as I look for tracks to listen to on my iPhone.  I want something loud and angry to listen to, something to make the emotions of my heart and mind to fuel my disillusion.  My selection turns out to be “Snakedriver” by the Jesus And Mary Chain.  I just want nonchalance, I want to pretend that this is no big thing and to get over it just as quick as I got into it.  I am 33 now and it seems/feels cruel that I still have to go through this shit, this is schoolyard stuff and the belittle ritual just isn’t worth the emotional toll when there is so much else going on in my life/world at this time.

I wonder what goes through the mind of Sophie after I exit.  Is she really heading back to work at 9.15PM tipsy as fuck?  Surely she ain’t going to be producing decent work/slides at this hour in that state.  After her frequent apologies I consider that she may even be as distressed as I am, maybe even crying being a female and all.  In a way a hope so, she created the weird situation, the awful end to proceedings so be rights she should be suffering.

By the time I reach Tottenham Court Road and board a tube some kind of clarity assembles in my mind.  Easy come, easy go.  I struggle to be truly upset by it all because it is just too common for me now.  Now for the animosity.

When I get back to Liverpool Street feeling hungry and tipsy I buy a Burger King.  This is truly comfort eating.

From here the train ride home serves as some kind of kinked exploration of the soul, echoing a night when I was once sent packing by Zoë.  I want to be devastated but I just don’t feel it.  Defeatism rather than rationality wins out as some kind of realisation that I am always going to be liable to rejection hits home.

As I envisage Sophie R pissed up and doing her PWC work I can only feel resentment at the lack of opportunity rather than the process of rejection itself.

When they came up with the saying “don’t hate the player, hate the game” I truly do not think it was with her in mind.

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