Tag Archives: romance

Watch how good I fake it.

I met a beautiful man tonight.

Beautiful in intelligence. Beautiful in eloquence. Beautiful in movie knowledge. Beautiful in spirit and garb. Ugly in unavailability.

He was, quite simply: all that I have learned to live without.

Like most taken men, they don’t realize the golden light they shine upon you which speaks of prose and possibility. They don’t mean to promise you happiness in a smile, or to verify your existence merely by being worthy of their own. Yet they do.

He was poignantly dressed and met each twisting turn of conversation with wit and something to say (as opposed to anything to say). It was such a tonic to meet someone who thinks, learns and then speaks, that I felt myself pulled towards him like a planet towards the sun (or like all women towards chocolate and Ryan Reynolds) (probably in that order).

The attention he gave me was so complete as to suggest we were merely two halves of a whole, that our happy ending was a fait accompli. Such are the perils of dating in the modern world. Men have become so adept at synthesising romance, in the moment, it feels perfectly plausible. It’s not so much that you’re fooling yourself (though, there’s that) or that movies have brainwashed you (though, there’s that), mainly just that they’re THAT DAMN GOOD.

But as the night wore on, alcohol replacing romance with cruel credibility, I began to think perhaps he did know of the web he weaved. That my admiration served a purpose for him and therefore needed to be serviced by him. That our innocent meeting of minds was not so innocent. He had a girlfriend. He was not offering himself in any tangible way, yet nevertheless was taking something from me – claiming the first flush of felicity, borrowing a honeymoon period to compensate for his having expired. I couldn’t help but feel his theft was, if not intentional, not entirely accidental.

His beautiful suit and shoes should have served as my warning shot – an ego dressed in siren song. Yet so starved am I of kindred company, I could hardly turn back at a red flag dressed so sumptuously. But after following his crumbs of cinema and philosophy (my drugs of choice), where did that leave me? Believing initially that we were making something, only to learn we were faking something … not back where I began but somewhere else entirely.

Like the wasteland which lies beyond the porch in Beetlejuice, there was something more terrifying than death (or singledom).

Fast food fantasy.

The fable of Fabio

Day One.

Night time. Rome. Lugging my cumbersome home upon my back, I set out to find my hostel. However, the closer I get, the further away I seem to travel from the respectable part of town. Cue Fiesta Terrace Hostel (more Festy than Fiesta). My host emerges from the dark, like something out of the movie, Delicatessen.

Fat, sweaty, his gut protruding from beneath his once… white (?) t-shirt. “Ah, bella! Yes, come in!” He comes further into the light, to show dark circles under his sluggish eyes and makes to link arms with me (abort! abort!) before leading me to the office of further darkness.

“Just one night, not three.” I say.

One night? You book for three, yes?”

“Yes, sorry. Change of plans.” (In the space of the last five seconds).

Lose the deposit (but better that). My bunk bed lists dangerously to the right (not unlike the Titanic right before all hell broke loose) and I know – no way I’ll see the dawn sleeping on that puppy. Oh Sweaty One pulls the mattress to the floor, and crams it between the rest of the beds, saying, “This is good, no?”

That night, I slumbered next to a Brazilian with braces, who grinned a lot but couldn’t understand a word I said.

Day Two.

Hotel Postiano. Greeted by a jolly, well dressed man sitting behind a (well-lit) desk, I can’t believe my luck. I fall upon him, as if coming to a mirage in the middle of the desert.

“You are very friendly,” he says, “you smile all the time.” Insert usual chatting here. “How many siblings do you have?”

“Four brothers, two sisters” I say. (Might as well throw in the lot, go for the gold).

“Oh my goodness!” He raises his hand, which stays suspended in the air until I obligingly give him a high-five, and starts laughing. “In my country, we say, ‘Your father is a good player, and your mother is a good goal keeper.” The hostel is clean, fresh and as close to 5th Ave as I’m likely to get. The Gods have smiled upon me.

Day Three.

I wander through the ruins, trying to find the kick ass jewellery shop of my prior visit.

“Excuse, do you have the time?”

“No, sorry.”

“Hello, I am Fabio, and I come from Florence. But I come to Rome to study architectural ruins for my university.” (I aint making this up!) “I take you to grass, we sit, and I show you history of Rome, yes? You come with me, on my motor bike, yes?”

Ah yes, here before me stands an Italian man with sweet, big brown eyes called Fabio and I think, what the hell. I always say no. Let’s give this ‘yes’ malarkey a shot.

“Okay.” I say.

“You come on my scooter, yes? We drive around corner to park, and we sit. Yes? I have my sister’s helmet. You ride with me, yes?”

“Okaaay.” (HOLY SHIT!!!!!)

I hop on the back of his (sister’s) motorbike, grabbing on for dear life as he nonchalantly enters mad traffic, all the while looking over his shoulder at me, chatting away, not looking at the road. The traffic stops in front of him, but he doesn’t. I let out a whimper here, a whimper there. Secretly, I was lovin’ it, but I seriously thought, ‘it could all end here’.

“It’s okay, I see. I know.” He says, weaving in and out. He parks near a landmark, where the Roman’s used to race chariots. We sit, and he starts to explain the history of Rome.

“I have idea. I go and get something to drink, and we sit and toast to this scenery, yes? It will be romantic. Very nice, yes?” Sure, I say. He turns to go, but then as an afterthought says, “My friends at university, when we drink, we give each other money to pay. Yes?” Is that the jingling of alarm bells in the distance? He leaves, comes back with champagne. He weaves a tale of shop attendants and closing shops, and then he hits me for the cash. “25 each, yes?” I nearly fall off my patch of grass. “50 in total?” I say, incredulous. (Abort! Abort!)

Yes folks, we have a scammer. I repeat, we have a scammer. Baby brown eyes named Fabio tried to liberate me of my cash. How could this happen? Anyone with the name of Fabio is immediately trustworthy, surely! But this is where romance ends and real life begins people. Take notes, I’ll wait while you sharpen your pencil.

Happily I say, “I only have 8 Euro on me.” He starts to get angry, and suggests going to a bank. Definitely bells, but I think it’s the death toll. “It is not millions, no? You didn’t tell me this when I went to get drink, no? This is not honest of you.”

Aaah, the irony.

So much for the history of Rome.


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