I’m skeptical about the doctor. He seems… quite serious. But then he does spend his days saving lives, not moving commas around like yours truly. I’d probably be serious if I worked in an intensive care unit.
Moreover he can punctuate with the best of ‘em, so there really is no good reason not to go on a date with the guy.
Beatrice has a weakness for doctors. She likes the fact they’re at ease with the human body which I think is a euphemism for they’re good in bed. I’m not convinced by her logic, in fact I’m prepared to bet your average intensive care doctor might be a bit too busy, y’know, providing intensive care to become Casanova in the bedroom. But I’m more than happy to be proved wrong.
Or because I’m currently on a plane bound for a city which can’t help but make me think of him. He’s not there anymore – he’s back in London. He didn’t tell me; I read it on Facebook. For a week I was down in the dumps before picking myself up and… going to his place of work.
I’d been meaning to check out the dance classes for a while. And when I say a while I mean getting on for three years. And it just so happened that they took place every Saturday in the building where VP was working.
The chances of running into the guy were close to nil. I suppose… it will sound silly (and I do think Gabriel Garcia Márquez is partly to blame), I wanted to walk where he’d walked, go where he’d gone before me. Is that weird? Maybe, but at the same time I was dancing again and that could only be a good thing. He’d made me dance once before and now here I was again, dancing. And who knew where it would lead?
Beatrice once wrote me a profile for My Single Friend. It concluded: ‘And if you happen to be a ballroom dancer then so much the better!’ I’d long ago resigned myself to the fact that ballroom dancing in the garden – or anywhere – would remain a solo activity. And if by some miracle I ever brought a guy home to meet the parents he would assume the role of amused onlooker while I chasséed and lock-stepped my way around the lawn (he wouldn’t – he’d be forced to get involved and we’d end up laughing so much it hurt and made it impossible to keep dancing…).
So when, late one Saturday night, I get a generic Tinder message from Fred Astaire it gives me pause for thought.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried ballroom. It’s one of the most incredible feelings in the world, being led around the floor by an experienced dancer. That might sound horribly chauvinistic – and it’s true that an incompetent lead is tantamount to torture – but with the right partner it’s a dream.
With Fred I cut to the chase in a ‘You’re a ballroom dancer?! Time and place and I’ll be there!’ kind of a way. Fortunately he finds it funny and suggests a date.
‘I’m not sure I fancy him,’ I say to Beatrice, in the run up to Friday. ‘But I think I’m right in saying I fancied all of the dance team at uni, so we’ll see.’