(Continued from Listen to Your… Chest (Part 2))
The following Friday, at a birthday drinks, I told a friend about the guy off Tinder I’d been chatting to for the last year but had never met. I omitted a few salient details and he looked at me like I belonged at the funny farm.
‘You have to meet him,’ he said.
If the past twelve months had shown me anything it was that I definitely didn’t have to meet him, but I wanted to.
That night, waiting for the last train, I texted Neuro. The platform was deserted except for a man in his 60s wearing a shabby raincoat. He came over and alerted me to the fact that I was facing the wrong way so I might miss the train. I thanked him and he asked where I was travelling to, did I have a boyfriend?
‘Yes,’ I heard myself say.
‘Are you meeting him now?’
The train arrived and we boarded. He was still talking, nineteen to the dozen, when Neuro replied.
‘Where are you?’ I sent back.
‘I’ve never raped a woman and I’ve never touched a child,’ my neighbour was saying.
‘Ring me!’ I sent back.
He did, just as the train pulled into my station. I took advantage of my tipsy state to announce that we needed to meet. It had been a year. We needed to meet.
‘Come over now.’
‘I can’t. I… I need more notice.’
It was early February. The last time I shaved my legs there were leaves on the trees. But, more to the point, he was a virtual stranger. I wasn’t about to rock up at his flat in the middle of the night.
He suggested the next day.
‘You don’t sound very sure.’
‘Or Sunday?’ he said.
‘Hmm Sunday’s tricky.’
He said he’d be in touch the next day.
We never did meet. As I write this, a referral letter from the hospital where Neuro works lies open on the kitchen table. The appointment is for next week…