At uni I launched a poster campaign. I was looking for a man. The precise wording:
Would you like to learn to dance? I’m looking for a 6ft+ male…
‘Really you’re just looking for a boyfriend,’ Tom said.
‘Actually I’m not. I do genuinely want to find someone to dance with!’
One morning, as I was coming out of a lecture, my eye was caught by a pair of cheekbones and a tall, slender frame. He was beautiful, the kind of man I’d normally be scared to talk to. But – and this must stand to show just how desperate I was – I asked him straight out, was he interested in learning to dance?
He was nice, pleasant, chatty… not interested in learning to dance. But I went back to college riding a little high, the kind you get after being in the presence of – and acknowledged by – the very beautiful.
We became library buddies: he’d drop me a line when he needed a particular book. Then he’d appear at the porter’s lodge, an exotic presence, looking every inch the catwalk model (which he was).
‘Why are you putting on make-up?’ Tom said, leaning against the doorframe of my room.
And, my twenty-year-old self knew, very little point.