After a series of wrong turns for Scottie, events undergo a change in direction.
“Scottie the hottie!”
He hardly opened with the most original of lines, thanks to a wrestler being called something similar. Still, his cheeky opening message was enough to make me smile, and I decided to see what this guy was about. Quickly enough, the exchange became enthralling, and I was glued to my phone’s screen like a child who had been given the latest computer game. That’s the thing about dating apps and websites: the more you write in messages, the chattier you come across. I hate guys who just write one-word answers to anything – how on earth are you meant to get to know someone?
The chats continued, and we somehow got onto the fact that neither one of us had seen a certain film that had just been released. “Sounds like a date,” he wrote, leaving me staring at the screen, unsure of what to reply. It usually takes about a week – sometimes two – before I entertain the idea that whoever I chat to online probably isn’t a serial killer. With only a few hours’ notice, though, we ended up arranging a date for that evening.
I waited under the clock of Clery’s department store, the meeting place of olden days for many a Dubliner. I had been unusually punctual for an Irishman – we normally have a ‘mañana’ attitude to timekeeping – and had been left waiting as he parked his car near the river. About ten minutes later, he came into view, and there were two things I instantly noticed about him. He was shorter than I (never a plus) and he had something of a belly. My eyes couldn’t make out his face right away, and I hoped that his taller doppelgänger would quickly present himself as my date instead, but to no avail. Still, both of us smiled as we acknowledged each other.
His walking pace – brisk, like a hobbit on his way to Mordor – didn’t need to slow down as I joined his power walk up the capital’s boulevard and towards the cinema. We jumped into the same, banter-filled conversation we were having online. Whatever worries I had about him when he approached were quickly dispersed as he had me laughing within seconds. As we walked up the street, I noticed just how close he was to me. Close enough that every few seconds his bomber jacket brushed off me, making me wonder if he was naturally tactile or blind as a bat.
We made it to the cinema with just enough time for a drink before the film began. Without revealing anything too identifying about him, he worked in a similar area to mine [note: I don’t know exactly what I do, either] so it meant we had a lot to talk about regarding work. We did the usual topics too; where we grew up, our family and other introductory topics. All the while, he never lost my attention, and I didn’t seem to lose his. So far, so good
Soon enough, it was time for the movie, and the brushing off each other(!) reoccured. As we settled into our seats, our arms were almost already linked. It was something I’d normally never let happen so quickly, especially on a first date, but I was made feel comfortable from the start. Admittedly, I really liked it, and wondered just how hopeful I should allow myself to be about him.
That comfortable feeling continued for the entire evening as we went for a drink after the film. We chatted for hours to find out about each other, but our bodies already seemed well-acquainted. It was a strange mix of familiar and unknown, but it all worked so well.
There was no kiss as I was dropped home, despite wondering if I should’ve made a move. I texted shortly afterwards saying as much, to which he replied:
“No pressure. Plenty more opportunity for that.”
‘Scottie’ Illustrations by Stephen Charlick