not Mr Casaubon

In the last several days I’ve been enjoying long distance emailing and messaging with Ewan.    There is some banter and good-humoured ripostes.  Twice he has paid me fine compliments on my language and vocabulary, which on both occasions put me in good cheer for a period of time.

Yet …  at the same time, I’m still on the dating app chatting to a few others and made dates to see a couple of them.

One of the new men I met was an academic who had never been married and took the train into London to meet me.  On our first date he said that there was a dearth of suitable women in his own geographical vicinity and he had lied on the dating app because there was a larger number of potential dates in the big smoke.  You might think me naive but I believed him – he didn’t look like a two timing, smooth talking philanderer who might have been dissimulating a wife or girl friend at home.  He looked slightly unkempt and dishevelled – his long sleeved cotton shirt was creased and his shoes well worn and lived in.  He had dark, wavy hair which curled a few inches below his ears, framing a pale face whose strongest features were a combination of deep, dark eyes over cheek bones that marched out sharply. He was tall with a lithe lean body and later he told me that he sometimes missed meals in the middle of the day because what he had been reading was so absorbing that he’d lost all track of time.

He was interesting enough for me to suggest a second date and we spent another three hours in fairly amiable company.  But the chemistry just wasn’t there.  Although he is five years my junior, I was inclined to associate him, possibly unfairly, with a certain elderly cleric from Middlemarch.  And he was possibly intimidated by my non-monogamous lifestyle.

The hot weather saw me cancelling dates I’d provisionally made to meet up with Lars.  I have not seen him since last year as we have both been busy being in other places.  He had newly returned for a short period and would soon be off again, and I had not felt like taking up where we previously left off.

Max and I have resumed e-mailing and he continues to update me on his dating progress.  Goran has gone quiet since he is away with the family but before leaving the country had implied that he was likely to continue wooing his new and young Brazilian friend.  I don’t blame him for preferring this well-endowed liberal woman.  Jan occasionally sends me a message enquiring after my well-being but I rather suspect he has lost interest in me altogether.

I should be unsettled by all this … but if I am honest with myself I rather suspect that I have wanted to be left alone and that is why I have not made more of an effort to nurture these relationships.

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