The 97% match is an art historian, (edit – let’s call him Tomas) head of his department at a post-graduate art school in London. We recognised each other at once outside the art centre at the Barbican – my choice of venue, even before I’d discovered his professional interest. In a darkened studio our hands brushed against each other’s until at one of the larger rooms, behind a pillar, we embraced. We went down a level for cocktails where he told me of his complicated love life involving one long term partner and other tempestuous lovers. He walked me to my station later that evening and we enjoyed another kiss at the top of the stairs. We exchanged phone numbers and he sent me a sketch by Antoine Watteau the following day – a libertine painter who painted love and had no time to spend on actual love-making – my new love interest tells me. The refined banter between us hinted occasionally at libidinous themes and he invited me to the hunterian museum as a precursor to indulgence of a more sensuous nature. How could a girl resist? I assented, of course.
The following evening I had a date with Julius who continues to delight me. He had indicated that some of his friends might be at the Crossbones vigil we were attending and I’d been slightly apprehensive. As it happened, there was no one there who knew him very well and so the evening had been all right. When the vigil was over we went for a drink at a pub before coming back to mine. In my bed, after dallying about downstairs baptising the sofa in the living room, we came upstairs, and then I remembered and we booked the tickets to go on holiday together for the end of next month. We marvelled at our confidence about the strength of our relationship, to take such a bold step other lovers might consider foolhardy since it was only our sixth date, but we were both certain that it was unlikely we might ever fall out.
I spent the entire night cradled in his arms – both amazed the next morning that we suffered no ill effect from this unfamiliar sleeping position. We re-affirmed our adoration of each other, and were careful and also careless about describing our emotions. The carelessness sprang more from spontaneity and the care we took in our choice of words stemmed from a desire not to alarm the other. We understood where we stood with each other and I can enjoy this phase of my life being the apple of my lover’s eye, until the end of the year at least!
Ewan makes a date finally, having received the parenting calendar for the new school year. We pencil in an evening in a fortnight’s time as he is given to understand that my own diary was being rapidly filled. I am jealous of the time I can call my own after being pressed by the new men in my life to meet them. Goran still sends me messages and I no longer feel the need to meet him. What a difference a few months apart has made and I am regaining my self-esteem, helped tremendously by the ardour of Julius’ passion.