DATING DIARY: THE SLEEPER AND THE PIMPS

Seung-Hwan Oh

Art on front by Seung-Hwan Oh – the mix interaction of photography and bacteria – “subjects blur into negative space, creating a sort of dystopian nightmare”

He leaned in – and started telling me about his studies. “Harvard”… “I went to Harvard” he smiled. Ooh the studious sort… I thought… that’s pretty sexy. “I’m studying my MBA in London… and ideally one day I want to get married” he leaned in… and stared into my eyes. “That’s really nice” I smiled back. I wondered if his eyes might be a little too close together. I reflected on ‘that’ old saying.. ‘never trust a man who’s eyes are too close together’. Where did that idea come from..? I pondered looking at his face. I wondered how many people born with eyes too close together might be unfairly tarnished with this untrusting brush. Or maybe.. it wasn’t unfair?

His fingers lightly brushed my arm snapping me out of my trance. I watched them dance daringly across… testing the water. He turned to the subject of marriage again. It was a first date so I was suspicious. Was he using my age against me thinking this was what most women my age wanted? What was with the marriage thing?

“I love the park. Will you come for a walk in the park with me on Sunday?” he queried moving his head wistfully and looking at me with wide expectant eyes. “Yeah. Maybe” I answered submissively. “Let’s get some food?” “Sure!” he replied.

Five minutes later we were sat in a nice restaurant… “Halloumi!”.. “Let’s get some Halloumi!” I declared excitedly ordering. Five minutes later the food arrived. And he leant his head in his hands. I thought he was looking down at the food. But slowly…as he looked down…his eyes closed. I took a bit of Halloumi looking on in perverse amusement as his head sank lower. Fuck. Omg. Has he… just… fallen asleep? This is going to be a terrible marriage I reflected. I shook him gently by his shoulders.. trying to awake him from his slumber slightly embarrassed that we were sitting in the middle of a busy restaurant. “Wake up…” I whispered… “Wake up”. He didn’t stir.

“Er yeah so how embarrassing was that” – I declared to my friend. “Hahaha!” she laughed. Some creepy looking guys were staring over at us as we sipped our drinks. It was early in the afternoon… “I’m really concerned we’re going to talk to them.” I declared out loud. One of them walked over. “Would you like a drink.” he asked us. He was a big man with a scary face. “Erm…” we both hesitated looking at each other. He sat down next to us.

“We are from the Ukraine” he smiled darkly peering at us. Nothing about him alluded light. “Oh that’s really nice!” my friend played along. A dark shadow passed over the table. The other guy walked over. “What do you do?” I queried to the other man. Crap question usually but I didn’t care in this situation. “Nothing – I’m a gambler. I gamble a lot of money.” he said looking out of the window. Hmm. I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“They’re fucking pimps… seriously I reckon they’re pimps! Don’t trust them” I whispered to my friend as they headed to get a drink. Five minutes later I was putting my coat on. I had an appointment to get to. “I need to go – please please don’t stay with these men for too long…call me???” feeling bad for leaving. “Course” she winked. I ran out and peered back through the window mouthing the words to her MAKE SURE YOU CALL ME…

An hour later I got a text… “All good in the hood – you were right though – one of them came out with it and just told me – they were pimps!”.

“Eurgh” I replied. Shuddering at the memory of them. Disgusted that they had the bravado to think they were worthy of our time… “I think I might stay home for the rest of the year” I texted back.

“For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.”
Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

Recently Becki has recently finished reading and recommends Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E Frankl and finds herself reflecting on the idea ‘what is it that life wants from me?’…

Be good,

Becki Bx

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