He is one brilliant artist. One date with him and my world has shifted. I remember we wrote me on a Saturday morning, asking if I want to grab a coffee. "Of course", I replied, not telling him that I am jobless, apartmentless (is that a word?), with a lot of time to ... do nothing. I asked him to meet in my area and I walked towards the part of the city I would later live.
He texted me he was running late and I replied that I don't feel like waiting. Common, I was in Berlin and Germans are renowned for being in time. "I took the metro in the other direction. Give me ten minutes more", he explained his unpunctuality. "Sure, I'm gonna go to a shop and buy laundry detergent". I was half annoyed and by the time I arrived at the "Waschmittel" section, I was fully annoyed: on him for being late, on myself for my inability to speak German. "Washing resources/remedies (?!) - is that a word? Really!? I don't get it why this language has to be so complicated. My God, I don't understand the differences between Wasch-und Reinigungsmittel. Uggggh!!!" and I exited the shop quickly before other words would make my head spin.
The weather, which had looked threatening all morning, didn't matter when I met him. He smiled and apologized for his tardiness and assured me that after a couple of months of Berlin-living I would get used to people being late and I shouldn't take things too personally. "Forget everything you know about German stereotypes - we are not standoffish and cold, we like to make small talk, not everyone likes football and there are some of us who do not drink beer." I couldn't say a word and I just looked at him with the same look a child has when he is promised candy. I was quite sure that by the end of our date he would find me uninterested, mind-numbing, colorless and any-other-words-used-for-an-unsurpassed-level-of-boring. But him - with his charming way of pronouncing words in English, with his clever humor and savvy way of talking about buildings caught me off guard. He chose a cozy coffee place where we had cake and drank tea. He asked about my German skills and I pretended I know more than I actually did, but how else would I impress him? How will I make him like me? We were sitting on a couch, close enough to look him in the eyes and blushing at the thought that he might as well kiss me. He was an artist who, for some reason - or for a short amount of time - might find me enjoyable. I had to play my cards right.
But I've never been so shy in my life. I've never wanted someone to kiss me in a coffee shop, 20 minutes after we met. He had so much love to give and had a genuine vibe of kindness, that I was almost shaking - but in a good way. My voice sounded strained, shaky, tight and the more I talked, the more I realized I have to change the subject. I was saying out loud thoughts I kept only for me, thoughts that were hidden in my heart and came out only late at night when I had trouble sleeping. I wanted to talk about painters, I could say something quick about a famous architect, but I heard myself speak about my ex, while my brain was freaking out. "Stop complaining, Ioana. Why in the name of Lord do you have to talk about all this nonsense? Look at him, he's so handsome, so funny and you're ruining a date because of someone you dated for a short period of time didn't bother to say happy birthday?!? You know that being pretty won't save you this time. No one likes a woman who complains about her heartbreaks. Stop being silly!!" It was an attempt that didn't succeed. I ended my story with "so his birthday will be in a couple of days and I don't know if I should text him." The artist smiled and responded that I should take the high road, I should be the better person, it will make me sleep more peaceful.
I rolled my eyes and he noticed it, so he excused for having to go to the bathroom. He thought I have it in me - the forgiveness - and I need to find a way to be better than I was two months before. But he was wrong; I was tired of being understanding and forgiving. I won't text my ex. He should have texted me first. I have decided and moved my attention to other people's business.
There were two women sitting in the corner, at a round table and they were sipping hot coffee while holding hands and smiling. "My friends told me they had no idea I'm into girls", one of them said laughing. "Haha, really? So you haven't told anyone you were gay?" the tall woman asked surprised. "I didn't consider I have to tell them. I mean, I always liked girls. I don't know why everyone is so shocked about it all" and she leaned to kiss her date. And I was there on the couch by myself and I could see my future. This will be me, alone, standing in a coffee shop and listening to other people's conversations, because I am in no way capable of acting like an adult. If I had any tomatoes with me, I would have probably throw them at the happy couple and tell them they are just show-offs, that it will not last, they are just lying to each other - they are fools in love. Ugggh.
My date came after paying for both of us and said he will walk me home, as I mentioned that I have a "Zwisschenmiette" on the street one can always smell weed. He smiled, explained his weekend plans and had the feeling he would actually want to kiss me. But my brain couldn't understand it. He was amazing and I was clearly not - heck, I was so emotionally unstable that I hugged him, said goodbye and left.
But he liked me for who I was, he wanted to kiss me near "Traum Eck" and I just ran away, because I couldn't handle so much acceptance. All of a sudden, someone liked me with my -what I thought - imperfections. It turned out that I was quite not-boring after all.