The poetry of details
Tow The IT guy or The missing walet.
We met via an online dating app. I was new in town and I was excited to meet new people: make some friends, talk in (broken) German, see if dating in a city with 3,6 Million inhabitants can heal some of my scars. I was sure I am going to find "the one" here. The one who won't run away when I unpack my fears. The one who will understand that I sometimes hide my pain behind a big smile.
And online seemed to be an agreeable way to do meet someone. I know how to talk to strangers on the internet. I had an mIRC account in high school. But Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid make things a bit easier. You see some pictures, read a (short) bio, have a chat before meeting in real life. Things were ok-ish with him, and by ok-ish I mean that he was a bit funny (with the emphasis on "a bit"). His English was decent but at some point, he tried to turn our conversation into sexting. And this is a game I know very, but very well how to play.
I pretended I'm interested into sex talk. He made an awful joke, I asked him to explain the sentence. "Can you please use simpler words, as I am not sure I get your point." That's the beauty of texting. It's hard for people to know if you're using sarcasm. He said that it was just a joke, I shouldn't worry. Next day, he tried again. I told him I like morning sex better. He got all excited, thinking that he scored. But I then asked him if he had read any good books lately, so the "sexy mood" was ruined. Two days later, when he made another inappropriate joke, I told him I'm a 32-year-old virgin. He was shocked but intrigued. And I smiled at his bewilderment, saying that I can't wait to meet him in real life.
If you're reading this, you might wonder why I decided to meet with him. He was clearly a jackass, right? Trying to get some nudes from a woman he never met. Well, I wanted to put a face to a name and - how the Italians so beautiful say - I had "Tempo da Vendere". We met in the intersection from the picture. And this is when things get interesting. (I hope you are not completely bored so far.) He saw me but didn't make any steps towards me. He stood at the corner, trying to prove a point. "Very Don Juan of you," I said to myself and considered it to be strike one.
After saying "Heeeey", I told him that I don't want to be in a smoking bar and I don't care if that is his favorite place in Neukoelln. But you see, when someone is a regular in a bar it means that someone knows the employees. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction to show me off. And he was not pleased to change locations. Strike two.
We chose a bar where only the bartender and a client were having a chat. I ordered a lemonade and he ordered a beer. He tried to convince me to have a beer or two. "Nope, I don't drink alcohol at all. Nope, not even tonight. I'm good, thanks." Strike three.
He started the conversation by asking me about my belief in God. "But how old are you again? How can you think that God is real? You see, I am a man of science." He tried to make me feel inferior, so I asked him with a poker face: "Are you calling me stupid?" Strike four.
"I do think you have a beautiful smile. And I am just being honest. I say what I think." Bullshit. I was wearing dental braces back then and he tried to explain how adorable he finds it. "I also had them when I was a child, but probably in Romania is not that common." He thought I lack the confidence because I am wearing braces. Strike five.
Strike six: I found out it is super common for adult, educated men to assume that women are wearing a short skirt to impress them. How amusing, no? Some men think the sun rotates only for them. I could see in his eyes that he was sure he's gonna get laid that night. He looked at me which so much sexual desire, that he didn't even considered that it might be the same look I've seen before. When you see someone that is so consumed with lust - and he just stares - you get shivers down your spine. It's a cold, quiet and stupefied stare that it makes you wonder how someone can live for so long and not being able to see the outside world.
As a side note, it was laundry day for me, had exactly two pairs of jeans when I moved to Berlin and that skirt and a black pullover was the only outfit I could go out in.
Strike seven: he tried to the shift the conversation to sex again. So not only he was staring, he was convinced that he can persuade me into a quicky. "I believe in God and I don't believe in sex before marriage. Yes, I'm 32 and I never had sex. Yes, I had boyfriends but I can also control myself. I am not an animal. If I don't want to have sex, I won't. I said I like morning sex? I suppose I did say that. I read it in a magazine. Wanna get married and try it?" He bought it - good.
Strike eight and the ultimate lie: he pretended he lost his wallet and made a huge scene "all my credit cards are missing and I am going to live in Prenzlauerberg and I need to buy this expensive furniture I found. He was a horrible actor. He wanted for me to understand that he is very successful in his career, so I said "Oh, my God! I'm so sorry. Of course, I can pay for the drinks. Don't worry." He was in a hunting mood and wanted to trick me into having sex. The alpha male who rescues a poor Transylvanian girl. Imagine the story he could have told his friends "I slept with a super hot Romanian and I didn't have to get her drunk because she was stupid anyhow. She believes in God."
He smiled and said goodbye to the bartender, being sure of his abilities - he's gonna get lucky soon. We walked together for 5 minutes and he was in shock when I refused his offer. "Nope, I'm gonna take a left. Sorry, but I can't come with you to your place to search for the wallet. You see, I am new in Berlin and I don't know where you live. Even if you live very close from here, it takes me forever to go home. Stay safe." And hugged him goodbye. He sent me a picture 40 minutes later. "Look, I found it on the kitchen table. I got back my money." It was his last attempt. "Glad you found it. Good night." He didn't bother to reply anything else.
The funny thing is, I found him on Facebook one month later, by accident - we were part of the same group. But his way of treating people was exactly the same. He was arrogant, cantankerous, miserly and patronizing. But what can you expect from "an adorable bastard who hates tomatoes"?