I know I’m lucky. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to be single. If you’ve read my earlier posts you’ll know Guido and I met inauspiciously over the liberal buttering of a sandwich. If you haven’t read any of my earlier posts you may be wondering what sort of pick-up joints I used to hang out in. I am pleased to tell you our later liaisons at his café progressed quickly from the humble bread roll to full English breakfast with beans in the morning, and then a flat white and a pastry in the afternoon. Back then I liked to look at Guido a lot. Well to be precise, sit and stare at him over the rim of my coffee cup and try to imagine what he’d look like naked but with just a chef’s hat on. It got to the stage I was visiting The Spanish Onion so often under the pretence to eat that I was actually finding it difficult to fit in any work around my eating schedule. I was beginning to feel like some kind of stalker with an eating disorder. I thought Guido was hot and I was just praying that he thought I was at least lukewarm despite the fact that when he threw culinary references into our conversations I didn’t know whether to fricassee or deglaze.
I used to do this silly thing when I went into the café each lunchtime just to attract his attention. I know what you are thinking. Pass the sick bucket. I thought I was being really cute and flirtatious but other customers used to look at me like I was a complete whacko. I’d stand infront of the specials board and the sandwich fillings list and then ask Gudio to make something which wasn’t up there. I’d say crazy things like, “I am in the mood for peanut butter and banana on toast,” (if you are dieting avoid this) or, “Make my day special with stilton and marmalade on rye,” (sounds odd but is surprisingly good) or, in a complete moment of madness, “Cream cheese and olives on pumpernickel – yum,” (do not try this one at home). Then when I went in the next day Guido would have chalked up and added onto the list whatever I had asked for the day before.
Guido finally got round to testing my sexuality preferences and hesitantly asking me out on a first date. Was I married – he wanted to know? Did I have a girlfriend? – by any chance? On a scale of one to ten who did I find more attractive – Johnny Depp or Chuck Norris. He asked if I’d like to go to the cinema with him but when we got there it turned out the Curzon was full and we ended up back at his loft for a drink. Somewhere between finishing that drink and breakfast downstairs the next morning, we went to bed. But here is the thing, we went to bed, and then we went to sleep. I hadn’t taken my clothes off in front of another man for about a year. Not since Coleman and that bloody suit of armour. So I had gotten a bit out of practice fooling around. I realise taking your clothes off in front of another man is a bit like standing on one leg because once you have done it once it’s one of those things you never forget how to do, even if you do have the lights switched off. Unfortunately on that particular occasion my body dis-morphia suddenly kicked in. This meant that just at the vital moment my underwear hit the carpet, I promptly burst into tears.
Let me give any of you who are about to go out on a first date a bit of advice, particularly if this is likely to involve taking your clothes off in front of another man, do not start crying when you are naked. I can guarantee you this will kill the moment. It was just as well Guido had been awake since five a.m. grilling bacon. Thankfully he was exhausted and not really that fussed either way about making woopie.
I can assure you the second time I took all my clothes off in front of Guido I did not cry. It was an all round far more pleasurable experience. Trust me that is a whole other blog.