My singleton friend, Marc, telephoned me last night to tell me another boyfriend has just gotten away.
“You’re in a monogamous loving relationship. You’ve just got married. You’ve no idea what it’s like being single,” Marc sighed. “I’ve blown it with Secondo. I prayed for the moment when he told me he adored me, and then when he did, I acted like a complete klutz sending mixed messages. Now he’s gone home to Italy and hasn’t called or emailed me.”
Well I thought, we can all be a klutz.
Let me rewind you to the Summer of 1996. I met a guy called Uri; a student from Israel visiting London for a whole month. He had a Roman nose and a torso like a Greek marble statue. His hair was black and glossy and tapered at the nape in a little wiry curl. His legs were as hairy as an orangutan’s and when I closed my eyes alone in bed at night I’d fantasise about stroking them. I’d imagine emigrating to Haifa with Uri and being on the beach, and swimming in the warm Mediterranean Sea with him, and being fed seafood from the end of his fork.
He’d tell me he’d set his alarm clock just to watch a sunrise over the London roofs or to hear the sparrows chirp from the window ledge of his hostel. He was sexy and young and sweet. One evening that Summer we strolled to Regent’s Park and we sat under a big oak. We joked around. We fooled about. Then, he reached out to me unexpectedly, yet, as I always hoped he would. He put his hand right on top of mine and held it there for a moment. And he touched me gently on the lip.
“I adore you,” he said.
It seemed like the world ceased turning on it’s axis, clocks stopped ticking, and for the first time in my life another guy had just said he adored me. Here’s the klutz part. I blew it because in that moment I got scared and sent mixed messages.
So the world started turning again and my watch went tick tock. We walked awkwardly to a fried chicken shack on a street corner and that’s when Uri explained he was flying home the following weekend but he’d send his address and we’d always keep in touch.
Sometimes, when Guido switches on the TV night news, I’ll see a report about a shooting or a bus bomb or some other God awful thing in Israel. That’s when I’ll think about Uri. I’ll pray he’s safe, that he’s found as good and kind a man to love like Guido, and I’ll wonder if he ever thinks at all about the time he told me he adored me.
So I tell Marc on the telephone he’s absolutely right. I can’t possibly know how he feels because I’m in a loving monogamous relationship and I’ve just got married. Me a klutz?
But if Uri Baumgarner from Tel Aviv is still out there and ever happens to find this blog, there’s something I want you to know. I should’ve put my hand back on top of your hand and squeezed it tight. When you stroked my lip I should’ve smiled straight right back at you. And then, in 1996, I should’ve told you that I adored you.