By Forrest Clancy
It’s Christmas, and for me that means two things, lots of time alone in my house with the lights shut off and even more time watching soul cripplingly bad movies. I have watched many this Christmas, digging for the one golden turd to write a bitter review about. But that’s just the thing with a bad movie. Often, it’s not quite bad enough to put words in your mouth, it just sort of emulsifies your brain, and leaves you speechless.
I was stuck for a brief period of time. The clock was ticking and the movies were getting neither better nor worse. I had nothing to write about. And then I went on a blind date.
Do not agree, ever, to go on a blind date.
“Love is blind!” Said my friend Gracie as she sold the idea to me. The phrase itself suggests some sort of profound failure in one’s love life. Like if this person actually saw you they might change their mind about showing up. I almost shuddered as I agreed.
From the very moment I met my date, I realised what Love is Blind had actually meant. It is termed ‘blind’ only you enjoy the other person’s company. This wasn’t blind love.
“Yah, darling.” She said, shaking my hand. “Yah. Hermione. But you can call me Hermz.”
Hermz. I thought to myself. That sounds like something that’s blood born.
I would later notice that in her facebook photos, ‘Hermz’ had chestnut curls which rolled naturally down. But, in person, it looked as though she had dyed the grain of her hair with streaks the colour of plywood. She was a talkative person, and her hair bounced on her shoulders like springs as she rambled about nothing.
“Anyway enough about me, tell me about you for once.” She finally said this about 45 minutes into the date, rather abruptly, too, as though it had been me running my mouth. I told her I was a writer of sorts.
“Well how much do you write?”
I hate this question. It makes writing feel like a bench press. I feel like I’m supposed to say “100 Pages” to impress.
“On a good day I’ll write one or two really good lines.”
When she heard this, she looked back at me like I told her that I was born half Unicorn.
About halfway through the date she asked me if i was a Tory or a Labour kind of person. This hadn’t even come up in conversation, it was totally uninvited and felt more like an ‘OK, enough bullshit, let’s talk business’ kind of question. It felt like she was beginning to calculate whether she would even go on another date with me.
This isn’t really the type of first date question I was hoping to be asked. Usually, one might start a little lighter with something like a Coke vs Diet Coke, or a Burger King vs Macdonald’s. Sometimes, even, it’s me who asks this question, and, upon hearing their answer I simply say “No way! Me too!!”
It was obvious what Hermz was. It was obvious what she wanted me to say. She’d just lobbed this one up for me to hit for six. I was ready. “Tory.” I scoffed, as though even asking was funny. “Yup. Tory all the way.”
This was an answer I’d regret for the rest of the night.
“I see” she sat back in her chair.
It turns out Hermz was a med student, soon to be a 6th generation doctor, and a heavy proponent for the NHS.
Who knew? As I walked home, alone, again, I decided to blame her for our failure as a couple. It was much easier that way, anyway. I could say it was all her, that I had been a great date. Perfectly entertaining, shop tongued, mercurial in personality.
I wasn’t. I know I wasn’t. But the more people that think I was, the better. I can at least cultivate some false image of myself before I disappear, like the lonesome animal that I am, back in to my dark and wintry cave.