Dark Matter: The dumb one
‘I’m really good at: reflecting light.’ Okay, if I go on a date with a man who puts that on his profile I have no one to blame but myself but I’m an eternal optimist and thought he might be self-aware and funny. Even vanity can be made charming with honesty and humour.
He was from Los Angeles, U.S.A. He was thirty-one. He was a model. I have no one to blame but myself. His beauty was like dark matter. I couldn’t see it but I could infer it’s presence from the gravitational effects on the women around us. We were crammed in at a table near the front door of the bar. Across the room groups of girls would laugh, then look over at him and stroke their hair absentmindedly. Women would open the door to go out, glance at him and linger. Nothing with a vagina in a fifteen meter radius was capable of keeping her eyes off him it seemed.
I stared. I squinted. I tilted my head. I wanted to see it so bad but I couldn’t. Perhaps it was because of the conversation we were having. He spoke with that particular American inflection which goes up at the end of sentences and makes everything sound like a question? It doesn’t seem like a terribly annoying habit? Then you realise that as you listen to it you’re biting down on the inside of your mouth? He told me he was, like, a sculptor? Because he, like, liked working with his hands? He told me about exciting things that sculptors like him were doing with 3D printers and he showed me a metal pen which had been printed by a 3D printer. It was the first printed object I’d ever touched so I was excited. When I get excited I start asking questions. How does it work? How is the powder compressed? What is the material? He muddled through the first few answers and then told me in his best super loud, super American voice “And now they’ve got, like, metals which are non-crystalline! That shit just blows my mind! Non-crystalline metals!”
I was ready to have my mind blown. I was ready to see the light. “Whoa! Non-crystalline metals! What does that mean?”He faltered and looked unsure. “It means, umm I’m not exactly sure. The TED talk I watched didn’t….. I have a friend who studies engineering and he told me that non-crystalline metals are just incredible!” He sat back satisfied with the explanation. I turned the talk back to travelling, always an easy topic. He’d been in London before coming to Barcelona.
—“I didn’t realise that London was actually minus one GMT!”
—“Err…. I’m pretty sure London operates on GMT.”
—“Are you sure?”
—“Yes. Google it. Just Google it now.”
By the end of the night I found much to my shock, like Tyrion Lannister in the latest Game of Thrones, I’d lost the ganas to fuck. I looked up into Dark Matter’s hazel eyes, “I’m sorry but I can’t. Trust me, no one is more surprised than I am, but I just ….like…..can’t?”
TripAdvisor: The smart one
This Tinderer had a lively mind. He was curious about the world around him and very knowledgeable. He was talkative and filled the time with interesting stories. Our post-coital conversation was him telling me his favourite Zen koans, or parables. After listening to a few, I suggested that perhaps the Zen masters didn’t really intend to teach the disciples anything, but were simply guys who enjoyed fucking with people. He laughed, but his brow furrowed.
The problem with smarty pants was that his need to analyse never slept. Everything had to be weighed, assessed, and an opinion formed immediately. It was like being with a tourist who lived in a TripAdvisor page. Polly’s internal box bedroom and back destroying mattress: 1 out of 5 stars. Polly’s sex: 3 out of 5 stars. Polly’s zenning skills: 1 out of 5 stars. Then he came to my book shelf and suddenly it was my taste and intelligence he was judging. He scanned the titles before handing out his pronunciation like a piece of candy, eclectic. But then he caught sight of something and made a little noise of disappointment. “You lose marks for the Paulo Coelho.”
It’s beside the point that the Coelho isn’t mine and I don’t like his books, but I’d be damned if I was going to explain My Book Shelf to a tourist. I bit back the impulse to say anything and let him complete his rating. Polly’s intellect: 2.5 out of 5 stars. Shit.