Bricklayers Part 2: Solo Sunsets

The week after we had gone out to K-Hole we had one of what would end up being several very long intense discussions in broken English and hand signals. He said he was ‘hurting in the heart’ about his last girlfriend. He wasn’t up for anything serious. We decided on a casual thing, ‘But’, I said, ‘You’ve seen me naked. You have to act like I exist in public, not become a great conversationalist but at least say hello.’ He agreed. Game on.

I have kind of always known that it’s pretty unlikely I’ll ever ‘find’ someone I really like as long as I keep taking jobs in remote places. I know that I probably won’t find my future husband in any small town. ‘Oh, but it’ll happen when you least expect it!’ say my happy-in-love friends. Git fwarked. I fully realise that all of my adventures in dating over the years have just been settling for what I can get. My motto has kind of been – if I can’t get a boyf, I might as well get laid.

I visited Hans in his Magic Bus a few times and had a few more intense discussions (‘I want you to acknowledge my existence’ was somehow reinterpreted to mean ‘I want to marry you and have your babies’). He was paranoid that I was falling in love with him and constantly told me he didn’t feel that way. I strangely enough started to feel unwanted.  By persistently reminding me of what I wasn’t getting (friendship, affection, respect, passion) just made me want all those things even more. Intimacy alone was starting to be loose its appeal.

I had the house to myself for a week. I of course invited Hans over for dinner, but I had to pick him up and drop him home again to Schmoebs. Maybe it was the different location, or my slight hostess anxiety, or maybe it was just becoming clear that we didn’t have much to talk about. After some disappointing ‘relations’ we snuggled in my bed. I had previously had to tell him that even if we weren’t dating he still needed to cuddle me after sex. I had never had to spell that out to anyone before, I just thought it was a commonly accepted human need. Now, for any unfortunate fella stumbled across this blog, let me tell you, in such moments a girl (well this one anyway) just wants to be held, complimented, or made to laugh, or any mindless daydreamy chit chatter that makes them feel like your arms are the safest and loveliest place ever. Yet in this awkward embrace Hans chose to talk about the weather.

Now I just love to flog a dead horse so I invited them both over to my house with my other housemates/colleagues a few days later. This anecdote centres around the Other Austrian, the one who is generally way sweeter at conversation and dancing. At one point during the night Other German returned from having a cigarette outside with an armful of Tiny Teddies and chips. He denied that he’d pre-planned his own marijuana-induced munchies, saying he’d planned to eat them with a girl while watching the sunset at a nearby beach on his way over. Unfortunately for him the girl part of the equation fell through, so he watched the sun set on his own and, fortunately for us, saved the snacks.

Now, I’ve watched many a sunset on my own. Despite what you may have read in whatever girly magazines you may have read, it is not an empowering experience that makes you feel glad you’re ‘single for a reason.’* Even though sunsets are still totally rad and I’m not going to stop watching them just because I’m alone, it’s the kind of moment you do kinda sometimes want to share with someone. Last time I wasn’t accompanied by a charming caravan Austrian with Tiny Teddies, so I took heaps of photos with my crappy Nokia camera phone to share over the internet with my friends in far flung places instead.

Back to the cards and pizza night, although it’s now an hour after the Tiny Teddies made their appearance on the scene, and I’m lying on my bed reading Vonnegut. Why am I alone in my room reading science fiction satire while a raging party (6 people can rage) continues in my lounge room? Because of the terrible electronic music jam happening out there. Not only do I have no appreciation for chip-tune music but I have no musical ability at all on a conventional instrument, let a one on an iPhone and thus have nothing to contribute to this situation. Spontaneous dancing however, I’m there with bells on and some kick ass moves. At first I initially retreat from this collaborative musical expression session into the comfort of the kitchen, where dishes were washed and sinks cleaned until there wasn’t anything else to clean.

I’m not annoyed that I’m not part of the party, I have a history of either ‘ghosting*’ at my own parties when I’ve had enough or making it pretty clear that the party’s over. A few times I’ve donned a dressing gown and begun sweeping up around partygoers.

Anyway, I’m annoyed because Hans didn’t come to my party or even respond to my invitation text or send a message with Other Austrian, and his presence at my house was the primary motivator for the entire social gathering.

Hans wouldn’t contact me again for another six weeks, until he texted asking how my day was. I tried to ignore it, which felt very empowering, but after he texted again asking to ‘talk’ I jumped the gun and politely informed him of my intentions to not sleep with him again. Also very empowering to get out first! You can’t fire me, I quit first!  It didn’t stop Hans from texting me yesterday, ‘Tonight is my last night, my visa ran out so I return to Germany.” I politely declined, then put on Michael Jackson and held a solo kitchen dance party for myself like the empowered single woman I am.

Such is life, or as Vonnegut would say, ‘and so on.’

*according to CLEO, this phenomena has an acronym: SAFR. Pft.

**quietly going to sleep during a party

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