It happened when I least expected. The start of something that ended up as nothing. A bit of intrigue. A bit of excitement, waiting, hope. A bit of a story.
I was wearing my Beyonce cap and Zumba shorts, sun-smart exercise wear for a St Kilda Saturday morning session of ‘Singles Beach Volleyball,’ another contrived/cool/ridic Meetup group. I stepped out the front door and spotted him across the road. Long wavy hair, stubble, tight jeans and aviator sunnies – the type of babe who definitely looks like they’re in a band.
I yelled and waved. We had shared a dancefloor once for a mutual friend’s birthday. I knew he was some kind of screenwriter, used to be in a band and had one signature dance move.
“What are you up to?” I asked. He held up a computer mouse.
“Bought this for my grandfather, so he can use it with his laptop,” he said, “It’s his birthday today, so I’m gunna drive over. Do you live around here?”
“Yeah,” I reply, trying not to swoon over someone who has the patience to deal with old people, and technology, at the same time. “This is my house right here. Where are you?”
“I live literally around the corner,” he says, pointing to his street, “At number 6.”
“No way! We’re practically neighbours!” I say, “I’ll have to drop something in your letterbox sometime.”
“Yeah, maybe some baked goods? That’d be ideal,” he says.
“Ants might be an issue there, and what if your housemates ate them?” I respond with practicalities, why do I always do that? He was clearly joking. Why am I suddenly nervous and second-guessing everything I say around this guy? Time to change the subject. “So you must go to the NOVA a fair bit then?”
“I practically live there, I’m there ALL the time,” he says. As we part I suggest we see a movie sometime. He agrees. I smile to myself on the tram. I text our mutual friend, “Your long haired babin’ friend who was at your party. What is his marital status? And what is his name again?” She responds that he’s not only single, but actively searching. He’s on Tindr. I smile all the way to the beach.
Other than getting mildly sunburnt thighs (not so sunsmart after all) nothing notable happens at the beach and I go out of town for a week. But I’ve planted seeds. Letterbox deliveries. Movies. I’m excited.
When I get back into town I go and get a cinema program and highlight a bunch of movies and times that I’m vaguely interested in and stuff it surreptitiously in his letterbox. I receive a return letter a few days later inviting me to a movie night his mate is organizing in the park outside their house.
I arrive when it’s dark so I can sneak in the back and avoid any awkward public greeting situation. I decide to bring some baked goods that I will bake myself. Because I have clearly not learnt from experience, I choose something really fiddly and time consuming. Lamingtons. They fit the whole 1940’s postal service vibe we’ve got going on. Even though I pre-bake the sponge the day before I still find myself hours later covered in two kinds of coconut and an icing mixture that has the wrong taste and consistency. Fucking lammos.