He falls into a deep, contented sleep taking up the entire sofa, snoring like a freight train and preventing me from getting on with my work. I watch him for a while marvelling at his utter gorgeousness. A perfect nose, fulsome mouth, arched black eyebrows, long, thick lashes, olive skin, black hair and three day stubble, he looks very… er….Turkish. My heart-shaped diamond earring sparkles in his earlobe. As far as erudite conversation is concerned, his score is zero. But as eye candy… Off The Scale. I ask myself when eye candy will stop being enough.
At 5 p.m. I have to ease him out the door because one of my old suitables is taking me out for supper and to the theatre. He asks a fair few questions about this and I know he’s jealous. Good. He’s talking about going to Turkey for three months in the summer anyway and I jokingly ask him if I’m allowed to go out at all while he’s away. He says Absolutely Not. I have to stay home at all times and wait for his calls. Sad thing is, the way I feel now, I probably would.
I sit sleepily in the dark womb of the theatre playing with the strands of his hair caught in the elastic band from his ponytail which I now wear around my wrist. When I get home, I call him as he has asked me to do, but it goes straight to voice mail. I leave a goodnight message and go to bed.
Thursday night. Shit. I am a traitor and an infidel. I do not deserve the love of a good man even if he does refuse to use the L word…:
I have a late business meeting with a very good-looking Austrian art dealer I met when researching 1950s Brazilian furniture for my book on future collectibles. When I first set eyes on him my FBA (fit bloke alert) went off, although I suspected he might be gay. This was neither here nor there, as I do currently, you may remember, Have A Boyfriend. The camp art dealer is perma-tanned, with very blue, piercing, fancy-a-fuck eyes. His hair is choc brown and curly at the nape of his neck and he swans around his Gallery flamboyantly showing off his ‘conceptual room settings’. One step up from a Eurotrash interior designer if you ask me.
After showing me round and loaning me a rather rare art book, he closes the gallery and invites me to continue our discourse at The Electric Brasserie in Notting Hill. No sooner are we sitting down than we immediately go onto non-business stuff, and I find out that he is, like me, twice-divorced but with four to my two children who he rarely sees. (I see mine all the time!) He tells me almost immediately that his father is a Count, and although he may inherit the title, the more he waffles, the more I wonder if he may indeed be a Count in training, minus the ‘o’.
I order a very strong, very spicy bloody Mary, a choice he much admires, and it arrives with half a bottle of Tabasco in it. I tough it out, and just about manage to maintain the conversation without coughing my guts up and turning puce. The drink goes down like a litre of lava and when I’m halfway way through, he orders me another. We graduate swiftly into deeply personal territory and relationships, on which I am the font of all knowledge.
The fiery vodka loosens my tongue and soon we are exchanging confidences like a pair of anticipatory lovers. He suggests dinner and we both don our magnifying specs to order from the illegibly small print menu pitched at the under 25s. There is some comfort in being able to do this without embarrassment. Eurotrash is 43 and had I been with a toyboy, I would have squinted and struggled and ordered entirely the wrong thing, but I would not have got out my ageing portable half specs.
By the time the Seafood Platter To Share arrives, he’s stroking my arm which I enjoy, whilst feeling ever so slightly guilty. I pick up the crackers and attack the lobster claws sliding them out of their coral shells and feeding them onto his plate. He sexily slurps a couple of oysters, his eyes never leaving mine, and the inference of his tongue savouring the slippery mollusc leaves little to the imagination. We decide we both fancy a ciggie so he buys some Malboros and we light them like addicts who’ve been denied their drug of choice for way too long.
The Electric is becoming way too noisy to maintain any conversation, so he pays the bill and invites me for a nightcap at a moody little bar in Kensington Park Road. As we walk down the street, I realise he is quite short, but I am wearing incredibly high heels - a clear statement to myself and to him. Thursday being the new Saturday, the bar is heaving and we have to stand rammed up against each other while he orders me a Mojito and himself a glass of champagne.
Already three sheets to the wind from the Bloody Marys, I tell him the only place to drink these is in Havana and he goes all misty-eyed as I describe the crumbling glory of that wonderful city of cigars and salsa. The bar gets busier and he presses closer, joking that he’s arranged for all these people to be here on purpose for that very reason.
I laugh lasciviously and pick up a pomegranate from a fruit bowl on the bar, split it open and begin feeding it to him seed by juicy seed. He starts stroking my outer thigh right up to my armpit whispering in my ear how much he’d like to eat the pomegranate seeds from my belly button.