I know it hasn’t been long but I miss you…
I’m sitting here in the balmy tropical heat of Brisbane with the sun gently kissing my skin and a river front breeze caressing my face, but I can’t stop thinking about you. I’m wondering, when will I see you again? I long to hear your rough, character-filled and familiar voice, to smell the pungent Liffey that flows inside you, and to touch the cobblestones and potholes that dimple your aged and uneven face.
I miss your offensive charm and unabashed ruggedness. I miss the obnoxious, boisterous air you assume after a few pints. I miss the familiar faces we’d pass as I strolled to meet you. I miss the secrets that we shared together on cold, lonely nights. I miss your gritty and dishevelled demeanour and the endless grey clouds that hang above your head. I know you’ve had a lot of people leave you in the past but I wanted to stay. I want go for pints and do the things we used to do. I want to feel like I’m in a John Cusack film again and walk with you in the rain.
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m fortunate to have Brissy, she’s warm and open. We’ve shared a long history together. She’s well-off and knows how to make a good home, but she’s not you. She doesn’t send shivers down my spine or turn my skin bumpy and blue like you do. She doesn’t serenade me with the sweet songs of her history no matter how dark they might be. She doesn’t welcome me in with open arms even if I’m a stranger to her. She doesn’t question why I’m here and what I’m doing with myself. She doesn’t have that European sensibility that I love.
I know you said it’s over and that we can’t be together anymore but I want to give it another go. I promise to be good. I promise to support you and appreciate you. I’ll contribute to your wealth and ever sing your praises. I’ll be loving and respectful. I’ll stay with you. I know you can’t answer me right now so I’ll be here, waiting, thinking of you Dublin.
Being single in Dublin has been really quite interesting. The dating scene here is no different to anywhere in the world, the bars, pubs, clubs and kebab shops are lined with the city’s desperate and dateless come 4 am, and well I guess I’m one of them. Having moved here with the hope of staying permanently, it wasn’t long until I started meeting new people and going on dates. When you move to a new country you try to put yourself out there a little more and do things you wouldn’t normally do. And that’s what I did, put myself out there more than ever before and much to the bemusement of my friends, was just rejected more than ever before.
I suppose it all started in the first two weeks of moving over when I exchanged numbers with a bearded guy I met whilst at work. He had just moved back from spending the last two years in Australia and was suffering the return-to-home blues. He was keen to chat about sunnier places and even keener to move back there. However, being in a similar situation to me, he couldn’t because of visa restrictions. When I jokingly suggested that the solution to both of our problems was to just get hitched, he beamed at the idea. Needless to say, this would heed as a warning sign, unnoticed by me, for what was to come. A few dates and a successful bike purchase later, romance was stopped in its tracks when the wannabe Aussie appeared crying in my front garden at 2 am one night. Though my place was not equipped with them, alarm bells were certainly ringing. Needless to say, he was not seen again.
From comical story to comical story, my love life continued much in the same way for the remainder of the year. It has been full of rejection and embarrassment, mostly on my part, and not many happy endings (pardon the pun). So much so I thought I ought to write down a few of the experiences I’ve had. You see, something about living away from my usual context, ie. the judging eyes of family and friends, meant I started going on dates with people I probably wouldn’t have normally. And the results… funny but kind of disappointing. In the past year I’ve been on dates with someone 5 years older than me and someone 7 years younger than me. I’ve been on a blind date and a group date. I’ve been on an open air cinema date and regular dinner and drinks dates. I’ve had dates crashed by friends and I’ve chaperoned other people’s dates. I’ve had someone bring a surprise married couple to a date and I’ve had a non-date with a friend that turned into a date. I’ve left my phone number for cute bar staff, baristas and random hotties in more places than I’d like to admit. I’ve not been rung up by said “cute bar staff, baristas and random hotties” more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve been broken up with when I wasn’t in a relationship. I’ve been on a ‘date’ with someone who had a girlfriend and had no intention of being on a date with me at all. I’ve been asked out by girls and guys alike. I’ve had outrageous propositions thrust upon me and I’ve had my appearance validated in more ways than one. All that and I’m still single.
Now my Dublin year is coming to an end, I’m probably further away from romantic success than ever before but at least I had a good few free dinners. So here’s to this year, I’ll be 28, fat, broke and living with my parents. It’s unlikely to be the start of a Mills and Boon romance either.