My friend Saška organised a group blind date event for charity. I was matched up with a graphic designer; I remember reading The Remainder of Zero by Korinna Irwin as I waited for him in the Oxygen bar. We got on pretty well. He was nice, and good-looking though not really my type. He was about five years my junior, which appeared to be par for the course back then (the gap’s only widened since, it would seem) and I was relieved that he wasn’t particularly blokey. Since the event had been organised via the Forest, I hadn’t had much cause to worry about that sort of thing. The music got too loud in the Oxygen bar, so we moved on to #110‘s bar where she allowed us to drink at an impressive discount.
And then to the Forest, where a party had been organised upstairs: people on blind dates across the city were able to meet up together, to ditch their dates or to join their friends. There was wine available, which was inevitably my downfall. I interrupted someone’s reiki massage, and made indiscreet enquiries about someone on whom I had a long-standing crush. A volunteer from my work invited me to join a confession circle that had been improvised in the corner: “I’ve had sex with two people in the last twenty-four hours,” I confessed, and some boy asked “Did the guys know?” and I was perplexed for a moment because I was talking about #81 and #148. My vision started to blur in an unnerving way. I kissed my date, although I don’t remember how that came to pass, but as usual let’s assume I started it. I told him he was the 150th person I’d ever kissed, which was not only the sort of information that you shouldn’t volunteer, but erroneous. He walked me home but I threw up just outside the Forest, a fitting end to an increasingly anti-suave evening. We e-mailed each other once after that and then never saw each other again.