Tuesday, July 11, 2006
At the age of twentythree I was single and fancy free, and inclined to accept invitations to go out from all comers. On one occasion I was to have dinner with a somewhat older man who worked in the same place as I did, and we agreed to meet when we left our offices at 5.30 and go straight to a restaurant for an early meal.
The first sign of anything odd was when, after calling a taxi, he looked at me a bit vaguely and asked me to choose where we should go – not very usual for a mature bloke taking a girl out on a first date. By the time we got to a restaurant, sat down and began to look at the menus, it was clear that he was not at his best, as he seemed incapable of making a choice. Indeed, I think I had to order for him in the end. Then just as the food arrived he excused himself and made a dash for the door.
When he failed to return after more than enough time to have had a pee, I called the waiter over and asked if he could find out where my escort was. He came back to tell me that my companion was outside on the curb, throwing up his guts. At this point it dawned on me that this sad creature had started the evening at 5.30 pm already pissed. I decided to cut and run.
I paid the bill, and asked the waiter to call me a taxi. Being an opportunist he then made a pass at me himself, but eventually did as I asked. Alas! as I thankfully climbed in to the taxi, thinking I had made good my escape, my wretched escort recovered enough to jump in behind me, declaring that he must see me home safely!
I was unable to persuade him to take the taxi on to his home after dropping me, and by this time I was afraid to open my front door in case he pushed in after me. So began an endless session sitting on the doorstop, with my dinner date bewailing his miseries as a misunderstood husband, and begging me to take pity on him. My landlord and lady came home and discreetly let themselves in, without intruding on my ‘privacy’. Why oh why did I not throw myself on their mercy and beg them to get me safely inside? A last vestige of pride I expect.
When I eventually did make it inside on my own – did he fall asleep on the step? I can’t remember now - I swore to make better choices in future, and never to put up with drunkenness again!