Sparking the flames of passion


I rarely swipe right, but when I do, they are invariably tall, handsome, potential serial killers. Though I am yet to be chopped up sashimi-style for the benefit of the Oxford Canal, these virtual conquests somehow just never seem to stray far from the chestnut machismo of Christian Bale in American Psycho. I made a mental note to discuss this with my therapist as I swiped right on yet another floppy haired gent, a Gallic import by the name of ‘Michel’. “Haw-haw-haw”, snorted I, as I idly flipped through the photos of him playing guitar and wielding an outsize chainsaw. What fun!

Yet Tinder is as Tinder does, and before I knew it I had left the safe embrace of serial croissant emoticons to meet ‘Michel’ IRL, at a seemingly respectable, well-lit, eminently escapable joint in Jericho. By some cute trick of Hallmark we ended up arriving together and locking our bikes in the same place, allowing me to indulge my now-feverish hypochondria in the last dregs of daylight. Nice face, clean teeth, no discernable smell of rotting flesh… indeed, the only red flag was his sartorial choice of blue jeans with orthopaedic trainers. Feeling this was more indicative of possible American ancestry than homicidal intent, I traipsed into the bar all aflutter, ready to embark on a slow process of social defrosting that might end in a polite handshake, or perhaps a riotous, asexual fist bump.

However no more than three drinks in, something came over me – perhaps the thrill of fresh romance, or a roofie – but before you could say ‘are you sure it wasn’t Flunitrazepam?’ we were PDA-ing like a couple of greasy-fingered teenagers in a backstreet Odeon. It was on the third audible shriek of “get a room” from some neighbouring crones some thirty minutes later that I knew it was time to wrap this puppy up. Discreetly tucking my gut back into its holding pen, I began to usher my conquest towards the upstairs exit, leaving a cloud of pheromones and naked desire in our wake, with the innocent hope that it would violently asphyxiate our pesky hecklers. Young love!

Then, after emerging onto the street and into the callous light of 1am, I decided we should part ways with the understanding that we might resume the long, heavily petted road to biblical knowledge at a later date. Two dates down the line and I can truthfully report that I am yet to see his chainsaw in the flesh. As I’m concerned, that makes this a regular – ahem – Tinderella story.

PHOTO/ Denis Bocquet


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