In a perfectly regulated world, romance would be on tap. You press the lever and there goes your doorbell. You are of course, already dressed in your nicest, most fashionable dress (one of the many in your perfectly appointed wardrobe) and you are looking gorgeous because your hair and nails have always been the best. And the door opens to reveal this perfectly nice stranger (who for some reason you trust impeccably) who tells you, in his soft, romantic voice, that he saw you across the road this morning, coaxed your address out of, je ne sais pas ou, somewhere, and just had to take you out to dinner, would you please oblige?
And you go with him in his car (may I have a chauffer, glass partition and enough room in the backseat to curl myself up comfortably, while I’m dreaming so far?) to the river, where you are escorted into a gently rocking boat. You chat a little, discover interesting things about each other, and in about half an hour or so, find yourself ensconced in a quiet restaurant where the perfect décor is secondary only to the fabulous food.
If you choose, you might go dancing afterwards, or maybe for another ride on the river, and this time, there would be cushions and a blanket to keep you comfortable amidst those river breezes. Then you regretfully thank him and say that you must go home again… so that’s what he does. Drops you home, asks if he may see you again, and when told that that wouldn’t be possible, never calls you again. Of course, you hold a special place in his heart for the rest of his life!
I’m aware that so far the man is more of an escort than a lover, but I don’t think I want any more lovers. I think the older I get the better I begin to understand why rich women have gigolos. I wouldn’t mind somebody utterly unimportant spoiling me for one evening and never reappearing for me to discover that he’s not that hot really.
Or I could just go down some more rum and feel even nicer than I do. I like wishing for the impossible because it hurts less than when I wish for something which might have happened but didn’t. And in this world of my dreams, my neighbours don’t bother me, I look good and I drive my own car.
In another, parallel universe, I’m aware, I’ll be holding a kid in a few months’ time, and I’m sure I’ll be happy there. But in this world, all I need is alcohol. For now, at least.