I’m sleepless in Beirut.
My approach with Lulu was one-of-a-kind. Would I dare approach a man now? I highly doubt it. I have become too proud and too easily frightened. I feel like I have a face to lose.
But is it self-deception when I blame the Lebanese society for my lack of initiative? Perhaps not entirely, there is some truth in that men react differently to a woman who takes charge. And by differently I mean that they come to the conclusion that she’s some kind of a desperate body bouncing from pelvis to pelvis. On the other hand, wouldn’t I want to end up with someone who has the capacity to think beyond those lines and who is not afraid of a girl with a little edge to her? It is a question with many an answer. A filter must be devised to let the scum pass through…
I do recall a situation where I did take charge, and it was right here in Beirut.
Back when Monot was still a crowded street, I went clubbing with a group of friends to a place that has had its name changed Nth times since.
I was in a good mood, dancing on surfaces meant for sitting, laughing at jokes that I pretended to hear, and giving my ex a little bit more hope than necessary.
The area next to our table was closed off; a private party for an office or something. He caught my attention. He was tall, over 6ft, definitely older, with longish hair, squarish glasses and a very large nose that even from a distance managed to switch on my buttons. He was above average. Looked smart. That was all I could come up with as my brain took some time out in Absolutspa.
Another thing it came up with was a strategy, and it went like this: approach the man in question, all the while dancing and never meeting his eyes, lean your back against his lightly and briefly to appear accidental and observe subject’s reaction, if reaction positive, proceed with leaning, and applying more pressure for a longer time. Within minutes, we were dancing glued back-to-back. I then started teasing him, by dancing away and then going back and then away and so on so forth. This lasted for a quarter of an hour until he disappeared. I had taken it too far.
A little while later, his back was back and his hand was searching the top of my jeans. Right there, I grew a little alarmed and slid my own hand to meet his so as to lay down the terms of his wandering. I felt a paper slide into my palm. I put it in my pocket for later.
We left the club at the same time as him. But he wasn’t alone. A co-worker in an emerald dress was walking next to him. He caught up with me, brushed his hand against my back and walked off towards his car. She got in too.
Was there a ring on his finger? I hadn’t even considered the possibility.
I waited a couple of days before dialing the number.
“Allo, c’est Nathalie.”
Naturally, not my real name. I had to tread with caution.
Apparently he wasn’t aware of such a thing.
He was married, with kids, and twice my age. He was a doctor, with a name, an address, a clinic. He called me 3ammo and I called him Freud. We called the coming Sunday a date.