“What do you want to eat?” Hannah says. We’re having a rare treat: lunch in in a restaurant on a Thursday. The scene: the conservatory at the front of that restaurant under the railway bridge where I brought that Australian at the start of June or so. Wow, that feels a lifetime ago now.
“Melanzane parmigiana and a green salad,” I say. “You?”
“The rigatoni,” she says.
“Gorgeous dress,” I say. “You look lovely.” The dress is navy and manages to be pretty, unusual and practical.
“Thanks,” she says.
Hannah always looks great. She has a Proper Job and projects a smart, professional, well-groomed aura. I’m wearing fit-flops, a grey swimsuit cover-up emblazoned with a huge sequinned parrot, sunglasses and my huge straw hat.
We order some food and drinks.
“So, Tanya, how’s the dating?” Hannah says.
“Ah,” I say, sipping my Chianti. “There was meant to be a 27 year old French banker tonight but he’s cancelled – work apparently – and you know about CatBoy and…”
“The one who thought you’d been sectioned? What did you do to make him think that?” She says, looking a bit concerned.
“Nothing, I swear, my mood wasn’t even that high,” I say. Hannah is an avid reader of the blog – which is nice. She’s also helped me out of some awful situations resulting from my mental disorder over the seventeen years we’ve been friends.
“Show me some of the new boys then,” she says, and I show her the Dutch one I mentioned yesterday and the lawyer who’s in Chicago at the moment. And three or four of the young bankers. One good thing about Modern Technology is being able to bring up my Bright Young Things at the touch of a button, on my phone, in a restaurant.
“Very nice,” she says. “So when’s the next date?”
“There’s one on Saturday but I don’t think I’m going to like him,” I say. “He’s our age and…”
“Isn’t that a good thing?” She says, sipping her sparkling water.
“Yeah but he’s in the music industry or something and he likes partying and…I just don’t think we’re going to hit it off,” I say.
The food arrives and the conversation moves on to other things.
The 35 year old lawyer in Chicago seems keen though, or as keen as someone who one has never met and who is thousands of miles away can be. He’s been sending a lot of messages. We’ll see what happens in October when he’s here….