‘Single’

Dave stared at the girl. He knew it was incredibly rude, but he’d had a couple of pints and found that he really couldn’t help himself. She was fit, an absolute vision of beauty. She must be half his age. She raised her head sharply, looked over and met Dave’s eyes, as if his letching had triggered some internal alarm. She held his stare for just a moment before betraying her discomfort and looking away towards the door. She’s waiting for someone, he thought. He might as well be part of the furniture for all she saw in him. Dave looked away.

He cradled his pint on the table, considered just necking it and heading home. He had a cold half-chicken, a fresh loaf of tiger bread and a large pack of Thai sweet chilli crisps, all waiting back at the flat. Refridgerated chocolate Maltesers would serve as a dessert. What he really fancied was something dirty. Something hot. A pizza, a burger, or a filthy doner kebab.

He really ought to learn to cook properly. Christ, he had the time. Actually he had the inclination. He enjoyed cooking for crying out loud. But it took time, took a little effort, took a little too much of his life. To him, the kitchen had become somewhere to store supermarket bought, consumption-ready food. Not a salad item or vegetable to be seen. It was somewhere to store dirty dishes and utensils until you ran out and had to start rinsing things under the tap. It wasn’t a den of culinary creation. Sure it was somewhere you prepared food. But food that was ready to eat, or at worst just needed warming through.

No, he wouldn’t be using the kitchen tonight. It would be a take-away, a vid and maybe a wank – not necessarily in that order. But the wank might have to wait until tomorrow morning if he left it too late. Forty-four was an interesting age to be lonely, horny and drunk. By the time you got to bed and cleared your thoughts enough to focus on a particular woman, you started fantasising about romantic situations rather than the sexual. He found himself fantasising about meeting them rather than fucking them. Perhaps he might bump into her with a smile on a nightclub dance floor; or save her from a bunch of threatening drunks; or surprise her with a random act of kindness . . .

Much easier when you’re younger: she might brush past me … , she might kiss me … , she might touch me … , she might fuck me … !!! In truth, at that age, you’d probably be on your third wank of the evening by the time you imagined her fucking you. At forty-four you’d be grateful if you managed to maintain an erection long enough before you drunkenly lost consciousness.

Dave looked around the bar again, and was surprised to find a woman looking at him. She looked quite old, probably around his age, but she wasn’t unattractive. She had a pretty smile, and she was totally checking him out. Dave smiled back. Time to sink his pint, walk over and see if she wanted to chat.

Dave leaned forward on his stool and rubbed his eyelids with his thumb and forefinger, then ran his fingers through his thinning, greying hair. A brief look of indecision crossed his face, before he downed his pint and jumped to his feet. Mumbling a quiet “fuck”, he grabbed his jacket and headed home.

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