Online Dating and its Poetic Potential

Monday 9th February

For a week I have trespassed in the valley of doubt. There were no words, just blank days filled with the monumental ordinariness of everything. I spent most of my time with the cat. The cat seems to understand.

It is always this time of year, that my heart stutters. Valentine’s day and all its false problems, like a rude teenager mooning me with love from the back of a hysterical-hormone-ridden bus.

Tuesday 10th February

I thought I found poetry again. I was opening a tin of beans and it felt significant. But I could not figure out why. I tried to write something about it, alas my inner poet has left me with a vague notion that there is a point and no idea how to find it.

Wednesday 11th February

Things I did yesterday, after the bean incident, in order to try and find poetry again.

– I did not sleep in an attempt to become one with darkness.
– I starved for 8 hours – starving poets seem to create delirious magic (mother sabotaged me with a sausage sandwich).
– Replaced all water consumption with vodka – this made it very hard to stay awake and I did not throw up words, merely beans.
– I scrounged around online for hopeless looking lovers. It’s time I took myself more seriously.
– I wrote everything that was in my head on a piece of paper without thinking. I read somewhere it was a freeing exercise. It was disappointing, the paper was full of scribbles – mostly just my name doodled over and over and a worrying sketch of the cat.

Thursday 12th February

The first online date. I wore a black fedora and put poems in my pocket. He sounded like a butcher and talked about soccer for 3 hours. Then he kissed me and squeezed me like I was a football. I kept the poems in my pocket, I don’t think he would have understood. He texted me later to ask if we could hook up tomorrow. Somehow I don’t think I’ll find poetry in his pants, so I declined.

Friday 13th February

I accidentally let it slip to Milly about the online dating. She screeched, put on three layers of lip gloss and went to speak to my mother. I was then subjected to a talk on sensible contraception and realistic aspirations. Something neither of them fully understand. If you’re going to lecture someone, at least have some experience on the topic. If you look at both their lives and work backwards it is clear that they have a long history of missed pills, faulty contraception, and dead dreams.

I told them I just wanted to be emotionally crushed enough to write poetry. Mother said she’d crush me all I wanted without endangering my life. She does not understand this need for wild abandon. She has trapped me in the safety of suburbia – and to escape – I must throw myself into the arms of potential serial killers.

Tonight’s date had a profile that asked for a submissive partner willing to do anything. That seems like the sort of thing that can only result in ground-breaking poetry.

Saturday 14th February

Talk about false advertisement. I was expecting Fifty Shades of Dirty and all he did was pat my arm lightly to say goodbye. He had a lisp, bum-fluff for facial hair and mostly whispered. He was more like a whimsical sigh than an actual human.

Still no poems. I may have to give it all up and become an accountant.

Valentines day came and went like everything else- I stayed in bed. I had a date, but I could not face the thought that there might be more dishwater-type people out there. I cancelled, he text back that he would wait for me by the Beckett bridge till the light of dawn. That was a very contrived thing to say and it made me want to drown him. When I was a true poet that kind of thing would have drowned me in lust.

It is clear that I no longer believe in anything.