Punch Drunk Love Or Something Like That
July 29, 2014 § 3 Comments
I am 8,000 miles from home. I’m sitting across from a man. He’s overly tall with dusty brown hair, a slightly swollen nose and two black eyes. Despite his Kung Fu Panda look, he’s unmistakably good-looking. He’s asking the waiter something about the menu and I’m watching the words leave his mouth, deciding whether or not I’m going to fuck him.
When you are young and single there are a lot of reasons to travel, one of them being the possibility of a fling with a hot foreigner. Every corner of new exploration is filled with hyper romantic situations that make you want to fall in love.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not one of those girls who loves love. No. I just love the idea of love because the idea of love is filled with that flirty fun feeling you get when someone looks at you like you are the best thing that’s ever happened to them. The idea of love enables you to avoid reality. Real love offers you the truth. Real love is work and indescribably better in the ways that truly matter.
But a fling where you fall in love with someone for only a few days or weeks, that is the shit they write movies about or, in my case, a random blog post a decade later.
I met my travel boyfriend in the most rom-com way possible. A friend of a friend of mine accidentally punched him in the face, breaking his nose. After it happened I felt compelled to escort him to the emergency room because it was the right thing to do and because when he took his shirt off, in an attempt to capture the blood, I wanted to spring up from my bar stool and applaud.
I want to say for the record I don’t swoon easily but I found his inability to give a shit about what people thought of him profoundly attractive. And also his face. And shirtless upper body. At the end of our first date, one of us (it might have been me…most likely it was definitely me) suggested a euphoric marathon.
Travel sex is a lot like break up sex. It’s a vortex of unfailing enthusiasm; the kind where you stay up all night to try to fit in as much as possible, taking only small breaks for rehydration because, for all you know, this may be the last time you’ll get to bounce around naked with this person.
After said marathon, Panda face and I spent the remaining weeks of my trip drunk off nothing but each other (and occasionally a cheap bottle of Cabernet). It was magic.
The best thing about a geographically unrealistic relationship is that it enables you to fall in love the way one only can under the safety of a zero percent chance of a future together. When you fall in love with the idea of a person and get out early it means you never get to the ordinary.
And as we all know, ordinary is where love goes to die (‘the one’ excluded). A fleeting relationship will also never be forced to experience a dramatic break-up that creeps into a post break-up obsession, that then morphs into commonplace obsession until finally, total indifference. It won’t even get a drama free break-up, where you stay the type of “friends” that only contact each other for late night rendezvous and help putting together IKEA furniture.
When it was finally time for me to go home. He took me to the airport where we both cried and held onto each other in an over the top public display that we weren’t at all embarrassed about, like we absolutely should have been. I boarded the plane with damp eyes and a heavy heart. I would miss him but I also, never wanted to see him again. What I wanted was to keep what we had perfectly preserved just as it was.
It was black and white and clean, the way things never are. It was temporary in the best way. There is something to be said about creating moments and memories entirely, exclusively, for the sake of creating moments and memories.
On My Toes For You