Tag Archives: Melbourne single life

Love bites

A sunny winter morning in Melbourne.  I’ve risen early and the shops are yet to open so I’ve entered “Bites”, an inviting café in a small cobbled lane, to spend some time pondering life over a coffee.  Local artwork hangs around the walls and there’s a calming atmosphere as the delicious breakfast smells of sizzling bacon and freshly baked bread waft through.  The young dark-haired girl at the counter looks up in anticipation of my order.    

Me:  A long black please.  Just a small one. 

An attractive man in his late thirties approaches from the kitchen behind her and smiles at me.

Man:  Hello again.  You came back … and you have new glasses.  Very nice.

Me (slightly taken aback that he’s remembered me and noticed my glasses): Yes, I did and yes I have.

Man:  How was Sydney and how was Daniel Kitson?

Me (my heart beating a little faster):  Okay and excellent.  Jeez, you’ve got a good memory.   

I was in this café in March and had a brief conversation with this man, the café owner.  I’d been heading to Sydney the following week so we’d had a quick debate about the vices and virtues of the two cities.

As another two customers enter, the girl passes me my coffee and I take a seat on a large wing-back chair.  Soon the place is buzzing and out of the corner of my eye I see the café owner approach.  Smiling nervously, he takes a seat next to me.

Man:  So how long are you in Melbourne?

Me:  I leave in three days – enough time to catch up with people.  I’m staying in the Four-Trees Apartments so it’s a good location.

Man:  Oh there’s a great bar next door to the Four-Trees: The Benchmark.  They have a massive wine list … what are you up to tonight?

Me:  I’m meeting some friends for dinner ….

Man:  Ooh, excuse me for a second.

Our conversation has been interrupted by a customer dispute at the counter; he has to intervene and remains occupied for a quarter of an hour.  I want to talk to him again, but if I linger any longer I’ll look desperate so I leave.

I walk two blocks to Chapel Street and make a decision; for the first time in my life I will take the initiative with a guy and give him my number.  Leaning against a shop window, I write my name and phone number on the back of a receipt (first checking that it wasn’t for any embarrassing purchases!) and walk back to the café.

As I enter he looks up and smiles, a curious (or hopeful?) flicker in his eye.  I approach the counter.

Me: I just thought I’d give you my number in case you’d like to go for a drink while I’m here. (There, I’d done it!).

Him:  I was going to ask you but you left!  Hang on a minute …

He reaches for something under the counter.  I panic wondering if he’s going to ask me to dial his phone so that he’ll have my number on it … my hands are shaking so much that there’s no way I’ll be able to smoothly press the digits.  It’s a bloody miracle I kept my voice so stable when I came in.

Him:  Here’s my card – it’s got all my contact details on it, but I’ll give you a call later today to arrange a drink for tomorrow night?

Me:  Sure, that sounds good.

I confidently walked away; proud that I’d finally (at the age of 35) managed to make the first move.   And I stayed in Melbourne longer than three days …