In yet another instance of Dex Definitely Lives in the Matrix – or maybe my life is a film, I dunno, I’m really starting to wonder – I’m on the plane home from Lisbon just now and had the most eye-rollingly Dex encounter you can imagine while I was there.
I was in town for the Eurovision Song Contest, arriving with Photographer and Gael on Tuesday morning, spending most of that afternoon drinking, then dancing to the first semi-final on Praça do Comércio. A couple of days pass in the sweltering heat, and Photographer tells us a friend of hers (who, confusingly, has the same name but aren’t anonymised blogs great?), Pink, who she met on Tumblr about a decade ago, was in town with her flatmate. So we went for a drink.
From the minute Pink walked into the bar I couldn’t take my eyes off her, in that oh-so-very-not-subtle way I always seem to get away with somehow (probably something to do with being a white man in western Europe); we have a few drinks, we say goodnight, we go our separate ways. Walking back to our apartment, Photographer side-eyes me and catches me grinning.
“What?,” I say.
“It’s not like you to be coy,” she replies.
Jump forward to Saturday, the day of the final, the day of my 28th birthday (yes, I’m genuinely amazed to have made it this far too), I meet Pink and her flatmate because we want to go watch Ruslana on the Praça before the Grand Final, but the queues are insurmountable and so we end up in a tiny back-alley gay bar that’s broadcasting the show. Photographer turns up, along with Gael who doesn’t stick around long because she has a horrific hangover. I keep glancing at Pink. She’s glancing back. We’re standing really close.
“Do you want to kiss?”
We kiss. A lot. Her hands are so soft. We don’t go home together, we text a bit over the next couple of days.
So far, so normal. Nothing cinematic about that, Dex, calm down, you cry. Hear me out.
She adds me on Facebook, and we have a friend in common. A boy I met on Tinder in December who lives in the Big Smoke and who I went to visit only a few weeks ago. Of course, of course there had to be someone in common, I think. They met at a queer dance party, apparently.
The last night of the holiday comes and goes and we don’t manage to see one another again, keep missing each other. Shame. “I’m not averse to a trip down there” – “I’ve never been to your city, I’d like to go”. Maybe something.
08:08 am. Lisbon airport, passport gate. As I’m putting my passport in the reader to go through the gate, Photographer and Gael already having gone through, a hand softly stratches my back. I turn round. Pink hair, pink lipstick. Pink. We kiss. “Have a safe flight” – “You too. Come visit”. We kiss again. I go through the gate.