The Time When I Fell For The Fictional Character


Writing about dating when, in fact, you haven’t met anyone in a while can be a very tedious task. However, when you eventually meet somebody of interest, special attention must be paid. If you really like the person it’s even more exciting. If you know you like the person for all the wrong reasons, expect a blog post. Normally I would write about the negative aspect of the experience, i.e. bitter lessons, eye opening realizations and cautionary tale confirmations etc. This time it’s not an exception, even though I kind of wish it was.


Couple of weekends ago my friend and I decided to take a time tunnel and treat ourselves to a night of classical salon performance and poetry. As it turned out, 19th century Parisian salon experience was just as dramatic as Hollyoaks. Despite the unusualness of the event, I was very touched by the beautiful classical piano pieces and delicateness of the violinist’s performance. Slowly my mind carried me into the time when sensuality was so delicately hidden, even an accidental touch of hand could send your heart racing through the roof.


Charles Baudelaire

The Vampire’s Metamorphoses

The woman meanwhile, twisting like a snake 
On hot coals and kneading her breasts against the steel 
Of her corset, from her mouth red as strawberries 
Let flow these words impregnated with musk:
— “I, I have moist lips, and I know the art 
Of losing old Conscience in the depths of a bed. 
I dry all tears on my triumphant breasts 
And make old men laugh with the laughter of children. 
I replace, for him who sees me nude, without veils, 
The moon, the sun, the stars and the heavens! 
I am, my dear scholar, so learned in pleasure 
That when I smother a man in my fearful arms, 
Or when, timid and licentious, frail and robust, 
I yield my bosom to biting kisses 
On those two soft cushions which swoon with emotion, 
The powerless angels would damn themselves for me!”

When she had sucked out all the marrow from my bones 
And I languidly turned toward her 
To give back an amorous kiss, I saw no more 
Than a wine-skin with gluey sides, all full of pus! 
Frozen with terror, I closed both my eyes, 
And when I opened them to the bright light, 
At my side, instead of the robust manikin 
Who seemed to have laid in a store of blood, 
There quivered confusedly a heap of old bones, 
Which of themselves gave forth the cry of a weather-cock 
Or of a sign on the end of an iron rod 
That the wind swings to and fro on a winter night.

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)


In the middle of the show, I spied with my little eye, a very handsome chevalier impersonating my every fantasy: good manners, eloquent speech, period dressing and ability to recite Baudelaire. Of course, I was well aware I am lusting after a fictional character, yet, I couldn’t help but gasping for air under my imaginary corset. Long after he finished his poem reading, I came to my senses and realized the only rational thing to do was to leave the venue before I was unwillingly and against my better judgement drawn into a conversation with Mr. Rake. But of course, leaving the party early is not my style so I went out on a limb, looking for trouble.


The Rake is an expert of seducing. For anyone interested, The Rake comes from a book by Robert Greene, called The Art Of Seduction. He loves the idea of the women, he’s extremely charming, he has a “devil may care” attitude towards life, he never apologises, and is extremely persistent. To put the rake in the modern world contexts means to depict a male which every woman fantasizes about and fears with the same intensity. Mr. Rake is a prevalent breed of men who identify themselves as the modern age romantic martyrs looking for love which they are unable to sustain because their life is too tragic to share it with another human being. This explained my overpowering gravitational pull towards this guy. On some subconscious level I picked up a rampant vibe  of unavailability and all he had to do was to give me couple of dirty looks before I let my imagination floating light years away.


I was excited and infuriated at the same time. Despite my very modern and mature attitude towards dating and partner selection, I was still drawn by the allure of the romanticism of the 19th century. I am hopeless romantic. After being the only single cat amongst coupled up pigeons for literally  years , I decided it would be a great idea to be seduced by Mr. Rake, have few glasses of wine, get to know this flamboyant character, and have a snog if the date doesn’t go too terribly. Of course I went on a date with him. To my surprise, my Shakespearean Romeo wasn’t delicate in displaying affection, soon enough he moved on from serenading to whispering sexual innuendos with a subtle hint of upgrading this date to a more intimate level. Speaking of dangerous liaisons. Under normal circumstances I would suggest of his inappropriateness and cut the date short, but provided my circumstances, I brushed it off as part of his character. The things good looking men get away with right?  After few glasses of wine who the hell cares anymore, the Rake, Shakespeare, Mr. Darcy – the man can recite Baudelaire. Fourth hundredth time lucky…


Unfavourable. After 3 weeks of intensely fulfilling conversations on the Facebook, without even the hint of meeting again, I recognised myself as a victim of my self fulfilling prophecy. To my surprise, I wasn’t surprised. I made two errors in judgement. First of them was thinking that getting involved with a jobless actor who lives with his mother was actually a good idea, second, giving him proverbial space to avoid being labeled as needy. Anyone who is rational enough would say that 3 weeks of space giving is like trying to order a drink after the last order which was half an hour ago. I would say, it’s symptomatic of my disastrous dating experience as well as my infantile romanticism which evidently in the 21st century is just as good as writing a letter to Santa. I was put off classical music and victorian poetry for next couple of months. I recovered from it swiftly, thankfully, without any significant bruises to my ego. Next time I see a handsome actor wearing a waistcoat and a shirt with a high stiff collar reciting Baudelaire, I’ll know what to do.




The Time When I Fell For The Fictional Character

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