|Blogs > rm_I_AMsterdam > From The Seedy Underbelly Of Amsterdam|
It's just past 1.55 in the morning, as the large clock on the wall loudly proclaims. The clicks of my keyboard keystrokes clatter through the near silence of this brand new Amsterdam day. At one point in my life, the allure of bed and a waiting (or should that read - willing?) partner would have been too much of a temptation to even contemplate this pre-dawn insanity. However, after three years together with a wonderful Dutch girl, I find myself single once again. As no "come to bed" invite has been offered or, indeed, received this evening - I've chosen to sit down and write this short piece about the relative virtues and values of living the single life.
In the single world, you hold all the cards ‒ Solitaire is the name of the game. Watch the couples around you debating - over shared purchases and holidays - their conflicts of taste. Being single rewards you with the choices that you, alone, wish to make.
Couples proudly can boast of fridges and freezers all packed-out with prime, consumer foods. In a single lifestyle, the self-same fridge can easily become the final resting place for a few cans of Heineken, prior to their late-at-night rapid dispatch, via throat, to the overflowing rubbish bin. And, of course, deep down in a corner of the fridge, what would have been once recognised as a palatable form of edible nutrition - lies something - sinister, dormant but waiting - in a furry green luminescent state.
Those involved in the single lifestyle may, quite conceivably, resort to having a celibate(!) or solo existence. More likely than not however, on that occasional evening, when the alcohol starts flowing, or the clammy nightclub makes you feel hot, through delusions of grandeur, stranger opportunities can arise. Some sadly will find themselves prioritising their lives around a continuous series of hastily contrived one-night stands. However, what one party simplistically views as merely brief minutes and motions of soulless sex with a stranger, to the other ‒ can inherit the morning after legacy - the sweet-as-a-razor's-sting feeling that only humiliation and rejection can provide.
For some, in an attempt to escape from the mortal grip of fear to live their lives without someone by their side, desperate measures must be prescribed. A lonely hearts advert in the classified column of a newspaper perhaps? Nevertheless, what would one write?
Awake to the reality of the 21st century, of widespread Internet accessibility and the like - why choose pen and paper, when bits and bytes will suffice? However, in reality, who really wants to spark off a relationship with someone whose pallid face is pressed towards a computer screen in an attempt to facilitate his or her latest date?
But the Internet dating game can be a dark, dismal and dangerous place. A place all too often trawled by cruisers, losers and liars ‒ the united sociopathetics (sic) of the World. In the hide-behind-a-keyboard anonymity of this environment, lurking in the background of the description ”Old, bald and handsome” is the reality … married with 3 kids, or where the “Baywatch body” is, all too often, accompanied by the Crimewatch head.
Forgive me please if I display cynicism about Internet chat rooms and E-mailforwardspam.com as an effective way to meet - I've both been there and done that myself ... hands-up I’ll admit it! I too have indulged myself in the pleasures of the text.
And what is my conclusion? Face-to-face, as in Boy meets Girl, Boy meets Boy, Girl meets Girl or Girl meets Boy MUST remain as the only really natural and honest way to meet.
Putting dating games and potential partnership planning aside. Single life could, quite conceivably, be a very lonely experience and existence in the midst of a large ‘foreign’ town, if it was not for the friends by your side. The genuine-hearted people you like to be around. The coffees that are shared together in an Amsterdam cafe, the beers in a hurried bar, the cinema tickets offered, the nightclub invite, the offers to "Go-Do-Shopping” or whatever - act as a constant reminder that you are not alone.
Nevertheless, for some alone - they scurry home, they sit alone, their curtains securely remain drawn. A blue movie sates the appetite that their loneliness naturally will provoke, or choose to gorge on home-delivered pizza, whilst wallowing morosely in the midst of an acrid skunk-filled haze. Truly a tragic tale of grief - their lives seem so strangely misconceived. Whilst the outside world enjoys the ride, their solitary stance secures their final and futile fate. Bitterness pervades from them - with no real friendships or relationships to call their own - through denial of who they really are, when everyone already knows!
But what am I like - I'm rambling on! This nonsense must now draw to a close. For now I must motivate myself to climb the stairs, pull back the quilt and enter a cold and empty bed.
For as much as I love living in this single world, the worst thing I've found against this creed, is the lack of a nightly partner beside me in the slumbering warmth and comfort of a King Size bed.