Monday evening in London and I was in a chic Latin bar, Zuaya, in Kensington with Diego, thinking I would be happier in a pub in Kilburn, Yorkshire with Enduro. Besides, West London loves itself way too much. £35 for two medium glasses of wine and a bottle of water? Please.
Diego already knew we were getting together on a friendly basis which put a stop on romance before we met while he was in London. Towards the end of last year, talking to him in sunny San Diego, I had already moved there in my daydreams. I was living in California by the beach and DS was enrolled in a local school on his way to becoming a pro basketball player (his ideal career). Adios, England.
Now, feeling pretty much firmly rooted in Yorkshire, the US seems less appealing. Sunshine 365 days a year? What’s the fun in that? British gloom doesn’t seem so bad with the possibility of love on the horizon. The stone farmhouse I imagined at the start of my dating journey would definitely come with a log burner for nights by the fire.
Very unfairly I know, I spent the most part of this trip comparing Diego unfavourably with Enduro. I arrived at High Street Kensington tube station around 8pm in the cold waiting for him to show up. Enduro wouldn’t leave me waiting I thought. Enduro would have met me off the train.
Then in relation to Diego’s bad taste American footwear: Enduro would never wear shoes like that, and white socks. I bet Enduro doesn’t even own a pair of white socks.
It’s not nice to compare someone with someone else. These two men couldn’t be more different. Diego has a TV production company and is madly into electronics. As we flit about town he points out things I would never normally notice. On the way into the Churchill War Rooms in Westminster, for example, he draws my attention to cables running the length of an adjacent building used for grounding electricity in the event of a lightening strike.
I say ‘flit’ about town, but Diego is a laid-back Californian type and walks extremely slowly. For someone who cannot walk slow, I find this excruciating. He also mishears everything I say, to the point of ridiculousness.
Me: “It’s great to come to London and get some city buzz”
Him: “It’s grey in London and we should get a silly bus?”
Me: “Maybe we should go and check out Borough market?”
Him: Maybe you should go and get a bigger jacket?”
Surely my accent is not that broad? Seriously, after a day of this the comedy factor soon wore off. Aside from that, Diego was good company. While April hail rained down outside, we spent a jolly couple of hours in The Elephant & Castle pub brainstorming ideas for a US TV pilot shot in rural England.
Then, waiting for a break in the weather and making a run for it, we had a nice dinner across the road at Chakra, with the tiniest portions I’ve ever seen at an Indian restaurant.
He was also quite the US gent, sleeping on the sofa in his Airbnb flat while I took the bed, clad in sensible pyjamas. Poor Diego, he was still wracked with jetlag, feasting on Xanax and sleeping pills.
A few times, telling him about various places around the UK, he’d respond with “Cool! We should go there!”
The fourth time, sitting on the sofa watching TV before bed, a shot of the Yorkshire coast came on. “That looks great” said Diego with typical enthusiasm. “We should go and have a holiday there!”
“No” I said, turning to him. “We shouldn’t.”
It’s one thing spending a day with a platonic male friend, and another spending a week with him on vacation. On Wednesday morning we took an enjoyable stroll around Hyde Park before shooting up to Kings Cross. I boarded the train north from platform one feeling not that I’d lost a love interest, but gained an offbeat Transatlantic pal.