Speed Dating

It's the last tune at the disco, and Gareth K Vile is plucking up the courage to ask for a dance

Feature by Gareth K Vile | 22 Feb 2010

It's a bad start. She asks me whether I came straight from work. I'd worn a suit in the hope that it would make me look debonair. Instead, I look like I've just stuffed my tie in my pocket.

Speed dating was my grasp at being normative. We are downstairs at The Rutland, the lighting soft, and every woman sits at a table, while men rotate. There is a literary theme, so we talk about books. I fumble my words, hoping it comes across as charming, not nervous. Two days later, I am still waiting on an email from Jane Austen or Marian Keyes.

Having failed at internet dating, I reasoned that face-to-face would be my forté. Unfortunately, I am obsessed with Live Art, which makes my conversation a blur of high concepts and visceral intensities. I meet fifteen lovely people and one drunk. She bought me a drink and wandered off before I bored her with more excited questions about her job.

It was a beautiful evening - a theme to attract intelligent punters, free wine, the routine clear and well-designed, everyone cultured and attentive. Next time, I shall comb my hair and stop acting like Baudelaire.