I’ve done a lot of insane things in my life. And every time I think I’ve outdone myself, I find a way to top it. Like by booking a hotel in another city with a man I’ve never met.
We connected on a dating site that neither of us uses very regularly, and after a few hours of legitimately interesting conversation, I was already considering a quick visit to Vienna, where he lives. When I suggested it, he told me he was thinking the same thing but didn’t want to appear creepy by bringing it up. We decided to meet in Brno, a city in the Czech Republic that is about halfway from Prague and Vienna.
We spent every night talking the week leading up to our meeting. And as these things happen, a day trip turned into a weekend and we decided to share a hotel. I was very clear that this didn’t mean I intended to have sex with him. I wasn’t going to rule it out, but I didn’t want that to be the primary expectation. In fact, our conversations were purposefully non-sexual the week prior, even though listening to his growly Croatian accent definitely turned me on.
I arrived in Brno a couple of hours before he did and I waited in the hotel room. There’s perhaps no experience more odd than meeting someone for the first time when he knocks on the door of the hotel room you’re going to share for the next three days. When I opened it, he was standing there with a goofy smile on his face and his arms outstretched in a half shrug half invitation to hug. My first thought was that he was taller than I pictured him and extremely attractive in a way that still photos cannot convey.
“This doesn’t feel weird to me at all,” he said. And he was right. It wasn’t until he asked me was what my last name was that I realized just how crazy it all was. I thought it was quite endearing that he had gone all the way to Brno to meet me without even knowing my last name. (I, on the other hand, had done my research.)
We took ourselves out to city center and shared a lovely meal and a bottle of wine. Our conversations in real life were just as captivating as they were over the phone – uninhibited, unassuming, and completely candid. We talked about life, politics, culture, relationships, and he told me the stories behind all his scars.
When we got back to the hotel, it was time for us to find out if the sex was just as good as the conversation. I think we were both pleasantly surprised. Despite having the face and demeanor of an angel, he was not at all shy in the bedroom. The sex was passionate, intimate, and fun – the way great sex should be. In the throes of passion, his blue-green eyes gazed at me just as intensely as they did in the throes of conversation. We fell asleep wrapped in each other in a heap of limbs.
We weren’t much impressed with Brno, but we made a good effort to take it all in. We saw a photography exhibit in Spilberk Castle and went up the tower of the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, only to laugh at the sprawling cityscape of factories and communist-era housing projects. We made a valiant effort to track down decent sushi and rode the trams without a ticket. It was dreadfully hot outside so we went back to the hotel in the afternoon and didn’t leave until it was time to check out of the hotel the next day. We ordered pizza and stayed in, taking turns ravaging the mini bar and each other and watching movies dubbed in Czech.
Though we had spent the better part of a week and all weekend discussing all the intimate details of our lives, it wasn’t until 20 minutes before my train back to Prague that we first breached the subject of what would happen next.
“What are we, anyway?” he asked.
And in truth, the thought hadn’t occurred to me. I’ve wasted way too much of my life worrying about what may or may not happen in the future, so I had spent all weekend simply enjoying the weekend. We made a quick and mutual decision to take this for what it is (whatever that is) without complicating either of our lives with something more serious. I don’t think it would be fair to either of us to commit to someone in such a different place, literally and figuratively. Besides, it would probably dilute the purity of what we did have, fleeting but perfect.
While we waited for my train, he told me he would really miss me and for the first time, I felt sad about leaving him, too. He wiped away my tears and hugged me with the same gentle firmness with which he had given me a back massage the night before. As the train pulled up, we kissed – once, twice, and then again one last time after momentarily walking away from each other in the saccharine unrealistic way people do in sappy rom coms.
I’m not sure if and when we’ll cross paths again. But if we don’t, we’ll always have our decadent hotel room where we shared everything in the most honest and uninhibited way two people can. We’ll always have the things we learned about ourselves from each other. We’ll always have Brno.