It started as a one-night stand in a five-star luxury suite somewhere outside Puerto Vallarta. It ended with a little less glamour, in a seedy hotel room in Germany, and me curled into a ball on the bathroom floor.
After a year of being stupid in love, on the verge of a life-changing move to Mexico, I discovered my long-distance boyfriend had another girlfriend. I don't want to say it was the worst moment imaginable... I'm sure contracting smallpox, getting braided on the wheel, or being a casualty of a number of natural disasters or wars would be far worse. But still.
Lust at first swipe felt like a whole lotta love
I met David the old-fashioned way -- with a swipe. Twice a year I visit Puerto Vallarta for a much-needed disconnect from New York… which is probably how I've managed to continue loving the city life. Blissfully drenched in sun oil, sipping on a Modelo, I was lazily cruising Tinder to see who was around. David and I matched.
And off I went into the most bizarre mindfuck of a year.
Instead of immediately meeting up, David and I spent a couple of months developing a flirty friendship on WhatsApp, complete with coy innuendos and sexy selfies. When I returned to cover a hotel opening for a travel magazine, I invited my digital paramour for a drink so we could finally "meet." Ordinary first dates seldom happen in the luxury suite at a five-star hotel, on the balcony with its own private plunge pool overlooking the jungle. And if a date DOES start that way, it's probably because it's with a hooker.
Regardless, there we were.
We cracked open a few Coronas and sat on the balcony's lounge beds swatting at mosquitoes and listening to chirping geckos. We talked. A lot. From 11pm to 4am we sat up talking. He was… different. At 32 he was a decorated veteran of the Canadian Army (yes, that is a thing). He enlisted at 16, was part of the relief effort in the Balkans, lost his mother to alcohol at 25 years old, toured Afghanistan three times, and retired from Western Canada to Puerto Vallarta to escape all of that brutally real reality. He showed me some of his poetry about war, which was heartbreakingly hypnotic. His sense of humor was dark and razor sharp.
We were frighteningly compatible in mind and body
And his body… good Lord, his body. He was a Canadian Ken doll with glacially blue eyes, tattoos roped around his high-gloss, magazine-style biceps, and kiss-me lips permanently pursed together hanging on to a dangling Marlboro Red. He was the ultimate badass; any hot-blooded lady's wet dream.