TFBC: The Skinhead

I love to meet & greet people from all walks of life.
Unless their greeting features a Nazi salute.
Racist fuckboys are Not Welcome – Hanson History X.

If y’all weren’t aware, last year I kind of had a quarter-life crisis. As my mate James aptly put it:

“Hey, you were due for a meltdown, Em. And even when you crash and burn, you really make it count spectacularly.”

Such a high achiever. But anyway, that’s content for a different post entirely. Ultimately, for about three months I slept, cried and watched Love Island. Not quite Miss Havisham, but close.

After a while I started feeling better – but still very fragile. I was so bored, yet not well enough to rejoin society. So to pass the time, I jumped on Tinder for a casual judge from the comfort of my home. It was semi-awkward when new matches would ask “what do you do with yourself?” but it wasn’t of real importance. We were hardly professionally networking on LinkedIn. Plus, I wasn’t taking it anywhere. Until one particularly dull day, when I matched with *Matt.

When Matt popped up I’d just finished power-walking the Bridges; so naturally I was treating myself to healthy glass (read: cask) of rosé. Right off the bat, he was the complete opposite of my type. A total turbo-bogan, Matt had just returned from a fully sick Europe trip, shelving pingers with his fellow scaffolder mates at Tomorrowland. That said, he was less than a kilometre away. I appreciated his direct approach: did I want to get a quick drink at Hopscotch? You know what mate, why not. The rosé certainly thought it’d be fun.

I justified the date in the interest of anthropology. I’m a very adaptable person; I successfully chameleon my way through most – if not all – situations. But as Matt was such an outlier for me, I wanted to see if I could truly get along with absolutely anyone. Also it took zero effort to set up; I simply set the makeup-cannon to hoe, and within an hour we were clinking pints. Time to find some common ground.

Matt walked in absolutely reeking of Burberry Brit. But he had pretty good style, if a bit too Culture Kings for me. I even forgave his blown-out knuckle tatts… one was literally of an olive, as he’d just visited Kalamata. I know. We did our best with the banter, though it was very lowest common denominator; the c-word heavily seasoned Matt’s sentences. There were also a lot of ‘jokes’ about meth – I chose to ignore them. When he asked to kiss me, it was passable if not swoony. Then without warning, we reached the neo-Nazi section of the date.

He asked me if I could see myself having children in the future. With my depressive headspace, I couldn’t really see myself having a future, period. Keeping things light however, I answered in a slightly less suicidal manner – that no, I couldn’t. Unhappy with my response, he remarked:

“But don’t you think you have a duty?”

Ok so Matt didn’t get the ‘light’ memo, then. I asked him to unpack this so-called ‘duty’ somewhat. And so commenced the nosedive:

“Well, you’re an attractive, intelligent, able bodied woman. And you’re white. Don’t you think that you and I have, like, a duty to carry on the race?”

I was shocked. For one, this was the first sentence that didn’t feature a single c-bomb, drug reference or overt slur. The articulation meant he had definitely thought this statement through. Secondly, how heavy was this first-date agenda? Of course I’d read about alt-right crazies, but I never expected them to live on the same street as me. Surely they were all clustered deep in the American red states, not South Perth! Well, I had wanted an anthropological experience – I was definitely getting one.

Never one to let an offensive remark slide, I called him out. I’m not sure he understood ‘misogynist’ or ‘chauvinist’, but he definitely understood ‘racist’. And he didn’t deny it whatsoever. Apparently Matt was only surface-level Culture Kings; deep down he was actually more of a White King promo-boy. A straight-up Melbourne Renegades supporter. With a withering glare, I called it a night. Only when I stood up did I realise just how drunk I was. Begrudgingly, I let him walk me the 500 metres home.

… I seriously considered changing the close of this piece to cast myself in a better light. But the whole premise of the Chronicles is to share candid dating moments. So full disclosure: once home, I remember sharing a cigarette with Matt. We kissed again… and then we had sex. Oh the shame! Yep, I slept with a white supremacist. Banged a Klansman. I don’t remember it – but I woke up the next morning to a message saying “I’m really sorry I upset you, you were lovely.” Seems afterwards, I’d had another spray at Adolf – probably about his not-at-all casual racism. My sole redeeming action.

Despite our close proximity, I hadn’t seen Matthew Heimback since that night. Then just last week, I was catching up with old colleagues at the pub… who walked in but my hand-tatted Hitler. We locked eyes, I started cackling. He moved tables so our group couldn’t see him, but it was too late. He was on a date with a beautiful Asian girl. Maybe my adverse reaction to his white-nationalist rant had invoked a change of heart? Doubt it – she was probably just up the road.

My night with Matt really was a study of humankind, via provocative experiential learning.
I went on that date worried I would be perceived as depressed and damaged.
I needn’t have worried – everyone’s got their own batshit agenda.
And I for one would rather be a sad-sack, than a Skinhead.

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