Tuesday, 5 July 2005

Pride and (No) Joy

Last week-end was a very busy one for me. On Friday evening I went along with the Chorus to a posh hotel on Piccadilly to sing at the GPA's ball. The funny thing was that we usually get about only 30 people for those types of gig but the lure of the uniform was so strong that there was about 70 of us that night!

I have to say it was probably the toughest audience I have had in my three years with the Chorus. Let's just say that the circumstances were not ideal. They were at the end of a several days long conference, were at the end of (hopefully) a nice meal (with enough to drink!) and had just been through a series of speeches of varied level of interest when we suddenly appeared on stage (they did not know we would be there) and launched into a rather downbeat 30 min performance. The choice of repertoire was, I think, the mistake.

The reception was polite but the tables at the back quickly lost interest and the level of applause diminished in direct proportion to the rekindling of conversations. Our rendition of YMCA at the end saved us of a total flop, I believe. We were invited to stay for the dance afterwards but I did not enjoy the sight of the cute men who were there for very long (no, not all of them were cute) and I quickly went home and to bed to try and rest a bit before what I knew would be a long and tiring day, the next day.

I might have been easier perhaps for me to pitch my tent in Hyde Park that night. On saturday morning I found myself getting up earlier than on a work day and making my way back to Park Lane to join the queue to register as a steward for Pride. I have enjoyed doing this for the past 3 year now and planned to volunteer to become a senior steward this year. I needed not bother. Almost as soon as I got there, the top man (who is a former Chorus member) came up to me and volunteered me for the position. I was immediately introduced to my team of four. One of those was also a former Chorus member. There is just no escaping them. A bit like French people in London, if you ask me. There were also a girl and an older guy. The fourth member of the team was the one who grabbed my attention, and my feeling was that I grabbed his too. Just slightly shorter than me, he seemed well built. He was wearing earrings in both ears, had a dark skin, very short hair, dark eyes and a lovely warm smile.

Our assignment for the day was not exactly the most interesting (my experience is that stewarding with the floats is the best thing you can be asked to do, as you get to do the march). We spent most of the morning in the middle of Park Lane surveilling a closed off crossing before being reassigned to do the "sweeping" which is walking at the end of the parade. The team had been divided between several positions and I found myself on my own with the cute steward (TCS) for most of the morning. We got talking and joking and, I thought, got on really well. I learnt that he was from Malaysia (mixed race, I suspect) and a trainee director in a renowned theatre in Greater London (he was assistant director in a play I saw recently). This was his first ever Pride (jokes about deflowering were indeed uttered!).

The really unusual think for me was that at certain points we found ourselves looking at each other and while I don't know what he feelings were on those occasions, I, each time, was stirred to move closer to him, hold him in my arms and kiss him. Nothing I have felt towards some else before, especially someone I had only just met. Based on my impressions and the fact that we seemed to get on well, I took the unprecedented step of asking him if he wanted to keep in touch as we were saying good bye at the end of our service. We exchanged phone numbers and went our seperate ways. We met again briefly by chance a few minutes later in a packed Trafalgar Square, as I was looking for the Chorus' stall where the second part of my day was going to take place.

The afternoon was fairly uneventful. I saw the Chorus performing on the main stage, which was I think the first time I heard them sing in public.

Possibly because of the location of the stall, in an off the track part of the square, people did not really queue to the stall but the 2 to 3 hours I spent there went fairly quickly. By 6, I was the only one left at the stall, so I just packed up and pulled the little trolley with the merchandising to the nearest bus stop and back home where I collapsed, out of exhaustion.

In the morning I had received a phone call from MFD, who told me about his exploits from the previous night and I was quite pleased to be able to report that I had met someone of interest myself (a very rare occasion). I was even more pleased to be able to report in the evening that I had actually got to ask for a phone number and had indeed got one. We discussed the wait-two-days-before-calling rule (not sure who came up with that one) and MFD urged to indeed get in touch, which I would have done even without his advice.

I managed to wait until Monday before sending a text which went like this:
Have you recovered from Pride? Still a bit tired but having a long and busy day :O( hope you are well followed by my email address.
Nothing very inspiring, I know and that is probably why I am still waiting for a reply...

And this is how, while every one in the blogosphere around me seem to be playing happy couple, I missed the bus, once again. And I don't know why...

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