Monday, 15 August 2005

Choral Meals

It was a rather unusual week-end for me. A very social one.

On friday evening, I found myslef at Lorelei with a Chorus member for what turned out to be a date. The guy had already asked me for a drink sometime ago. I had gone along thinking he just wanted to be friends. It quickly transpired however that he was looking for more. I kickly let him know that I was not interested and I did not hear from him until last week when he offered dinner. Considering what had happened earlier, I, again, naively, thought that he wanted to explore a friendship. During the evening however, he starting to explain how he had been in a very long relationship and had never really had a chance to date anyone but that that was what he now wanted to do, dropping some other, less subtle hints along the way. The conversation would probably have quickly died away if it had not been highjacked by our neighbour, an oldish australian guy visiting his daughter, who started telling us about the cultural dearth where he lives, especially when compared to London. My "date" and I said good bye not long after that, not without my agreeing to another dinner during the coming week, however. To be honest, I am rather surprised that he should want to persue anything at all. In addition to the fact that I turned him down once already, I don't feel that we have that much in common. The conversation was laboured and did not seem to be going anywhere. How can someone expect to build a relationship on such shaky ground?

I walked home after that and felt rather dispondent over the whole business. All these little near misses with normal social interactions most of the time only serve to remind me of what lonesome a life I lead. While most of the time I can lull myself into forgetting about it, these half-hearted meetings where no real connection happens only throws into relief the emptyness of my social and affective lives, making me crave for more meaningful and deeper interactions.

Saturday was again a very social day. I went to Mildred's for lunch with another Chorus member. I don't think that was a date this time, although I never seem to really know with these things. Having not seen each for quite a while, we basically caught up on our lives. He seems to have reach the seven year itch with his boyfriend and is enjoying himself and his new freedom at the moment, perhaps slightly more than he thought he would. Good for him, I say!

After lunch we ambled to Old Compton Street and sat on a terrace to indulge into a bit of talent spotting, a favorite activity of mine (and of my friend too, it seems). After a while we were joined by one of his new friends and a couple of hours passed agreably, chatting away of little nothings and enjoying the sights... and the rain.

In the evening I went to a dinner party at a third Chorus member's house. He had been promising to organise this party and to invite me for months now and it was certainly worth the wait. A lovely flat, some lovely food and lovely company made for a very fulfilling evening. Amongst the guests were a gay couple with whom I turned out to have an american friend in common. A small world indeed!

The host went to Paris with the Chorus in early May and found himself a boyfriend there. Since the guy was between accomodations, he moved back to London with his new man. A rather bold move (though not unheard of in the gay "community") which seems to have been a good one so far. Fingers crossed. The French boyfriend is, I think, finding it quite difficult though, due to the painfully poor quality of his English. He didn't say much during the evening. Although my English was much better than his (I have, after all, a degree in English and had studied it for years in France), this reminded me very much of my situation when I first arrived in London. I had to watch Eastenders with subtitles to get a chance to understand anything of what went on "in the Square". Social gatherings, unfortunately, do not offer the assistance of subtitles and I found myself even more of a wallflower than my social awkwardness usually makes me.

This time however, I am glad to say that I was able to make a reasonable contribution to the general conversation. A welcome sign of how far I have move on but also a reminder that much work has to be done still.


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3 comments:

  1. etiennelondon8/16/2005 7:03 pm

    how well did you know your Friday night "date" other than through your being in the same organisation? Quite often dates start on shaky ground, with awkwardness all round. But then you start finding common ground, and it grows and develops. And as for your Saturday "not quite sure if it was a date", has he ever given you any signs? Sometimes they are difficult to read anyway. With these things one never knows!!. But idle chit chat can be good-it might mean they are comfortable in your company!!!

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