I close the front door and shut off the world, climb up to my room and here I am, survivor of yet another attack of bad luck. Tonight was the scene of another low in my already subterranean track regard with strangers. I am sure some scientist of the extreme will find it some day and hail it as the missing link in the evolution of protozoa into amoeba. Or something charming like that.
Location: Village bar, Soho (very gay bar in a very gay part of town)
Time: 9pm, Friday night in the lull between the ebb and the flow of two waves of customers.
Characters: Two men in their early thirties, meeting for the first time, although they have been in contact electronically for about a year. The meeting was a last minute arrangement made earlier in the day.
Duration: 75min approx.
Surpringly we managed to find a seat (near the open Fench window on the street) and I was instructed to go and sit while (let's call him) PSJ went to the bar to order drinks. He came back with 3 classes, including two of wine (one red and one white) for himself. Conversation, I may be so ambitious as to call thus the trickle of sounds we emitted sporadically in turn, (very) laboriously ensued from there, in-between my man disappearing to the toilets (three times! including twice in a row because he forgot the first time that he had gone there specifically to put drops in his eyes because of his lenses and had to go back!), to use his phone outside away from the din (twice) or to go and buy cigarettes across the road. Much checking out of the attending crowd also occured from both parties.
At one point at notice a very middle class Japanese couple edging their way hesitantly along the crowed bar to finally come to rest a few seats from us. The woman picked up a few magazines (sadly not the gay bar-rags) abandoned on her seat while the man went to order. I was observing furtively for the moment of realisation as to where they were but either they already knew or they remained totally blind to what was going on around them.
After about 50 min of this, the group of 7 or people men who were sitting on the other side of the door, got kick out of their corner but management who started to set up a till for when they start charging people to come in at 11pm. The group seeing plenty of space in our area, decided it would be a good idea to henceforth launch a prehemptive attack (now perfectly allowed in international jurisprudence. thanks George and Tony!) and to invade our little haven of misery. Soon we were surrounded, almost trampled, introduced and as smoked out as foxes on the last ever day of the fox hunting season.
Soon after this, good manners shortly reasserted themselves (unless it was simply good old fashioned bitchyness rejoicing) and my companion and I were asked separately and in turn if what had been barged upon and battered by the virtual handbags of impudence was in fact a date. We each decided, again separately, to disappoint our questioners and tell them we were just friends (which was already starting to look quite ambitious an appelation by then).
The apparent sigh of relief having barely been expelled from the (probably poisonous) lips of the man questioning PSJ, than the latter was pronounced very handsome by the former. Again, manners and bitchyness are the protagonists of the unsettled struggle to decide what prompted Former to quickly turn towards me and to add placatingly: "oh, and so are you, so are you!"... I looked the other way and pretended not to hear in a desperate attempt to spare our stumbling dignities.
Although I had hinted earlier that perhaps it would be good to move on, PSJ had decided he wanted to stay and had gone bought himself another drink. By then the cigarette smoke was starting to get at me. PSJ had gone off into one of his expeditions and I was, surprisingly perhaps, praying for him to come back so that I could ask for mercy and a swift departure. When he finally came back, the same person who a few minutes earlier was telling me that he sees a therapist because he is claustrophobic, responded to my request for fresh air but asking to stay until he had finished his drink. I started to cough. He lit up and pointed out to me (twice, I think) that we were really lucky to be next to the open window; imagine what it would be like if we were over there. Gesturing towards the centre of the bar.
Stupidly well behaved and polite son of my mother that I am, I agreed to this, only to grab my things a few seconds later and making a mad rush for the door, mumbling something insincere about keeping in touch online and how nice it was to meet you.
I walked home, thoughts of self-pity, martyrdom and and eternal celibacy whirling madly in my air-starved mind.
As you probably won't have noticed, my aim was to make this post funny or at least vaguely amusing, but the whole story is so pathetic that even if I had the sense of humour of Jerry Lewis at the height of his (imaginary! take note my american readers) successful career in France, I would not be able to extract a smile out of Jane Birkin with it.
Let's face, I am like my life, anyway: not funny.
PSJ might be reading this blog. He could technically easily have found his way to it, should he have been bothered at some point, should he have been the type. Somehow, I don't think he is the type to bother and, to be honest, I don't feel like being it either tonight. We are even.
Apologies for yet another self-pitying moan... I needed that and that is what this blog is for!
Tomorrow is another drag!
Tags: London, gay, LGBT, GLBT, gay scene, dating, men.