I owe Lee an apology. Hampstead Heath is not the complete dismal right off that it first appeared to be.
Prompted by a text from Lee ("It's heaving at this time of day. I hear."), I pedalled up there yesterday afternoon. Frankly, I decided the men would be crap, but cycling up a big hill is very good exercise.
The men were crap, but the bike ride was fun.
It was about six o clock, and it was rather pleasant weather for taking a stroll through the woods. The nearby cries of happy children playing were a little disturbing though.
The children were heard, but not seen. In fact, there was very little to see. There was the token "Far Too Attractive" man wandering about. You know what I mean - you see them in clubs. Vaguely unearthly creatures wandering around, with a look of total indifference to everyone around. They're like the attractive men you see in saunas "who are just there to cleanse their pores."
But that was about it - what gay men there were weren't exactly attractive. They'd all arrived dressed as elderly American tourists. Single bold colour tshirts (what is it about lime? who can find that an attractive colour? especially for lurking in a wood? and do people really still wear t-shirts with the CK on them?), pushed out by a gut expanding from the over-streched elastic of their plaid shorts.
[side confesssion: i've suddenly remembered. i once owned a t-shirt with CK on it. it was lime. my flatmates burnt it.]
So, I pottered through the woods. What randiness I had gradually muted it's way through to... well, boredom. I was about to go home when a very good looking man walked past. He obviously shouldn't have been there - early twenties, thin, fashionable clothes, decent hair, the right number of limbs... he was even smiling.
I immediately did The Worst Possible Thing. I ground to a halt. Boggled. In an alarming way.
He ground to a halt. And stopped smiling. He may even have shuddered slightly.
I stepped forward. Paused. Should have said something. Instead, boggled further.
He backed neatly away down a path.
I turned around, to find a topless fifty year old man with nipple clamps bearing down on me.
I boggled, and backed away. Down the same path that Attractive Man was on. Who soon realised I was following him, and sat down on a log until I'd walked past. As I stomped mournfully away, I heard Nipple Clamp guy starting to chat up Attractive Man.
I wandered past a few minutes later, and there was Attractive Man alone again. I walked up to him and apologised for stalking him. He shrugged, smiled, and then said the magic words "I've brought a bottle of wine."
We ended up having a picnic in the open air away from the shuffling bushes. It turns out it was the first time Luis had headed up to the Heath. He was a bit puzzled by it as well. He'd come up with a friend, Luce, another Brazilian.
We received a text from Luce. He was stoned, had no mobile reception, and couldn't see a thing. Eventually he joined us... and turned out to be just as good looking as Luis.
So, the three of us sat there, watching the sun set, drinking red wine and smoking. I failed to learn any Portuguese, despite the fact that the two of them would occasionally pause, look at me, giggle, and then mutter something.
It was an oddly idyllic way to spend the evening - getting drunk and laughing with people who were really good mates, and very good at sharing their in-jokes.
And then? Well reader, I married them.
Later on that evening, Luis, Luce and I are at the Black Cap. With two elderly South Africans.
There was stuff that happened in between, but the laws of cause and effect have stopped working. Now I am just drunk, stoned, and have muddy knees. And there's a drag act on stage shouting at us about Ewen McGregor.
Luis and Luce are dancing - dancing really well. With the effortless skill of the beautiful pissed.
The South African leans over, a hand stroking my shoulder. "So, mate, which one's yours?"
As if on cue, Luis walks up. And kisses me. Then Luce walks up, and kisses me.
And tonight, ladies and gentlemen, just for a few seconds I realise I have won the gay lottery. Or at least, the hearts of two Brazilian students. For an evening.