I met Lucas for a drink.
We met up in reduced circumstances. I'm still as grim as a digital lifestyle channel, and Lucas has discovered he has syphillis. He's currently telling all his recent sexual partners, working up to his boyfriend.
"I had to phone eight people today," he said. "Including a couple."
"At the same time?"
The evening lightened up considerably once we got drunk. We ended up in Barcode, which looks rather like its been made out of old steel cattle trucks.
Fairly soon we discovered that Lucas had had a considerable number of people in the bar. "You see that bloke over there? Tossed him off on a rock in Mykonos. Red speedos. Oh look, there's Carlos. Air-steward. Stopover."
It was a strange evening - Lucas and me trying our best not to flirt with each other, and yet, at the same time, being surrounded by a startling number of very pretty men. Including a beautiful German guy with great hair and terrible clothes.
"Hey," said Lucas suddenly, "The German guy's just gone to the bogs. And he was staring at you."
"No he wasn't."
"Yes he was."
"Fair enough. Back in a mo."
When I returned a few minutes later, Lucas was chatting to a couple of people at our table. He turned round and grinned. "How was he?"
"This is Manus and Stewart." He introduced me to a very drunken Irishman, and a charmingly rugged man from Yorkshire.
Manus I didn't like - he was shrivelled and pleaded poverty, despite being a heating engineer.
Stewart we adored. Both Lucas and I instantly warmed to a man who is a musician, plumber, and provides random voice-overs for Holby City (he said "hello, Doctor" in this week's episode). Irritatingly, Stewart has a boyfriend who he loves ("We've been together three years, and he gets an extra chin every year.").
I leaned over and suggested something to Stewart.
"No," he said. "I'm a married man. If I wasn't.... then that would be different... but that's wrong...."
Lucas giggled. "What's wrong? Doesn't he want to have sex with us?"
"Apparently not." I lit another cigarette.
"Oh. That's too bad. Stewart, you are a very good looking man."
Manus suddenly looked up from his pint. "Eh? What's that?" He suddenly glared us and then at Stewart. "Hey - have you pulled, man?"
The two of us nodded and smiled. "But he wants to be faithful to his boyfriend."
"What, that fat old munter?" Manus growled, and then slumped back over his pint.
"Anyway," said Lucas smoothly. "Here's my card. Let us know what you're doing this weekend."
Stewart pocketed the card, and looked slyly at us. "All right, then. I will."
He got up and left.
"Do you think he'll call?" I asked Lucas.
He shrugged. "Who cares? He'll go home guilty. Now - have you seen the rent over there?"