Saturday, March 31, 2007

Radix malorum est cupiditas

There's an investment banker in my bed. But I'm just as excited about finally joining the 21st Century. It's a Saturday morning, I've got a pot of coffee, Radio 4, and... wireless internet in the flat. How thrilling. But, when I get bored of that, there is still an investment banker in my bed.

For years I've sat at my club and watched the glamorous gays at other tables, eyes wide as a child at the zoo. Someday, I promised myself, I shall have one of those. And last night, I did.

My friends Kate and Rick have started stalking a celebrity. It's because we're doing an Edinburgh play together, and we've decided that we'd like Mr X to star in it. But getting hold of him is proving elusive. After an hour standing fruitlessly outside a theatre in the rain, Rick demanded a proper drink.

So, we ended up in my club. Anna the waitress is also doing an Edinburgh show. She already has a cast, a venue, accommodation, posters and a MySpace site. She's started greeting us with that quietly smug tact peculiar to people competing for exams.

Anyway, there are drinks. Over in the corner, I see some glamorous gays, drinking their glamorous wine and looking glamorous. One is particularly attractive (or, truthfully, particularly gay looking). We get chatting in the cloakroom - not about anything much, but he ends up back at our table.

Rick has spent years complaining that he never gets to meet my shags. I've tried explaining that my relationships have a half-life that can be measured in minutes, but he still acts hurt. Last night he got to meet the banker. And Rick wasn't impressed ("like a little gay Gollum..." I heard him mutter to Kate).

I walked the banker to his night bus. He was very drunk and it seemed the best thing to do. As we kissed good night in Trafalgar Square a voice rang out - "Fucking queer! You fucking shit! Fucking do that again and we'll fucking kill you!"

We turn, and smile. And there are three or four enormous black men in hoodies. They don't look amused. They are looming, rather. They're doing that cinema thing of punching fist into palm as they approach. Our smiles freeze slightly.

And then, suddenly, there's a group of tiny Eastern European girls in between us. All fingernails and filthy language, they scream at the men, shooing them off like pigeons.

Cowed, the posse melts muttering away.

We try and thank the girls, who are readjusting their jewellry and furs, but it turns out their English is pretty much limited to four letter words and the phrase "you poor little boys".

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