Thursday, May 21, 2009
The Lair of the Grey Fox
So. Brisbane. It rained. And rained. And rained.
At some point we gave up on our plans. There was going to be a mountain with a lovely view of... the rain. There was going to be a tropical island with beaches. In the rain.
We brought umbrellas and trudged to see a morning matinee of Star Trek. Rain poured through the cinema ceiling. Afterwards, I went and slept in my room. Tim walked around some museums. It rained.
The first night, we'd gone to one of Brisbane's 2 gay pubs. Called the Sportsman it looked like 79 CXR would look if it held a pub quiz night. Lots of fat old men thinking. We stood on the rain-soaked porch while I tried to smoke under an umbrella. Miserably, we trudged back to the hotel. Oddly, wherever you are in Brisbane, where you want to be is up a hill. The driving rain did not help.
The second night we went to a place called The Wickham. There was Drag. But it was Australian Drag, so a man in a dress mimed an interminable song about cunnilingus to a nearly empty bar. Because everyone was outside. Smoking. In the rain.
Two lesbians had a play fight. The bored security man stepped in to try and separate them, and then wandered off, bored.
Tim and I looked at each other. Our looks said "This is awful. Let's go home."
And then we met The Grey Fox. Well, he asked me for a cigarette and I gave him my heart.
Imagine Crocodile Dundee's slightly younger, butcher cousin. Working as a race car mechanic. And somehow having so many muscles they poked through four layers of clothing and a rain coat.
The Grey Fox was out drinking with his best gay friend. Who was 20 years younger than him. It was like a gay Owl and Piglet. (Hmmn. Fox. Owl. Piglet? The animal similes are a bit much).
Anyway, they took pity on us. Or, at least, they took us to a gay club. In the distance was a dance floor. Piglet got Tim drunk and they chased each other round the dance floor.
And the Grey Fox and I went and stood outside, smoking under a sun shade. Around us, the young gays of Brisbane called each other "bitch" and stole Marlboros off their fag hags.
"The twinks are so fat nowadays," sighed the Grey Fox. "Last five years, they've got beer bellies. It's really sad."
I looked. He was right. I suddenly felt less like the fattest gay in Australia.
He continued. "It's like they've stopped trying. Now it's the young straight gays who go to the gym and dress well. If you want to pick up hot guys, you've got to go to straight bars and find a gay guy who is dressed like a straight gay dressed like a gay guy. It was easier in the 80s."
We nod and sigh and smoke another cigarette.
Inside, Piglet is showing Tim pictures of his boyfriend (a Doctor) and their pets. They are drinking more. There's even some dancing.
Outside, the rain pours down.
And the Grey Fox and I kiss. This is very, very exciting.
"Would you like to come back to the hotel?" I ask.
He shakes his head. He has to drive Piglet home. This is at 2am after half a dozen scotches. Yup. The Grey Fox is so hot, he makes drunk-driving sexy.
He smiles. "You can see me on Friday," he says. "We can spend the whole evening together."
Up until this moment, I had been incredibly excited about leaving Brisbane and spending 32 hours on a train to Cairns. Now I'm gutted. "I can't," I say. "I'm leaving tomorrow."
And the Grey Fox smiles. "Let's have a last drink, then," he says.
And we go back inside.
Later, Tim and I walk home through the rain. He is shouting at me. "You could have left me!" he screams, "You could have stayed on! You could have caught a plane! He was worth it!"
I mutter something about how it's sometimes nicer to just kiss a stranger. More enigmatic. More romantic. More classy.
Tim makes a disgusted noise. "You're an idiot. He was gorgeous. How often do we meet men like that?"
Suddenly, horribly, I realise that Tim is right.
And it rains all night.