Friday, November 06, 2009

Work displacement activity

I've run out of work. Honestly, genuinely run out of work. I'm waiting for feedback on about five different projects and to hear if another couple are commissioned. So, in the meantime, I am twiddling my thumbs.

It's maddening. It's like being on holiday without, you know, being on holiday. Reading a book feels like skiving rather than relaxing, and the only thing I can legitimately do is go to the gym, so I'm suddenly avoiding it like the plague. There are about three different left-over DIY projects I should be doing, but who really feels like sorting out hanging baskets in November?

So, instead, I keep finding myself in strange corners of London with gentlemen of leisure. You know, foreign students, music producers, IT consultants with a day off, bar men. We're a strange, shiftless bunch and, after a few days of it, I'm thinking "you know, honestly, I'd rather be playing around with Lego and working through all those DVDs I've always meant to watch". It's enormously exciting, and there's a certain joy to suddenly being in Croydon, but it's also... curiously pointless. I guess, like Loose Women and ebay, it's an obsession that only comes around when there's nothing else on.

Plus, I've come up with a new rule for internet dating: The keener they are to come over, the less likely. "I'm heading out now" means "I'm heading out never". It's the laid-back ones who are the low-hanging fruit.

Hanging out with afternoon vampires has a certain charm, though. Especially if they're reassuringly nutty. Take Eduardo the Spanish Programmer. His living room is full of games consoles. He's paused some driving game seemingly mid crash, and a giant steering wheel sits on the coffee table surrounded by condoms. "We play on the couch," he says. I've always worried about gays who "play". I guess it lacks the anglo-saxon brutality of some of the terms, but there's also that slight naffness ("We love to play together" ranks up there with "I don't bite, unless you want me to lol" in cyber-drabness).

It's like we have to make the extraordinary somehow boring - pausing an afternoon's gaming to order in a total stranger for sex - utterly natural. Of course, then Eduardo says something totally unnatural: "Please don't kiss me. I find two men kissing... I don't like it, yes?" And weirdly, I wonder if Nick Griffin would be pleased or not.

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