Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lingua Franca

Some things are surprising. Some things you just want to boast about. This is both of the above.

Saturday went off the rails. There I was, in the middle of revising a project about the ghost of a music hall singer who fights demons, and suddenly, I'm in bed with a stunning French student.

Well, "suddenly" is nearly right. A site for interfiddling is on in the background while I'm searching for the words to the second verse of Jerusalem. Occasionally up will pop someone auditioning for Britain's Got Serial Killers, or someone from Ghana "looking for good rich friend abroad. I like travel etc. Chat me" you know, the stuff that can be ignored and just exists to prove that really, you have nothing better to do with your time than write a scene where a headmistress gets drunk with a ghost.

And then up pops The Stunning French Student who suggests I come over as he's only just up the road. I sail out, get to his apartment block and realise that I haven't got a flat number or his phone number. And facing me is a doorman.

"Yes?" says the doorman.

I realise. I'm standing outside a very posh block of flats and I have no idea of the Frenchman's flat or even his name. "I don't suppose there's a French guy living here? He's 6 foot 2. Nice smile, vivid imagination, wears Aussie Bums."

That's not going to work. And the Doorman carries on looking at me. Shrewdly. I suppose I could try "I don't suppose there's a guy who has a lot of male friends who only ever come round once, is there?"

Instead I shrug, and mumble something about "He's not given me the flat number, I'll email him," and wander off round the corner.

It is that point that I discover that, yes, my phone will actually connect to the site, but that T-Mobile think that the site contains adult content and I'll need to phone them to get it unlocked. What can I say to them? "I'm just a boy, standing in front of another boy's house, asking him to shag me?"

So, I stand in the street. And then, thankfully, my middle-aged nature kicks in. It is Saturday. I am in Islington. There's bound to be an antique store open.

And then the Frenchman texts. "Was that u?"

"Yes. Help."

He comes down. He is 6 foot 2, which is surprising (gay men having such trouble with knowing what an inch is), and you can tell he is from the continent. It's only the first day of Spring and he's dressed for the beach. An expensive beach. "Come up," he says. We walk past the Doorman. "Ah Georges, forgive me," purrs the Frenchman, "I forgot to tell him my number. I hope he has not put you to any trouble." And as George practically bows with apology, we sail away in the lift that has been waiting patiently for us.

The Frenchman is not real. He is young, dashing, and lives in a flat that I'm not even sure I can afford to breathe in. He shrugs. "Drink? I have only water or champagne."

He apologises for not giving me his flat number, "I forget your way," and he explains why he's not told me his name. He's named after Justinian. "In France it is not so odd, but over here..." And he shrugs.

"Not at all!" I exclaim. "I've read a book about Justininian - he's the emperor who married a showgirl who was famous for an act where peacocks pecked grain out of her-"

Justinian gazes at me blankly. "As you can see, I have no grain," he shrugs. "Why are you telling me this?"

I smile awkwardly, shifting uncomfortably on his sofa, while trying not to mentally price it. It definitely didn't come from DFS.

"Come," he says, "I shall give you a tour of the flat."

Only it isn't really a tour of the whole flat. The curious, very curious thing I learn about Justinian over the next few hours is that, while his English is very good, he has one quaint linguistic tic. Instead of what I'm hoping is "Formidable!" he says "Awesome!".

It is wonderfully like being in bed with Captain Awesome from Chuck:

And then, at some point the sun has long set. He goes off to to drink an "Awesome" amount of wine with friends from Paris, and I head off to a dinner party. I turn up and Lucy is pulling a large bird from the oven. "In your honour I've stuffed a chicken and got a tart."

"Awesome," I say.


Gary said...

It's a message of hope for all those of us who flounder in the wilderness. Inspiring!

Anonymous said...

過去的事早已消失,未來的事更渺不可知,只有現在是真實的 ..................................................