Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gaylita (or the Masque of the Deadly Twink)

Where have all the messed-up gay teenagers gone? I'm sure they're still all out there somewhere, queueing for the Glee Concert Movie, but the public face of Gay Youth is very different.

Picture the scene - a birthday party of gays with beards, all of us drifting happily through our thirties... but someone had brought along their work experience student. Who was 17.

Now, this would have been fine. Really, utterly fine if he'd done what 17 year olds should do - which is stand around, mumbling and not making eye contact. But at some point there's clearly been an upgrade. And none of us coped with it well.

I watched him scythe his way through the party like a twinkling version of the Masque of the Red Death. I vowed that I would not fall. I would not become one of his giggling victims. And then he was standing in front of me. Smiling.

"What is that cologne you're wearing?" he said to me. "It suits you."

I blinked, mumbled and looked at my boots.

"Where did you get those boots from?" he asked.

I muttered something again and shifted nervously. A tiny bit of my brain went "Oh. Pay people compliments. It clearly works, but damn it's obvious. Learn to do this when you grow up." The rest of my brain just fizzed.

When I opened my eyes he was still there. Smiling. "So, ah," I began, just about not adding "My boy". I knew he was from Oxford. That seemed safe. "What college are you at?" Phew.

A tiny laugh. "I'm not. I'm still at school." The same smile.

I ran away to the bar. When I returned he was smiling at someone else and I felt both relieved and jealous.

But he came back. To tell me stories of how he'd been travelling the Pigalle, performing stand-up in French and having sex with businessmen in cars. All said with a dreadful, confident shrug.

Someone staggered to our table - in any other circumstances he'd have been the belle of the ball, but no-one noticed him. Not really. Desperate for attention, he'd have set himself on fire if he could, but instead covered himself with birthday cake while roaring about how drunk he was. Then he slunk away, unmourned.

We didn't have eyes for him. Just for Gaylita. We had eyes for each other, ust about, but hooded cautious looks that said "Are you? You're not, are you?"

And then he left, off to catch a bus home, and the spell was broken.

One of us sat there, almost in tears. "He made to kiss me, and I said no. But I could have... I could have... why didn't I? Oh, he said I was special. I was special to him, wasn't I? Would it have been so very wrong?"

We consoled him with the concerned air of Colonels dealing with a fellow making a spectacle of himself in the club over a Chee Chee girl. But we all knew... there but for the grace of god.

I patted the old boy on the shoulder. But I knew. Before Gaylita had left, he'd leaned over to me, pecked me on the cheek and whispered "You're so hot." And then he'd gone. But I knew. I knew I was special.

3 comments:

Scythrax said...

This had me laughing out loud. I know exactly what you mean... If only I'd had that level of self confidence. Ever...

funtimevash said...

Been a fan of your blog/books for awhile, and this is the reason why. You always make me laugh, with the perfect amount of snark and self deprecating wit, but underneath it all, there's always a touch of sweetness.

Skip said...

Aw... thank you. That's terribly, terribly kind.