30 January 2007

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country

Dearest Andy,
One should neither be a borrower or a lender: I am neither.
However rude, I am shamelessly thieving this image
from your blogue as it is simply so good!
Ms C Quisp

Dysentery Episode 1 - A dirty little secret

Evening. The Cast assemble in a fabulous penthouse apartment in the 5eme arrondissment of Paris, to enjoy ones company and partake of a sumptuous seventeen course banquet. One looks fabulous, and everyone in the room knows it.

Cuentin: Welcome, everyone! My insincerest apologises that it has taken so long to invite you all around: this has been on my list of things requiring urgent attention, but one has been distracted by all manner of distractions… bad writing, serendipity, and even Christians! But you’re all here at last, except F… where can he be? How unlike him to be late for a meal. Still, never mind, he’ll show up! Let us waste no time in deliberation about the seating arrangements: G, my good and loyal friend throughout the last twelve turbulent years, please take a place at my side, along with your partner who one also loves and cherishes. Let’s try a boy/girl arrangement: C1 and C2 next, yes, it’s best to place you opposite one another. Which leaves T and J at the far end of the table, with M sitting between both of you. Please behave yourself, M; remember, all of the gentlemen in the room are homosexual, so there is no need to get excited. Guests, under no circumstances is she to be allowed one of my champagne glasses, they were manufactured in the 18th century by highly-skilled French peasants! In any event, one anticipates that champagne won’t agree with her delicate Australian constitution; those schooners of cheap bear are for her. Best to let her drink out of the bottle, T: it’s what she’s used to. Just let her open it with her teeth… Oh, M, please wipe that froth off your mouth on… not on T’s sleeve! Oh dear, I am sorry about this!

T: That’s alright, Cuentin. She’s quite charming… owch! She just bit me! Oh, but never mind: it didn’t really hurt… so anyway, who’s that empty place for?

J: I expect it’s for Z.

Cuentin: Ahem… no, it isn’t.

Cue loud melodramatic aria in the background

Everyone in the cast looks around in bewilderment

Everyone (except Cuentin): What was that?

Cuentin: What was what?

G: That deafeningly loud, melodramatic music?

Cuentin: Best to ignore it: it must be the neighbours.

Cue mysterious dramatic aria in the background

Cuentin: As I was saying, that empty place at the table is for P, but since he refuses to step out of the darkest, most miserable closet in the building, one expects that place will remain empty for the remainder of the evening. Normally, one would summon the help to clear it away, however I’ve given them all a night off… so you’ll have to pour champagne for yourselves, dears… oh, I see you all already have! In that case, please raise your glasses everyone, because I would like to propose a little toast to something fabulous, something you all quite love almost as much as I do-

C2: (Squealing excitedly) Someone just touched my leg!

Everyone: Really?

Cuentin (to D): Is there something you’d like to tell us?

D: It wasn’t me!

C1: Why, there’s something under the table!

Cuentin: Already? I know that’s where most of us will be at the end of this evening, but it’s a little early…

T: Oh, it’s a dog! How cute!

C2: (disappointedly) Oh!

Cuentin: Why, there you are, F! Why don’t you come out?

F shakes his head.

Cuentin: We’re having salad… I made the dressing myself.

F hesitates, but continues shaking his head.

Cuentin: Hmmn, it’s a bit ominous that F has decided to settle there; his instincts are quite uncanny. However, I’d better keep tonight’s entertainment moving along at a brisk pace: I was in the middle of a toast, wasn’t I? To something fabulous, something you all love… but what can one say about myself that hasn’t already been said? To moi!

Glasses clink.

Suddenly, doors to elegant room thrown open.

X enters, looking distinctly ruffled, but with his hair looking immaculate, of course.

X: Hijo de puta! Hijo de puuuuuuta!

Cuentin: Why, what an unexpected surprise!

X: Cabron de mierda! No los ha dicho…

Cuentin: Darling X, my guests are not all familiar with your passionate tongue... I hope!

X: …naaaaada de tu secreto, pero ya lo sospechaba… y ahora lo se! Si, cabron, si: he encontrado tu blog de mierda, escribiendo todo sobre nosotros desde hace tres meses, sin decirnos nada!

J: (Whispering) Is that X? Shit, he is hot! Does anyone understand what he’s saying?

T: Actually, I speak a little Spanish. Apparently, for the last three months, without telling anyone, Cuentin has been writing about every one of us in a blog-

Glasses fall, smashing into smithereens upon the elegant table, with the exception of T’s own glass…set down carefully, whereupon seized and smashed by M with a vindictive cackle

G: Is this true, Cuentin?

X distributes a printed copy of the bloguette to all guests, who hastily peruse at the cast list.

G: Why, weren’t you going to say something?

Cuentin: (Nonplussed, but remaining dignified) About what? About the seating arrangements, about the myself?

Everyone: No! This blog!

Cuentin: It is not a blog! It is still in it’s infancy: it is a bloguette.

Deafening silence. Guests await explanation… not of the distinction between a blog, a blogue and a bloguette. Cuentin flusters.

T: Why, I expect Cuentin wanted it to be a surprise, and that’s why he brought us all together this evening… to tell us! Isn’t that right?

Cuentin: Er… yes, of course, that’s exactly right, T! Surprise, everyone!

All of the remaining Cast exchange suspicious glances, before devoting their attention to the printed bloguette.

C2: Hang on, I don’t get this… you say he’s been writing about every one of us, and there’s a list of the cast, but there’s only one C on this list!

C1: That’s because he’s merged us.

C2: What?

D: Hang on a minute, C1. How did you know that?

C1: Cuentin explained, in a posting back in November-

D: So you knew?

Cue loud melodramatic aria in the background

G: What the hell is making that noise?

Cuentin: It’s for theatrical effect: without stage directions or musical signatures to guide them, there is a risk that the high drama might escape my gentle readership

Everyone: What readership?

Cuentin: I thought you were pretending not to know about my blogette?

D: Sorry, but I’m still confused about C1… if you weren’t surprised, why did your glass drop?

C1: Because I had no idea Cuentin hadn’t told all of you!

Everyone: Oh!

G: Why did you tell her, and no one else?

Cuentin: She helped alert me to the potential dangers involved when blogging… so it seemed only fair.

C1: What dangers?

Cuentin: Ahem… I don’t think we should talk about that here.

C1: Why? On your blogue, surely you are not going to hide the fact that-

Cuentin: Sssh! Most certainly I am! I have no intention of revealing quite so much about my life and character as others who shall remain unnamed and unmentioned have done, in consequence of the unfortunate and fortunate consequences one may suffer. I am not going to hide all of the facts… just relevant and important ones; hence the name- Fact or Fiction- or, if you prefer, It’s not really happening... or you can call me Ms C, or Ms C Quisp... anything whatsoever provided you link to me. Besides, I do not want to risk our tenuous and delicate friendship: you have quite enough to deal with without more unwanted attention… by association with a fatuous, badly-written bloguette! So let’s change the subject.

C2: Yes, let’s… why don’t I get to have an individual character, when everyone else does?

Cuentin: It’s part of the disguise to protect you both. Besides, I don’t know either of you well enough to formulate a fictionalised character.

All of the remaining Cast exchange bewildered glances

G: (Whispering) Cuentin, I hope you’re not intending to… publish this, are you? You must realise this is really, really badly written.

Cuentin: (Whispering) Sssh, they’ll hear you.

C2: I still don’t get why I’ve been merged with C1: we’ve got nothing whatsoever in common!

Cuentin: (evasively): You’re both single… you both have the same number of children… you’re both female… isn’t that enough?

C2: Well, we have a different ethnic background – she’s English Caucasian and I’m a Black American.

C1: We’re also two decades apart.

M: bleedinell, whafeckinshite, yehbrawtmeovafremfeckinstrailyerferthis? Gimmeanothawonathemfeckinskoonas, willya?

Everyone: Excuse me?

Cuentin: Another bottle for the lady, T.

D: (Whispering) What language is she speaking?

Cuentin: (Whispering) Australian.

J: Does anyone else know about all of this?

Cuentin: About what?

J: You know perfectly well… the bloguette?

Cue loud melodramatic aria in the background

Cuentin: Er… come to think of it, no! Why do you ask?

J: Oh… no reason!

Cue EVEN MORE loud melodramatic aria in the background

T: Well, I think this is really swell and generous of Cuentin, to spend his spare time immortalising us for people that we’ve never met, so I’d like to be the first to say thanks. In fact, let’s have a toast to… oh, I forgot about the glasses! Shall I run out to buy some 18th century French crystal?

Cuentin: Sit down, T!

G: (Whispering) He’s such a sweet guy!

D: (Whispering) And he’s damn handsome!

G: (Whispering) Are you quite sure that you don’t fancy him?

Cue several different tempo aria, creating a confused atmosphere

Cuentin: That’s it… I’ve had enough. I think we’ve had enough entertainment for one evening, ladies and gentlemen, don’t you?

Everyone: Excuse me?

Cuentin: Yes, I was just saying, that’s quite enough for tonight.

J: But you invited us for dinner and we haven’t eaten!

C2: We can’t go until you have explained why Z isn’t here!

Cue loud melodramatic aria in the background

X: And I haven’t say anything in my English yet!

Cue EVEN MORE loud melodramatic aria in the background

D (to G): From what I can see, we haven’t had a chance to say anything in his bloguette… he hardly mentions us!

G (to D): But Cuentin is barely acquainted with most of these people: I’m his best friend in this city, he’s said so himself! If he’s going to write a full and honest account of his day to day life, then he’s got to write about me!

D (to G): Well, he doesn’t!

G: Can there be a reason?

Cue loud melodramatic… you get the idea.

C1: And isn’t there still someone in the closet who hasn’t introduced?

P: (Shouting from a distance) Yes!

Cue loud melodramatic-

Cuentin: Silence, all of you! And that includes the orchestra!

Deafening silence

Cuentin: Everyone, this is my bloguette… do you hear? I am the star of my own fabulous show! So I’ll be the one who decides what we are silent, when we are singing, what we all talk about and when we all do it!

J: You mean there’s going to be sex?

Cuentin: No… I mean do talking!

J: (disappointed) Oh!

Cuentin: Then again, if a single photograph boosted my daily visits by 25%, perhaps…

J perks up

Cuentin: Anyway, as I was screeching: this is my bloguette is all about me, do you hear? Me, me, me!

Another deafening silence

G scribbles a note. Cuentin reads it.

G: "Can you say something?" Really, it ought to be ‘may’, because ‘can’ suggests that you might be incapable of speech… I’m babbling, aren’t I? I should probably stop right now.

Yet more deafening silence

Cuentin: It’s going to get very boring if you don’t speak at all. Say something, please!

C1: But you just said-

Cuentin: Yes, I know… and I’m contradicting myself. Do you have a problem with that?

T: I guess Cuentin is feeling a little bit stressed and tired tonight, so if he wants us to leave, maybe we should all just-

Cuentin: You don’t have to leave… no, of course not!

C2: But you just said-

Cuentin: What I mean is that this isn’t really happening, so I can make all of you disappear, whenever I want! All I have to do is stop writing, or… no, even better: I can have you all abducted by aliens!

D: What kind of aliens?

J: Are they… like, hot?

Cuentin: Perhaps I can go find an attractive man in the shower at Raidd, realise everything has been a dream… oh, wrong series. But wait! Perhaps I can… yes, of course! Everyone, please wait here!

Cuentin smiles benignly, heading to the French doors.

X: Where you going, hijo de puta?

Cuentin: To get another bottle of champagne, of course … and make a quick phone call to my terrorist friends in Moldavia… won’t be long!

Fur ball... no longer stuck in the back of my throat

Gentle reader, life is too short to spend a precious moment time reviewing an unbearably bad film. However, even the depraved individuals brought to my humble bloguette by googling the words 'old cu(e)nt' deserve to be warned about the film Fur.

One fervently hopes that a deranged animal rights protester attended the premiere to throw paint at the cast: it would be more interesting to watch that paint dry than suffer as I have!

A lifeless performances from Ms N Kidman, who seems to have something else on her mind throughout the film... wondering 'what was I thinking' perhaps, or trying to decide upon a new agent? She hasn't delivered such an unconvincing performance since... well, one can hardly blame the girl that no one bought that arranged Hollywood marriage, can we?

Let's not even mention Mr Robert Downey Jr. looking like the Beast from that pitiful US TV show 'Beauty and the Beast' that one is ashamed to admit one's mother watched back in the 1980s... appearing in the cast might be considered career suicide, if he had a career to risk!

During the filming, the director appears to have been away from the set at a repeat screening of 'Mulholland Drive' trying to figure out how the fabulous Mr D Lynch achieved the effects he clearly desired. A few clues, Mr Shameburger: attention to such superficial details such as acting, lighting, and music... and no, having someone drag a coin up and down a piano keyboard every time the leading character walks upstairs does not set a mood!

Prone to walking out in the middle of an unsatisfactory performance, all that kept me rigid in my seat was conviction that this was the worst film one has ever paid good money to see, and one determined to get one's money's worth, complaining about every last damn minute that I wasted watching it.

Suggested caption: Quick, quick, let's disguise and leave before the critics and the audience start baying for our blood... We're only the leading actors, no one will notice our absence


Life in the circus ain't easy, but the folks on the outside don't know
that the tent goes up and the tent comes down; all that they see is the show
The ladies on the horses look so pretty, and the lions are looking real mad
and some of the clowns are happy, while some of the clowns are sad.

But underneath, there's another expression that the makeup isn't making:
Life under the big top is about freedom, is about faking.
There's an art to the laughter; there's a science
There's a lot of love and compliance

We live to hear the slack-jawed gasping; we live under a halo of held breath;
When the children raise up a giant shield of laughter, it's like they're fending of death
Together we make something bigger than any one of us alone,
and then the clowns will take of their makeup, and the people will go home

But life on the outside ain't easy:
No sequins; no elephants; no parading around.
Yeah, the circus comes and the circus goes, but they're stuck in this fucking town

So welcome to the freakshow... yeah, here we go...

Freakshow, Ani Di Franco, 1999

29 January 2007

The drugs don’t work

It is a truth universally acknowledged that man is a history-making creature who can neither repeat his past nor leave it behind. For that reason, one does not want a gentle reader to feel in any way smug about what you are going to read: one certainly does not want to receive a calling card with the words ‘one brought it all upon oneself’, because one is perfectly aware of that fact... and no gentle reader will receive a word of gracious thanks for pointing out whatever is obvious.

Another soiree with J and Z was my own proposal, and it was my own deranged notion to return to the same venue with the same people for the second Friday night running. Memories of an excessively entertaining night, with excessively danceable music by the –alas!- stand-in DJ, not to mention a plethora of excessively handsome gay gentlemen to whom one has not yet given pleasure, distracted one from the fact that any attempt to recapture a past pleasure is inevitably doomed to failure.

One ought to have realised something unusual was going on when J arrived at our rendezvous in Le Duplex only five minutes late. He signalled his intention to purchase alcohol before joining me upon the balcony, looking down at the masses sweltering in the badly-lit and overly-crowded bar (with distain and disapproval, as usual)

First words from his mouth:

“Here, listen to this song, it’s a cover version of something, and you’re sure to know… it’s fabulous… oh, and I’d better tell you-” (before he plugs iPod into my ears) “-I’ve invited a guy along to join us; he seems fine, although I’ve never met him, it’s just that we were chatting earlier this evening on the internet and when I mentioned that I couldn’t meet for a hook-up because I was meeting friends for a drink, I don’t know why but I also typed the words ‘come and join us’ and he said that he would: I honestly don’t know what I was thinking, because I never thought he’d say yes, but he’s here… yes, look, there he is just now; he’s English.”

To which, somewhat aghast, I replied by enquiring what his name was.

“I can’t remember.”

At that point, to hold a scolding tongue, one plugged oneself into an iPod… emerging when the gay gentleman in question had joined our not-yet-a-full group.

Allowing J a moment to present himself in the flesh, I disconnected in order to introduce myself to stranger… who had a name, of course. Oddly enough, it didn’t sound at all English; that was because he was, in fact, a Frenchman.

Well, gentle reader, imagine the situation if you will. Le Gentleman had come to a rendezvous after having spoken with J for approximately thirty minutes in a crowded internet chat room, with an agenda of his own that did not include socialising with fabulously interesting people that he had no prospect of shagging senseless, while J struggled to remember what little he knew about Le Gentleman, quite forgetting what half-truths he has told... In those circumstances, it was hardly surprising conversation did not flow naturally: it was halted, awkward and embarrassing to all concerned. Struggling to control raised eyebrows at what both parties had to say in front of me, and in the knowledge Le Gentleman was hoping one was going to topple over the balcony later, one kept at a distance from the unfortunate situation, remaining uncharacteristically silent. Upon the arrival of Z, one expected things to improve slightly, even though a certain amount of gloating was to be expected; I hadn’t spoken with Z since his date with my Best One Night Stand of 2006.

“Excuse me, there’s a strange message on my mobile; I’ll need to listen several times,” said J, a faint attempt at manners addressed to Le Frenchman… who was left with no alternative but to converse, begrudgingly, with moi.

Gentle reader, suffice to say that some individuals do not know the basic rules of conversation. They do not appreciate it is an exchange: nor do they appreciate that while a gossip talks about others and a good conversationalist talks about you, a bore talks about himself. Unhappily, I was dealing with someone in the latter category: even without listening attentively to a word he was saying, I knew enough about him to move on. More unhappily, despite the noisy crowd, the loud music, and the alcohol consumed, I found that I was not only hearing, but actually listening it seemed I couldn’t help myself.

Do not be unduly concerned, for I will not repeat verbatim his non-engaging discourse on the long, hard hours that he works at a big, important desk in a great, big, important room in a large, big, important office in a big, massive, high, enormous building dealing with matters of such huge, big, sizeably-large, verging-upon-international importance that his association surely must prove he must therefore be huge, big, long, hard, important and interesting. One decided against informing him what one does for a living when I am in gainful employment, because it pained me that Le Frenchman might consider we had something in common, and in any event, there was never an opportunity to interrupt.

With J still engaged in pressing buttons on his hand-held device (one suspects that he was not only retrieving a message, but also cancelling another ‘hook-up’ or three) Le Frenchman went on to mention that when he wasn’t at the office, he did lots of interesting things; for example, he went to the gym a lot (something of which one was already aware) and he also claimed to have travelled extensively. Gentle reader, I am not making this up- he actually uttered these words:

‘Last year, I went to Australia for three weeks, just to get away from it all… and there were a lot of hot guys… but I decided not to have sex, because I needed a complete break from it all… so, as I was saying, I didn’t have sex, for three weeks… (later, perhaps because I hadn't evidenced a reaction?) like, no sex whatsoever, for three whole weeks…’

Yes, three times is quite enough to repeat, gracious thanks. Perhaps if I were not so bored, I wouldn’t have been counting, but I am… let us talk about something else, please.

But Le Gentleman had not yet exhausted his favourite subject... himself. He reflected upon the gay ghetto in which he lives, mentioning of course that he somehow never goes to any of the gay places within it because he doesn’t like the gay scene, although he does appear to have visited this particular venue before… didn’t he just comment on how it was decorated seven years ago? Oh, one can’t be bothered pointing out contradictions, even if one could get a word in: besides, there is no reason to inflict this kind of mundane detail upon you, gentle reader.

It is sufficient you know that when I encouraged him to discuss the upcoming Presidential elections, Le Frenchman expressed his opinion that France needed a great politician like Margaret Thatcher… therefore, he was voting for this man, Sarkosy.

On the point of throwing myself off the balcony- perhaps that had been his intention? – J spoke at last.

“It was a message from Z: he seems to be in the middle of a great big melodrama that he’s going to bring to the bar and re-enact in a loud voice for the benefit of everyone standing around… oh, there he is!”

Alas, it was true… the best I can say is that at least Z bought us all a stiff drink. One felt a little sympathy for J, having to re-live the embarrassment of re-introducing Le Frenchman that he barely knew, but by now must surely have realised was an insuffrable bore… except he didn’t seem to be embarrassed. Luckily, Z was too eager to talk about himself to be interested in details of how the parties assembled barely knew one another.


  • on Sunday, Z had a date with BONSY2006 and they had enjoyable sex (explicit details not forthcoming, for once- one suspects because Z fears comparison, contradiction or cackling laughter)

  • on Monday night, Z still hadn’t received a sms declaration of commitment, so he decided to look around in the gay ghetto for someone else, who we shall call Disposable; he has more sex, in fact it is fabulous sex, even more pleasurable than the enjoyable sex he’s just had with BONSY2006

  • on Tuesday, Z and Disposable lie to their respective employers, feigning illness to continue having fabulous sex all day

  • on Wednesday, BONSY2006 makes contact, inviting Z to join him for dinner on the following evening, by which time Z knows Disposable well enough to appreciate that they are incompatible in a non-sexual context, and because he always considered BONSY2006 might like to have a serious relationship with him, agrees to meet

  • on Thursday, Z meets BONSY2006 for a romantic meal in the gay ghetto, after which both have a drink in a gay bar and meet with… oh yes, you’ve guessed it- Disposable! BONSY2006 is a little perturbed by Disposable’s familiar and tactile behaviour with the man he believes himself to be dating, while Disposable wants to know who BONSY2006 is… forcing Z to explain himself… to the person he is on a date with, obviously. After a lengthy discussion, Z and BONSY2006 declare a mutual interest in getting to know each other better, agreeing that all sexual activity will be performed exclusively in one another’s company for a trial period only. With negotiations concluded, both return to BONSY2006's apartment to have more (merely) enjoyable sex

  • On Friday, Z meets Disposable for a drink, to explain the unfortunate situation… and they agree to have fabulous sex for the last time on the following afternoon... without BONSY2006's knowledge, of course. In the meantime, we are soon to have the pleasure of the company of BONSY2006… and are not to breathe a word of this.

I hope you didn’t find all of that too difficult to follow, gentle reader? For those of you who are not members of the gay league, it is of paramount importance that you appreciate fabulous sex is a greater and more worthwhile activity than enjoyable sex… and, of course, it is a truth universally acknowledged that one’s first sexual exchange is indicative of how all things sexual will shape up.

Gentle reader, whatever notions (misguided) you have about my character (or lack thereof) let me be clear on this point: one genuinely disapproved… of everything that was going on. While it is true that one employs a mode of speech of which the meaning is contrary to the words, irony is not dishonesty; those who are dishonest rank alongside hypocrites and Christians. Even if BONSY2006 had not been known to me- and to the best of my knowledge, he is a decent, likeable and honest gay gentleman- no one deserved to be messed around, therefore one would have expressed disapproval about Z’s tawdry behaviour in any event. Certainly, Z had anticipated a reaction from his audience, but not this reaction. He listened to what I had to say, before remarking he was doing exactly the same thing his mentor J did (causing raised eyebrows from Le Gentleman and a vigorous denial from J) In fairness, while the behaviours are identical, there is a significant difference in that J makes it absolutely clear to all concerned parties that he is faithful to nobody, that exclusivity and commitment do not interest… and in this regard his actions speak even louder than words.

Suffice to say that Z did not take what I had to say to heart: my lecturing was misinterpreted, with an uncalled-for remark to suggest it had all been prompted by a jealousy of some sort. Distinctly ruffled, one determined to say no more on the subject.

While all of this is happening, matters become even more complicated... quite out of hand, one might say. Allow me to explain.

In passing, one has mentioned that Z is a handsome gay gentleman; he has also a fine physique. In his spare time, he bodybuilds (is that a verb?) while training as a rower. Truth be told, if Z had looked quite so beefy on the night of our little encounter, nothing would have happened between us: it is not a ‘look’ that appeals to me, and it is not a ‘feel’ that appeals either. (Before you die, do try persuading someone with an interest in body-building that they are not enhancing their physical desirability for every red-blooded gay gentlemen… expect lots of bewildered grunting and blinking… but I digress!)

Can you guess what happened next, gentle reader? Let me spell it out for you. Z had been talking incessantly about himself, Z goes to the gym a lot… Le Gentleman had been talking incessantly about himself, Le Gentleman goes to the gym a lot… et voila!

“So, what do you do, Z?” Le Gentleman enquired.

In fairness, Z responded without guile.

“Oh, I work at a big, important desk in a great, big, important room in a large, big, important office in a big, massive, high…”

Just as well this wasn't intentional, since J looked daggers in his direction anyway. He was... I am on the verge of typing the word ‘understandably annoyed’, but perhaps it is more appropriate to write ‘annoyed.’ For at this point in proceedings, what was understandable? After all, what social etiquette was there to be breached?

At the outset of the evening, friendship and comradeship were discarded in favour of a potential exchange of bodily fluids with a complete stranger, whose superficial interest in all of those assembled was apparent. Whatever his other faults, one certainly cannot accuse Le Gentleman of duplicity: his readiness to attend our soiree indicated that he was not adverse to the company of strangers on a whim; his approach to conversation throughout the evening made it clear that he has no concern for the interests of others: if a strong gust of wind had caused a shift in his mood before arrival, or if, upon arrival, he had not considered J a potential ‘hook up’, he wouldn’t have been in our company. In short, he was perfectly transparent; and it just so happened something better had blown his way… or so he thought.

“Let’s go to Le Tango!” said J through gritted teeth.

Ah, yes… obviously Le Tango would resolve all of the evening’s problems. For when Le Gentleman met all of the parties concerned, it would become impossible to shut his eyes to the deep and committed nature of the relationship BONSY2006 shared with Z, with the inevitable consequence that his undivided attention will return to a worthier object…

Throughout the evening, at an alarming rate one had been knocking back a copious amount of alcohol… not because one had scruples about bare-faced lying to BONSY2006 if any polite enquires were made about Z’s integrity; not because one knew what to expect at Le Tango, where BONSY2006 and Z would engage in a ridiculous demonstration of public affection; not only because one was bored out of one's mind…Gentle reader, one was drinking in a desperate effort to silence that insistent voice inside my head that kept asking what the hell I was doing with my life; a little voice that still refuses to shut up, a week later.

Sadly, on the night in question, alcohol made no impact whatsoever upon my sensibility, which can only be attributed to stress and a strong coffee consumed before arriving in the bar. I had been to see le cirque tsigane, little anticipating that a more disappointingly surreal entertainment awaited... and so I watched the performers performing... but what a display!

Ought one spare you a blow-by-blow account of how that evening ended?

Have you suffered enough, gentle reader?

Perhaps not.

It was busy at the nightclub: unhappily, excessively attractive men did not make up a large proportion of those assembled. As anticipated, we joined a group of BONSY2006’s friends, who were warm, welcoming, but not particularly interesting.

Z and BONSY2006 behaved in a predictable fashion: while one appreciated that in the early stages of infatuation there is a tendency to ignore all other people in the company to perform a strange mating ritual, groping flamboyantly in the manner of two heterosexual adolescents at their first school disco, sincerity of at least one party must be questioned in this instance… hardly infatuated, there was a feeling that Z was simply delivering all that was expected before the gathering audience... and rubbing my nose in it.

Meanwhile, Le Gentleman and J scanned the assembled crowd (out of the corner of their respective eyes… a semblance of decency!) alarmed at the limited range of available alternatives for an evening of light sexual entertainment. Between them, matters had ground to a halt: no longer inclined toward active flirtation with Le Gentleman, J nevertheless continued to engage in passive flirtation (you kow what I mean: insincere attention to uninteresting conversation, a little accidental touching, reciprocating attentions in a blasé fashion, etc.) while not-so-secretly attracting attention from as many other quarters as possible. Given J's physical attractiveness, this was done quickly and easily… while of course Le Gentleman was not to be outdone. One developed a crick in one’s neck watching their performance: one’s head was spinning, without the other pleasing sensations associated with the consumption of alcohol, and yet- whether because of their continually roving eyes or their own lingering flirtation- neither J nor Le Gentleman seemed capable of holding attention from any other quarter for longer than five minutes, to their mutual annoyance.

BONSY2006 departed alone, because he had to work on Saturday, at which point Z returned to join our merry group, remarking that he had hardly spoken with his good friends all evening… which was true. Unhappily, instead of speaking to his good friends, or wondering why his good friends were a little frosty, he proceeded to have a conversation with Le Gentleman about what exercises are best for the oblique muscles (we were on the dance floor at the time, and yes, they did both lift their respective tops and touch/compare… mortifying, gentle reader!)

One scarpered back to the bar alone: although it didn’t seem to make any difference how much alcohol one consumed, one was determined to continue trying to relieve (not re-live) the pain. In retrospect, the drugs must have done something… otherwise, why didn’t I simply leave?

Gentle reader, please appreciate that one was genuinely distressed at how the evening plummeted to depths hitherto unexplored in said company. Granted, my reasons for socialising on the gay scene remain superficial- to have fun, and occasionally amuse oneself, with those of one’s own kind - but this was not remotely fun and this was not remotely amusing. For having made a conscious effort to avoid society that has not entered a third decade, one happily believed oneself to be in a group that had moved on from gay-adolescent nonsense in all of its varied forms: even in wildest fantasies of how truth might be exaggerated upon one's bloguette, one never expected to witness such excruciatingly ridiculous behaviour at close quarters. My original intention had been to caricature those within my circle of non-intimate acquaintance, creating a two-dimensional account of their little-known characters, a caricature so far removed from reality as to leave truth unscathed… but how was one to caricature this? Why, all of the art was being taken out of my hands!

Even more concerning, how did this spectacle reflect upon oneself? For who had organised this soiree? If one proposed spending recreational time in this fashion, what did it suggest about the depth of one’s own character? Had one really nothing better to do?

One has asked all of these questions before, gentle reader… and believed in one’s own evolution… that was even more worrying.

In due course, when Z came to ask why I don’t feel like dancing, dancing, in all honesty I revealed that I was not having a pleasant evening, because I found behaviour of the present company unbearable… a remark he mistook for my characteristic irony, returning to dance on a podium whereupon Le Gentleman turned his back upon J and began to dance with… oh dear!

“He doesn’t realise, does he?” blurted J upon arrival at the bar. “Aren’t you going to tell him?”

One spluttered alcohol across the room… hardly a waste, since it hadn’t been helping to alleviate.

“Me? Me? You heard his reaction to my advice earlier this evening. Besides, I met Z once, had sex with him twice, and have since been in his company three times since then; hardly an intimate acquaintance. You've known for six months and go out drinking with him every other night! Perhaps you ought to say something yourself? In any event, Z isn’t the only problem I have witnessed in the bar tonight: have you given any thought to-”

“Yes, I know there’s a problem, Cuentin, but I don't know what to do. What to do? But I’m just not sure if I find Le Gentleman so attractive anymore... although he does have a great body, doesn't he?”

There was nothing more to be said.

Less than an hour later, J and Le Gentleman exchanged their first bodily fluids… it was a moment, gentle reader: some watching might have considered it a beautiful moment, but it was not beautiful to anyone who, incapable of getting drunk, had suffered their company all evening. After their hasty departure, one waited for them to disappear down the nearest dark alleyway before leaving Le Tango. Before I had reached the cloakroom attendant, Z left his podium to propose walking home with me.

I politely declined: upon reflection, one needed to remain in a smoke-filled bar listening to loud bad music for just a little while longer… to be absolutely sure of remembering the evening’s ordeal, lessening the chances of making that same sequence of mistakes.

History repeating, gentle reader? One is tempted to say never again… although having looked in the mirror long and hard- for one is a gay gentleman of deep reflection- one recognises that when a gay gentlemen says ‘never’, he means until the next time: after all, ‘forever’ means until it all comes to a horrible end… probably.

28 January 2007

A beautiful revolution

Love… that delightful interval between meeting an excessively handsome man and discovering that he is just another asshole. To fall in love, one has to be in the state of mind for it to take, as with any disease. One is no longer capable of doing what English soles and goldfish in the privacy of bowls do; even pekineses in the Ritz do it, apparently; not to mention Electric eels, though it shocks them I know.

Gentle reader, I may be incapable of love... but a little love-struck infatuation is not beyond me

Sadly heterosexual, one wonders how many beers it might take for a beautiful revolution?

Please cast a vote for this man

Another night in the gay bar (At war with the Mystics)

Waiting for the ambulance to come
Hoping that it doesn't come too late
Hearing the sirens in the distance
Hold on, help is on the way

Mr. Ambulance Driver, I'm right here
And though I'll live, somehow I've found
Mr. Ambulance Driver, I'm not a real survivor
Because I'm wishing that I was the one that
Wasn't gonna be here anymore

Oh, but we can't trade places
Our lives are strangely our own

Mr Ambulance Driver, The Flaming Lips 2006

27 January 2007

A whole new world

We must all consider purchase of a copy after reading the reviews on this page...

One very good Christian, one very bad and hypocritical Christian

After reading this article by Stephen Bates, Religious Affairs Correspondent in The Guardian on Thursday 25th January, one makes an exception to my general dislike of Christians, decreeing official Icon status for Reverend Martin Reynolds.

Extracts from the article below: further press coverage here.


If anyone knows what it is like to be a gay adopter of a child, it's Reverend Martin Reynolds. He's gay, in a long-term partnership, an ordained clergyman of the Anglican church in Wales, and for the last 15 years, he has been fostering a boy with severe behavioural difficulties.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, knows all about him too: he used to live next door when he was Archbishop of Wales, and the boy played with his own children. He knows that gay couples can provide a loving home for disadvantaged and at-risk children, yet on Tuesday, he wrote to the government demanding that religious adoption agencies should not have their consciences challenged by being required to consider gay couples as adopters. Article continues




The letter followed a threat by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales, to withdraw its seven agencies from adoption rather than consider the move.

Pressing on Archbishop Williams's mind will be the knowledge that in a fortnight he has a meeting in Tanzania with Anglican church leaders from around the world, some of whom believe homosexuality is evil and gay people are worse than beasts, and he cannot afford to offer them any hostages to fortune if he is to hold the worldwide communion together.

Reverend Martin Reynolds and his partner Chris, who have lived together for 27 years, were first asked to foster the boy when he was four and Barnardo's could not find another home for him because he was so disruptive. When the couple took him in he was filthy and had only one set of clothes: he had severe learning difficulties and very severe behavioural problems, and they had to sit with him all night in case he damaged himself. The first hour he was in their house, he smashed 16 things. The couple fostered the boy for 100 days a year initially and for the last five years have fostered him full-time. The boy is now 19: next autumn, he has a place in college.

On Wednesday, Reverend Reynolds was accompanying the boy to hospital for medical tests; he took time to answer questions from the press, given heated political debate over the issue of gay adoption.

"Rowan must know that the Church of England's own adoption society welcomes gay people: it has done for eight years. In our case, we were the first gay couple in Wales to be allowed to foster our boy by Barnardo's. The Catholic church has allowed it elsewhere. Cardinal Levada, who's become the Vatican's doctrinal enforcer, when he was Archbishop of San Francisco allowed at least three children from Catholic agencies to be placed with gay couples."

"There are thousands of kids out there… I would not want to see one of them being denied a home with a family, but I also would not want to see them being denied a home if there was a suitable gay family who could take them… You can't make kids gay.”

“One person can make all the difference if they are suitable - that's how vital it is and the church should not knock out one section of people before they even look. Kids just need a good parent. What they need is a loving home to move into. It's about children having the right place, so that the maximum number can have a chance in life. We are proud of our boy. I think what we have given him has been a place to be angry and safe; now he has a real chance to live an independent life in the community. If you had asked us then, we would not have wanted to take him in, but now we say we would not have missed it. It has been a most wonderful transformation of our lives."

26 January 2007

Mrs Bartolozzi - Freedom of silly speech

Washing machine, washing machine
Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy
Get that dirty shirty clean
Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy
Make those cuffs and collars gleam
Everything clean and shiny

With an eloquent flow of words, it was my father’s intention to impress those around him. Usually, he succeeded: it wasn't so difficult in our village, and certainly he was an exception to the mundane rule; an articulate graduate with a truly astonishing capacity for retaining and regurgitating information, he was admired more than he was ever liked. Even beyond the parameters of next-to-nowhere, his abilities were recognised; on more than one occasion, he was prized for his abilities; it was reassuring to know that he was a master of other minds. It was somewhat inevitable that everyone remarked that I took after him when I began to achieve academically, but knowing my shallow depth of my father's character, those words never felt like a compliment.

Often, I questioned where those remarks left my mother. Back in 1963, at the age of 14, she was taken out of school to begin an apprenticeship simply because she was the oldest child in an impoverished family: choice never came into the equation, with her widow mother having to provide for five with no money. That was the way it was back then. My mother never felt bitter about it, so there was no bitterness to express. An attractive woman she became, and when pregnant to my father in 1971, she had no alternative but to get married: afterwards, with no support- financial or emotional- from her husband, once again she found herself with no alternative but to work. She struggled to provide for my brother and I, managing to make ends meet at the end of the month.

Reading between the lines, I understood that to those in the world around me, her survival was considered to have nothing to do with intelligence. Later in life, observing how knowledge and eloquence were used by another parent, I noted my mother's subtlety when it came to expressing herself with the folk who lived and worked all their lives in the same village, including those with a qualification or professional training, who were considered to be my father's peers, beyond her. To all of them she talked, communicating on a wavelength that my father could never aspire to. She related to them; she talked with them, not to them; she somehow sensed their emotional state, knowing when they needed to talk or listen, whether they wanted to get something off their chest or simply needed cheering up. Her own conversation ebbed and flowed accordingly. She had an opinion of her own on every subject, and expressed it unsullied by any sense of her own self-importance, simply and sincerely, which meant that people listened and cared about what she said.

Shy as a child, I'd go so far as to say that I was in awe of her virtuosity as a conversationalist, and appreciated that it demonstrated a kind of intelligence that is still not valued enough.

It took years for me to admire that my mother embraced what was silly: she was capable of reducing herself to nursery rhyme nonsense. But I learned to appreciate that it was a choice on her part, a coping mechanism, a device.
Unlike my father, she wasn't preoccupied with how other people perceived her: arguably, because she had a stronger sense of self, or because her image mattered not one whit, or because she was prepared to sacrifice it in order to relate with other people, to allow them feel superior and comfortable in her company... that was important to her.

Or perhaps she had an innate sense of how, with all of the veneer stripped away, we all are equally ridiculous.

From both parents, I learned an invaluable leason: that you can't separate end from means. Whatever you choose to reveal says a lot about who you are. And you can't separate what you have to say from how you say it.

A little irony adds a pinch of spice to every dish

I do hope all of my gentle readers enjoyed my little Burns Day treat?

One of us certainly did!

It was a source of great pleasure and delight to finally provoke a reaction from a gentleman who emailed because he finds that ‘there is nothing of interest whatsoever on this stupid blog(ue)… superficial, self-absorbed, badly written… content worthy of Madonna.”

Needless to say, that last remark is upon the verge of impudence: to suggest similarity with La Cicada is almost to imply jealousy might explain my intense hatred of the creature!

Why, she is a wench without any redeeming talent, unless you consider her ability to give a blow job as demonstrated in her ‘art-house film’ to be talent: she has an objectionably exaggerated sense of her own self importance, believing that the entire universe remains interested in everything about her, from what passes out through her anus to her religious zealotry. And what has she ever delivered? Nothing of any substance; nothing that hasn’t been done better by someone else… it’s all dull, tawdry and repetitive self-promotion, without ever doing or saying anything; it’s as if she’s not really trying, simply having a laugh… In short, no similarities whatsoever!

Do not concern yourself, gentle reader; one is not in the slightest bit offended by the above remarks; it would take a team of sledgehammer-wielding lumberjacks to damage my ego.

Nor shall that reader be banished to the blog of the damned… not at all! Why, at last, this is exactly the kind of considered response I hoped for!

For I recognise irony when I see it!

Obviously this reader has seen my photograph and- let us give him credit for great cunning- realised that the only way to win my affections if to offer the kind of love/hate relationship I have been searching for all my life!

Ah, gentle reader… the joys of having my own bloguette!