22 January 2007

Three is a crowd

Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.

Like Ms M Monroe, one has been on a calendar, but never on time. Unperturbed to discover that the last RER had departed, and presuming it was impossible to find a taxi on a Friday night, I hailed a public bus.

Distracted by attentions from an obliging driver, not to mention the entertaining memory of my last voyage upon a bus noctilien when one of the co-passengers tried to pick me up, I missed my stop… although to tell the truth, having boarded the wrong bus, there was no stop to miss; nevertheless, I did have to get off.

Blessed with a gay-dar, a sense of direction and a pair of sensible shoes, continuing to my destination on foot presented little difficulty, although I was going to be excessively late: J and Z would have already arrived in the club, even with their own irregular timekeeping, or so I thought.

Imagine my astonishment upon encountering a group of gay gentlemen loitering at a street corner, one protesting in a loud American accent that he’d assumed that the other two knew the way, with the shortest member of the group protesting in an even louder voice that he couldn’t possibly be expected to remember his way around a city he’d lived in for the last seven years, especially since he’d been drunk on the only occasions that he’d been to this particular club, before turning to the only native Frenchman who, having never been to the venue in question, reacted with characteristic Parisian fashion… with a shrug.

Silent they fell, recognising a familiar guffaw, but as they turned it was my own turn to fall silent: since our last rendezvous, Z had grown a goatee beard… and he had wilfully ignored the one female friend who was kind enough to remark that it made his face look like her vagina.

Luckily, for Z, there more interesting sources of conversation at that juncture of the evening; namely, our respective celebrations on New Year Eve. Of course you already know what I was doing… but what about the other gay gentlemen in the cast?

While J had gone to Istanbul with the fabulous C to practice belly-dancing, and Z had been having as much fun as it’s possible to have in Lebanon the Frenchman sagely decided to remain at home feeling sorry for himself because he was still in a relationship with the partner he ought to have dumped a year ago… enough said. By this time, we presented at the entrance to Le Tango, whereupon there was a casual remark from Z (to which one paid little attention, as one does with most of what he says) wondering aloud ‘whether that guy who chatted me up in the last bar will actually turn up.’ To this, one of us might have retorted ‘not if the guy has any sense’; however, it was a little chilly, and we were all in urgent need of alcoholic refreshment, we all pressed ahead without issuing a single disparaging comment, and the moment was lost.

Our night started off promisingly: an abundance of attractive men in the environs; an adequate selection of cheap alcohol; we all looked fabulous, and because almost a month had passed since our last gathering, we were pleased to be in one another’s company, and actually had something to say to each other for a change; what’s more, we all felt like dancing, and a new DJ with a penchant for R&B was in attendance on the decks… perfect conditions, you would have thought. But as those of you who have been paying attention already know, the night took an unexpected twist.

Frisking backwards and forwards to the bar, it wasn’t long before our wit flowed, and before long we elbowed our way onto the dance floor, attracting as much attention as possible… which isn’t difficult, given how J and Z move after a few drinks: shake it like a Polaroid picture, as they say. While dancing around my own handbag in a dignified fashion, a gay gentleman approached from behind, in the hope of joining our group, one surmised… and this was quite acceptable since it appeared Z, who greeted the stranger with a broad grin, had already made his acquaintance.

Not wanting to appear rude, I turned around to introduce myself to the… not such a stranger.

“Er…hello!” I spluttered.

“Nice to see you again,” replied The Best One Night Stand of 2006, who had taken full advantage of noticing who I was before approaching to fix his hair and look quite dashing.

What to say in those circumstances? Luckily, one recalled that over breakfast on the morning after our mutually pleasurable exchange, we had discussed his upcoming vacation in Laos, a country where I travelled extensively back in 1999; one had even learned to speak a little of the language, and continues to follow current affairs in the country. BONSY2006 appeared to be at a loss when I enquired if the local media demonstrated concern for the Hmong refugees in Petchabun province; it was a holiday, he told me… whatever that means.

“We haven’t spoken since that night,” he remarked. “Five months, three weeks and four days ago, wasn’t it?”

“That long?” I replied, astonished that I was still able to remember his name and what… well, let’s just say not every one is quite so distinctive. “I had expected we’d see each other around; I guess Paris isn’t such a small world after all.”

“Actually, I have seen you around, but I don’t think you noticed me,” he remarked.

What can one possibly say to that?


“Yes, in fact the last time, if I’m not mistaken, I saw you in here kissing a guy on the dance floor…”

“In here? Kissing in public? Impossible!” I spluttered. “Unless… oh, well, yes, there was that one time… I’d almost forgotten! In fact, that was with Z.”

“With who?”

“Z” I repeated, thinking it was a little rude of BONSY2006 to have neglected our mutual friend’s name, however difficult it might be to pronounce. “The guy standing opposite us, who you just said hello to… remember him?”

What did BONSY 2006 say to that?


Silence seemed appropriate, with BONSY2006 heading to the bar shortly afterwards, whereupon Z shimmied in my direction.

“You know him?” he enquired.

It was impossible to deliver a quip about following my mothers advice and never conversing with a complete stranger, because Z knew me too well… so I confirmed that I did.

“In what sense?”


“Really!?” he chortled. “What’s the story? Any good?”

It had seemed cruel to remark that this gay gentleman was BONSY2006, given Z had been a candidate in the same year.

“In a word… yes.”

“Can you remember his name?”

Indeed, I most certainly did, which Z recognised as a good sign… but why was he interested in all of this?

“Because that’s the guy who was chatting me up in the last bar.”

Well, gentle reader, it was a little unexpected, let me tell you… and it didn’t end there.

“So if the sex was ok by your standards…” Z continued.

“Are you thinking of doing what I think you’re thinking of doing?” I thundered.

“Ooooh… yes, of course!”

Off he scarpered, cackling all the way to the bar, leaving me to draw J - who looked even more bewildered than usual - to one side and fill him in on the details.

“You – must – be – joking!”

“I - am- not!”

Aghast, we watched events unfold in silent horror. Suffice to say, Z mounted the only raised platform in the building (no doubt one has already mentioned this, but it is worth repeating; one has a thing for homosexual hobbits) and he began to dance enthusiastically to Mylene Farmer

“How could he?” said J, shaking his head in dismay.

“Yes, I know, she is absolutely awful, and apparently she isn’t a drag queen. Around for decades, apparently… and she looks it. On my last visit to FNAC, they played her greatest hits, presumably hoping to deter some of the shoppers. At least if you buy The Immaculate Collection, there are a couple of decent tracks.”

“I don’t mean that,” said J. “I mean, how could he stoop so low, doing everything possible to bag off with that guy, rubbing your nose in his efforts; I mean, isn’t this disrespectful to your friendship?”

Really, there are times when J is quite old-fashioned!

“You mustn’t get things out of perspective,” I assured him. “Remember that the average gay gentlemen is a superficial creature, without any respect for friendship when it comes to the pursuit of sexual pleasure, and let me assure you, these two gentlemen are average in every sense. Perhaps if one had been seriously interested in either one of them, my reaction would be different… as it stands, my only concern are that the odds of this happening are so slim that when I inform the general public of this, it will give them the impression that I am a complete slut that has slept with half of the gay men in Paris.”

It appeared J was about to make a remark, but thought better of it. Distracting himself in admiration of the nearby scenery, he spotted an excessively handsome gay gentlemen… a Tom Ford look-a-like, he assured me. I took his word for it: one knows what Mr Ford’s work looks like, but at the time, that was all.

“Why don’t you approach him?” I suggested. “He’s obviously interested.”

“More sex? You must be joking!” was his reply.

It emerged that instead of turning over a new leaf for the New Year, J has decided to commit himself, in a manner of speaking… to regular sexual activity with two excessively handsome gay gentlemen. One of them is younger, and one of them is older; the former is into what he eloquently described as ‘dirty sleazy sex’, and was described as being ‘single and blissfully stupid’; while the latter, cheating on his partner of ten years, enjoys a little affection with his extra-curricular sexual activity, and has proved himself capable of holding a stimulating conversation before departing. Quite an ideal situation, J remarked; his every need is being fulfilled… this week. He observed that if you add their respective ages and divide by two, you have his own age; other gay gentlemen looking for nothing more than a perfectly satisfying sexual relationship, take note!

Meanwhile, it was getting rather dirrrrrty on the dance floor, reaching the point where there was an inevitable and enthusiastic exchange of bodily fluids between Z and BONSY2006.

“You’re sure this is ok?” said J concernedly.

“A few years ago, before acquiring an unshakable sense of my own superiority, this might have ruffled me. Believe me, if I felt threatened or upset by what is going on, I know what to do…”

J responded with another one of those bewildered looks: there was no alternative but to spell it out.

“Everything possible to make sure they don’t leave this club with each other,” I explained.

“But it’s a foregone conclusion,” J sighed.

“Nothing is certain; a whispered word to either of the two about syphilis would make a considerable difference, not to mention the fact that both of those men had fabulous sex with someone in this room who, if he really wanted to get them apart…”

“You wouldn’t!”

Was he daring me?

“Would you?”

J was no longer laughing; he was tugging enthusiastically at my sleeve.

“If you pulled that off, I would fall prostrate at your feet, along with every other man in Paris Oh please, please, please!”

“If I was in the mood to play silly games, the possibilities are endless,” I assured. “Perhaps it would be much more fun to suggest that I was available for a repeat performance and see who buckled first… but no, the way I look at it, I’ve had both of them for one night, which was quite enough. Let the amateurs have a little fun.”

“You could suggest a threesome?”

“Darling J, surely you know that never works unless you’re with two people who have already had sex with one another, for there is no guarantee that most of the attention will be directed at you. Why, not even I take such a risk.”

“I’m trying to remember last time I had a threesome,” said J. “A foursome, yes… but a threesome…?”

Leaving J in silent contemplation, I made another trip to the bar. Upon my return, Z had returned to our little group; apparently, he wasn’t going to spend the night with BONSY2006; they were both going home alone, preferring to ‘get to know each other first’, whatever that means.

Despite having said nothing, Z looked daggers across in my direction.

“What are you smirking at?” he asked.

“Oh, nothing… or perhaps I was remembering how a delay wasn’t considered to be an option on the night your friend met me, probably because he wasn’t able to refrain from ripping my clothes off. Whereas in your case… no, I’ve said quite enough!”

“Cuentin, isn’t it possible that he didn’t want to get to know you?”

“Certainly it is possible that all of the blood rushing away from his head made it difficult to think,” I replied, sipping on my drink. “However, if you’re trying to suggest he found your company more enjoyable than my own, I suggest that we do a quick survey of the room.”

J and the Frenchman, who had remained silent for most of the evening (perhaps because it was difficult to get a word in… or perhaps he wasn’t able to speak English?) suggested that J might want to let this go; instead, he said something unfunny, to which I responded.

“Really, Z… all of this narkiness… are you perhaps concerned that when he meets you in the sober light of day, or gets to know you a little better, he’d rather not know any more? Don’t worry, it will all be fine. Why, if you’re stuck for something to say on the first date, there’s one thing you both have in common… you’ve both had fabulous sex with me. That should provide a few hours of interesting discussion.”

Z left the bar shortly afterwards: he mentioned something about needing an early night, because of his date with BONSY2006… so it can’t have been anything to do with my incessant remarks about their outrageous mating ritual on the dance floor, my predictions about the order in which sexual activities would be approached or the general cackling at his expense. The Frenchman departed shortly afterwards, leaving J and myself to admire the Tom Ford look-a-like.

“I’ll need to use your mobile on Sunday morning. Where can we meet?” I enquired.

“But I’ll be having sex with… oh, I can’t remember which one, but I’ve got someone booked for Sunday. Can’t you just use a public telephone?”

“Absolutely not! I’ll need to send a text message to Z… better if he knows we’re both sitting in a bar somewhere, expecting a reply”

Having left his ego in tatters, what more could I possibly have to say to Z on the subject of his date?

So, how was it for you?

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