05 February 2007


For several weeks, my deranged mother has been sharpening kitchen knives. It is highly probable that she drags a fatted calf away from one of the local herds even as we speak: for despite having been- repeatedly- told that her prodigal son is vegetarian, it will make no difference; there are certain rituals an Irish mother must adhere to, and upon my return to the village in less than three weeks, one expects to find my favourite meals from seventeen years back, with my little bedroom exactly as it was seventeen years ago and my whole family gathered together… any one of the above is quite enough to remind me why I left in the first place.

Ordinarily, one depends on binge drinking with friends to help recover from this ordeal: however, given my best friend has recently given birth, that must inevitably put a damper on social activities.

So one has made alternative arrangements… a little trip to Italia, departing in four weeks time!

Gentle reader, it will astonish you that one has never (yet) entertained an Italian gay gentleman: one has never (yet) come to the throes of ecstasy inside anything Italian, with the exception of decadent pleasures inside a Sicilian bakery, although one expects that is about to change… if all else fails, one proposes to visit the Sistine Chapel.

Mind you, there was a little incident with Marco… an Italian student, among those on Erasmus exchange to a university in the Low Countries, back in 1994.

It was difficult not to notice anyone with such a striking resemblance to Michael Hutchence (not just long dark curls that draped in a teasing fashion over his handsome bronzed visage; he really did look like Michael Hutchence) All of the female exchange students, whether the came from Latin America or Latvia, observed this; listening with unfeigned interest to tales of Marco's disappointment about not being selected for the Olympic swimming team despite his medal-winning performance in the national championships… offering him more than a shoulder to cry upon.

One was hardly surprised when one of the Irish female students, a feisty blonde filly who we shall refer to as Y, was added to his long list of conquests… but one was duly impressed when Y reined him in. In due course, she was flown to meet his family in Sicily, feeling a little out of her depth upon discovering that the family villa was located on its own little island, more than a little unsettled by the security boats on patrol… until she discovered that his father was a famous magistrato (that means he was a judge, gentle reader… not Mafia)

Sadly, it never worked out between them: nothing to do with me, nothing at all… although one never spoke to Y about that night we all spent at a humble family dwelling of a mutual friend in Paisley, recovering from the drunken excess of a Scottish Hogmany.

A kindly simple woman, the mother of our mutual friend was in her late fifties, and quite unsettled at the sight of the Italian stallion (he was rather large… one speaks of height, not girth) with his rough laughter, his general ease of manner, his tactile nature, his magnetic charm… all of which contributed to her deep unease at the thought of her daughter sharing a bedroom. She hastily proposed that the two not-so-innocent girls, who she certainly hoped were not thinking about what she was thinking, sleep together- while those two tall boys- who couldn’t possibly spend a comfortable night in one of her little single beds in the girls room, gracious no!- share a double bed...

If it crossed her mind, gentle reader, she must have believed that with both boys raised in a good Catholic family, nothing untoward could possibly happen! Ah, the innocence of the poor woman!

Suffice to say that Marco and I undressed, hastily... Slipping underneath the covers, innocently flirting for a long, long while we talked before… one of us made a move... and it wasn't me.

Yes, gentle reader, Marco tried it on... and no, it wasn’t just a little peck on the cheek.

Can you imagine my reaction? Was he or was he not dating one of my best friends who was in the next bedroom? That is all you need to consider: indignant outrage… that was my reaction!

Actually, one exaggerates: certainly, one felt indignant... among other things! But a pretended laugh is a more accurate description of my reaction, after which one pushed Marco back to his side of the bed in a playfully provoking fashion, whereupon he tried again to kiss me and we continued pretending to laugh…and so nothing happened.

Alas, laughter seemed to be the most dignified way out of the situation, but certainly one was not laughing later that night, struggling to recover one’s composure and requiring a great deal of willpower to finally getting to sleep... nor is one laughing now.

Gentle reader, one hopes it goes without saying this would have a happy ending if it were in any way fictional…


Ben said...

Look the guy up - the world isn't such a big place. It sounds to me like you need closure. And I wouldn't mind reading about your reunion!

Ms C Qrisp said...

Marco has been looked up... and down, back in 2003, when I was besotted (and monogamous; that goes without saying) with X.

Suffice to say, he hasn't aged quite so fabulously.

Ben said...

Well that sounds like closure of a sort, though I certainly preferred part one of your association.