07 April 2007

Veni Vidi Vici

Fashionably late, that is how one ought to arrive at a social engagement: one ought to do so on principle, the principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.

Unfortunately, it is a truth universally acknowledged that to voyage on a moderate budget requires use of an inexpensive airline, which in turn necessitates punctuality, that is to say, allowing plenty of time for unexpected delays on getting to and from the airport, not to mention getting through security. One does advise removing any recreational drugs from your luggage (in this day and age, concealing them inside a used sex toys no longer ensures that you won’t have them confiscated… what is the world coming to!) Certainly, you do not want to find yourself in the difficult situation once faced by M, my first boyfriend (the Australian, for those of you who for some reason haven’t been giving my bloguette your undivided attention.) Undoubtedly, as he prepared to be thoroughly and roughly manhandled - by security personnel, at this stage in my story- before boarding a flight from London Heathrow he was in the throes of ecstasy, knowing that yours truly (sex-starved, one might add; in those early days, ne’er a day went by without the two of us managing to get ourselves into a new sexual position) was impatiently awaiting his return to Amsterdam: but imagine his consternation, gentle reader, upon discovering that he was carrying a tablet of ecstasy in his jeans pocket. Fearing arrest, M took the only available option, surreptitiously swallowing as quickly as possible. Once safely through the check, his concern returned, exacerbated by the knowledge of what awaited, for one had strict views on recreational drug use back in the days when one hadn’t experimented oneself.

But I digress!

To my not inconsiderable annoyance, the departure of my Easyjet flight from Paris Orly to Rome Ciampino was delayed for several hours, resulting in an unreasonably late arrival at my destination. Having taken the precaution of reserving a room in a private apartment, one begrudgingly flicked through a travel guidebook before nodding off to sleep... which leads me neatly to a description of my lodgings; one was attracted by the name; ‘sleeping’ was all that one intended to use the room for, while ‘beauty’ was appropriate for obvious reasons.

It might come as a surprise to learn that one has never pre-booked accommodation online before, and despite their pleasing website, one worried that the profile of a gay-friendly boarding house might operate on the same principles as a profile on a gay-dating website, using enhanced images of the rooms, taken from a flattering angle several years before.

Suffice to say, upon being ushered to a bright and spacious room, tastefully furnished with large and ostentatious pieces that included an upholstered sofa and a giant king-size bed, not to mention having an en-suite bathroom and a view of San Giovanni in Laterno, one creased oneself in delight.

One assumes that all readers know that in the most civilized of countries, it is standard practice to encourage members of the general public to enjoy a mid-afternoon siesta, so all restaurants close after luncheon; hence it was necessary to hasten from my fabulous room without stopping to attend to toilette, throwing myself at the mercy of the nearest Italian waiter. In most cities, this would be highly dangerous, and while Rome is a city with an ignoble and chequered history, never let it be said that her citizens don’t know how to cook.

Seated at a convenient table, all of my attention was devoted to the chalkboard on the nearest wall (not a glance wasted upon the tourist menu) so that when the waiter returned, one addressed him immediately (in perfect Spanglish – sufficiently similar to Italian) with two pertinent questions; was their gnocci store-bought? (to which he responded with an astonished blink, as if to suggest anything but homemade was unthinkable) and was their calamari fresh? (eliciting a similarly indignant response) whereupon one embraced him and placed an order.

Let me spare you a full account of that meal, gentle reader… that would be cruel, would it not? For one assumes that the vast majority of you are not within reach of a decent Italian restaurant as you read... any more than I am.

Finishing my sumptuous banquet, upon finding oneself quite fatigued by the day's travelling, one retired to enjoy a brief siesta at my nearby fabulous apartment…

…and just as well, gentle reader!

For one could never have anticipated what was going to occur later that same evening; no one, least of all oneself, could have imagined all of the carnal pleasures that awaited on that first night in Rome; how all of one’s physical, mental and emotional energies were to be quite exhausted by the end of the experience.

Yes, gentle reader, my first encounter with an Italian gay gentleman... a Roman who came, saw and conquered, although not necessarily in that order!

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