John Walker's Electronic House

by on Aug.02, 2004, under The Rest

Sunday Evening

Flashback – Sunday Morning

I get up for breakfast, and after waiting fifteen minutes for Nicktoria to emerge after our agreed breakfasting time, I join some of the other guests instead. There are three people from San Francisco, and Jason, Vlad and Ken’s ‘maid’. Two of the SFians are a stand-offish male/female couple, and the other is a friendly gay guy, Brian. We chat about how he is planning to ensure Bush won’t get a second term, and this and that and the other, and eventually Nicktoria comes in and joins us.

Flashback – Saturday Night

The three of us are sat in Nicktoria’s room, around 11.30pm, and the front doorbell of the B&B rings. No one answers. It rings again, and Victoria decides to see who it is. Nick and I, because we are forward-thinking new men, let her do this without going with her. It would be patronising if we were to suggest she should not be murdered by a strange lunatic in the night. And involve standing up. She is down there for quite a while, with lots of chatter. If she’s being murdered it’s certainly quite amicable. And then eventually she is rescued by the return of Vlad and Ken. The person at the door had been trying to get hold of someone called Brian, who was apparenty staying at the B&B. He was meant to be joining him. Victoria was confused, as he was enormously camp, but kept referring to his ex-girlfriend in Amsterdam.

Sunday Morning Again

Brian’s night visitor comes into the room, touches Brian gently and affectionately on the shoulder, and joins us for breakfast. They are a couple. Sweet. So why is Brian referring to a wife? Sure, there are camp straight people, but these two are clearly together, and we’re all staying in the Gayest B&B in the World. It’s not as if there’s a need for such a pretence – Ken and Vlad were reasonably unlikely to cry, “Your’re a GAY! Get out of our establishment, you abhorence of nature!” And they’re from San Fransisco, the gay capital of America. It’s all very strange.

Sunday Evening Again

At breakfast Brian and (no one can remember his name, so Nick has christened him ‘Tyler’ until someone remembers) Tyler had asked if we knew of anywhere to go for drinks in the city. We recommended the place we’d been to the night before (banana beer), in turn suggested to us by Vlad. We were going to be back there for some of the evening, as we’d arranged to meet up with someone from a mailing list we’re all on, a guy called Paul Rees who lives in Amsterdam. So come the evening we head there once more.

Victoria and Paul
Victoria and Paul Rees

After a while, Brian and Tyler appear, and join us. Tyler sits next to me, Brian next to Victoria. Nick and Paul sit opposite each other in order to better trade loud insults and arguments. And out the corner of my eye, I can see Tyler’s hand doing something it really ought not. If you’ve seen the excellent Curb Your Enthusiasm episide with the “trouser tent”, you’ll understand the situation. All trousers ruck up a little bit when sitting, and sometimes that rucking can appear rude. But it never appears more rude than when being fiddled with, constantly. Obviously I didn’t stare, but to the best of my peripheral vision, it didn’t look like it was only trouser.


And then all of a sudden, he appeared to become incredibly aware of his ‘situation’, and began trying to cross his legs and drape his arms ‘casually’ in his lap, like a school boy in assembly. (Oh, that was the worst thing in the world – the mysterious assembly… appearance. Thank goodness for school bags). But he didn’t stop all evening, constantly fiddling with himself. And it’s not fair to have someone doing that out the corner of your eye. Short of cupping a hand to my face to provide an improvised, and exceedingly obvious, blinker, what could I do? Well, I could attempt to mediate between Paul and Nick, ignoring him altogether.

And throught the day, I’d been thinking about Lush Lady. Again, like Train Girl, I wasn’t thinking, “if only I’d exchanged phone numbers we’d be married by now”, but more generally, and how I wish that momentary meetings could only be better orchestrated – that there could be some sort signal that allows both parties to indicate their interest in chatting some more, maybe meeting for coffee. But a signal that could be shown without embarrassment or rejection. Or fiddling with yourself in public.

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