And then... A gift
So after my last post, life inevitably throws a curve ball in order to ensure that things are much more measured. On Friday night, I Was due to perform my installation Censortive Information as part of a club night in Bristol. When I arrived at my B and B, I found out it was located in a gay sauna and the man at the bookings desk told me they had no record of my reservation. Brandishing a confirmation e-mail from Expedia, I made him phone them and ask them to relocate me as quickly as possible. My luck was in – I received an upgrade to a suite at the nearby Holiday Inn with en suite and full breakfast with no extra charge to myself. Flustered, I ran to the performance space and set up. By this stage I was thinking “I just want to do this and then get it completely over and done with.”
So the night progressed and everything occurred as planned, with some minor hesitations from the audience. When I was finishing, someone leaned over me with a long blue overcoat peering very intently.
“So people have painted over this? It’s quite interesting – I think I really like it,” he said, with a very detectable Welsh accent.
I turned around and saw an extremely handsome man with dark brown hair and steely grey-green eyes – he was almost like Steve Jones from T4.
“Yes,” I said, “And thanks... I did it before and it was much bigger.”
“Where are you headed now?” he said.
“Home... Well, to the Holiday Inn actually,” I said.
I noticed his friends were all around me somehow.
“Let’s all of us go get a drink,” he said, very decisively waving his hand in a circle around all of us and then pointing in the direction of the bar.
Standing, laughing and joking with his friends, everything was going well and I was actually quite relieved that after such an appalling start to my Bristol trip, I could manage to wangle a random night out that would make the visit worthwhile. And then:
“You have really sparkly blue eyes,” he said, as if it had slipped out by accident. He looked down at the floor almost immediately and realised what he had said, “Sorry,” he said ashamedly, “I shouldn’t be coming onto you.”
“I’m hardly offended,” I said. “In fact, quite the opposite. I’m very flattered to hear it from someone as handsome as yourself – thank you.”
Of course, more drinks ensued and we sat next to each other at the next bar. He placed his leg next to mine so they were touching. What I loved more about this is it felt like we didn’t really need to say anything. It was known between us. I liked him and he liked me. At this point I’d like to keep myself in check before I vomit, but to have a mutual attraction is extremely rare. I felt really lucky that he liked me and that is something that makes one feel alive.
We went back to the Holiday Inn – which made me thank God even more that I had to be relocated as taking a potential date to a room above a gay sauna gives completely the wrong impression. He stayed with me till the morning and wanted to buy me champagne via room service. I laughed and begged him not to. I grabbed hold of him from behind while he was brushing his teeth in his He-Man underpants. We kissed and he dragged me back to bed. He stuck around long enough to meet for coffee with my old university friend Fran. He was perfectly sweet and characteristically cheeky, pushing the boundaries with his jokes and seeing how far he could get.
When he slipped to the toilet, I had to ask Fran if she thought he was out of my league. I don’t think I have ever ever asked this question about someone before.
Before he left, he asked to take my number.... Which I thought was hilarious given that I was going to give it to him anyway. I actually asked him not to go... I wanted him to stay. And I partially wanted him to ask me to stay.
He called me later that night. His words were, “Now, I really would like to see you again. Would you, in theory, would you... Is that something that you would like to do?”
And me, totally surprised that I had made someone nervous said, “That’s something I would like to do in practice”
Whatever happens beyond this juncture – whether I see him again or not, whether it crumbles within a few weeks or not, whether we really get on as two people or not – I am thankful for that one night and for this lovely feeling inside that makes someone feel desired, if only for a short while. It is definitely a gift from the world.