I put my drink down at gaze at Newly-Gay Friend for a moment or two whilst I process this information.
As my pretend name for him suggests, he has recently been a man of some surprises.
He announced his new lifestyle decisions to me some months ago whilst we were enjoying Uncannily Similar’s stag weekend. After an evening that involved – in no particular order – lap-dancers, cocaine, prostitutes and foolishly heavy drinking – it was an additional new experience that pretty much ended my patience with the whole night. After a man-hug that went on longer than strictly necessary I put him to bed and then had to deal with the police who raided the apartment the eight of us had rented for the weekend. (One of us tried to break in. Someone reported it.)
But that’s another story. And is not as interesting as it sounds.
I look around me. We and three other friends are in a cosy public house in the Lake District - the former stamping ground of the Romantic poets which is now mainly occupied by middle-aged people clad in Berghaus and sporting unkempt beards.
It does not strike me as a hot-bed of cock-waving.Me:
You fucking what?
To be honest, after nearly four years of knowing this man the whole ‘gay’ thing is a bit of a thinker after zero indication whatsoever. Presumably his wife of sixteen years and ten-your-old son are also scratching their heads.NGF:
Seriously. Some bloke just got his cock out right in front of me!
I don’t really understand ‘how you roll’ when you become ‘gay’. Maybe this alleged incident happens to you all the time once you go down that road. But I think it unlikely.
I glance around me. Absolutely no-one has their cock out, but there is a stunning view over Lake Bowness.Me:
Where exactly did this happen?NGF:
In the Gents.
Oh for fu-
Glancing over the lake I notice a boat named The Silly Sausage glide by. True.Me:
Right. You’ve been in public lavatories before you were all gay and that? You must be familiar with the phenomenon of men taking ‘themselves’ out of their trousers before now? You can’t have just
NGF friend starts singing very loudly. Once again I take him to our accommodation and put him to bed. Since his recent decisions he has become a full-blown alcoholic, but for a drinker he is shit at it.Me:
[we are sharing a twin room] I’m not going to have a problem with you tonight am I?NGF:
[amid much drunken burbling] Fuck off.
I get back in my taxi and rejoin the rest of my friends. But find myself irrationally irritated.
“He could fucking do worse” I think to myself.