Paul and Pedro were a cute gay couple totally enrapt in one another, who I’d once had the good fortune to live with in London. Paul had been a friend from Nottingham, years before. Part of a circle of young gay boys and girls, we had travelled the length and breadth of the country, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, London, Brighton, Sheffield, Liverpool; looking for the hottest DJ and venue to take our road show of lollipops, costumes, children’s toys and chemically enhanced highs to. Paul was tall, pale and fiery haired, with a manic cackle or a dirty giggle depending on the gag. Pedro had been in the UK for a couple of years having moved over from Portugal. Slim, olive skinned and with dark hair and smouldering eyes, he’d caught Paul’s attention from the side of a dance floor.
It turned out Pedro’s English was still shaky and he’d been unable to say no without offence to the older guy who’d collared him as he walked into the club. Pinned to the side of the bar, Pedro’s pleading eyes remained locked on Paul’s.
Paul grabbed Jane, incidentally the funniest, campest Boy-Dyke known to walk the earth and myself and dragged us behind a speaker.
"OK, so that boy has been making eyes at me all night. How do we get him away from that lecherous old goat that won't let him out of his sight?"
Jane leant back against the stage, folded her arms across her broad chest and took a swig from her can, "I dunno Pauly, I mean I could come up with a plan, but would it help you next time? Would you learn from my example? Give a man a fish and all that."
I smiled watching the dance unfold.
"But Jaaaaane," Paul wined, "Look at him! He's so young and fresh faced with those big brown eyes, he's adorable. He's like a little lost puppy. How could you let a lovely little thing like that go home with a repulsive slug of a, a, a... I can't even find a word to describe him!"
"Hutt," I chimed in. "As in Jabba!" I explained to their raised eyebrows.
"Thank you Mr Lucas," Paul bowed, "How can you let him go home with a Hutt of a man like that?"
"OK." Jane stood up, hitching her jeans up with one hand and squaring her beer against the side of the speaker with the other. "Watch and learn from the Master at work," Jane ordered, "And just you be ready to sweep in and rescue him!"
Jane grabbed my hand "Come on Luke Skywalker, this might take two charmers."
Jane led me through the throng of sweaty dancers and almost past the Leach, at the last second yanking my arm, making sure that I not only fell over, but landed straight in the arms of said Leach, sending his beer flying.
"Ooooh look what you've done!" Jane squealed.
"I've done! But you... "
"So sorry lovey, we've made a mess of your lovely green shirt," frantically rubbing at the growing wet patch spreading across the man's copious belly, "That is green, right? I can't tell with all these lights gooin off in me face? A right mess of your lovely green shirt! Ooooh Matt, we must be a bit tipsy," She cooed, "I know I am!"
Jane bombarded the man with questions about himself, statements about herself and an array of camp flicks of her wrists, touching his face, his shoulder, his waist, at one point even pinching a nipple, all the while pushing and pulling me into his line of sight whenever his eyes searched for his lost Iberian boy. Within ten minutes, Jane was his new best friend, Paul had dragged Pedro onto the dance floor, into the throbbing masses and away to safety and I was desperately trying to extricate myself from the grip of Pepe le Pew.
Paul and Pedro had been together ever since. Within a few months Paul had moved south and they rented a little two bedroom flat in Barnes, south-west London.
When it came to me leaving behind the debris of my relationship with James, it was the perfect place for me to hole-up while I thought about my next plan of action. Sure, I had often found myself retiring to my bedroom to avoid the lip locking sounds from the sofa in the tiny living-room-cum-kitchen, but on holiday they were more inclined to involve things and people outside their relationship and we squealed, giggled, shrieked and minced our way around for two weeks solid.
It was a cheap, trashy, bargain basement holiday to a concrete island, a two-week vacation with the days spent by a pool in a family ran complex and the nights spent on what resembled a south London council estate. I had a blast. Admittedly it took nearly two weeks for me to immerse myself in the seedy underbelly of Gran Canaria’s gay nightlife, probably due to the fact it was less underbelly, hidden from view and more beer belly, sticking out in the face of anyone who would look twice. Gran Canaria had and no doubt still has, a reputation for being a gay sex-tourist’s haven of brash bars, bright lights and dark-rooms, where boys dine, wine and do everything thing else their imaginations may lead them to. And believe me gay boys have amazing imaginations. Strangely enough, while at home I could be something of a tart; in Gran Canaria the whole thing seemed too brash, too European in its blatancy for me, the typical English boy. I liked my privacy and wasn’t ready for the exhibitionism of Gran Canaria’s sexuality.
“You’re on holiday! Pedro and I are having more fun than you are!” Paul snorted, “If you’d said you were gonna be all chaste and virtuous we’d have checked you into the convent down the road.”
"There's a convent? On Gran Canaria? Now a monastery would be more like it!" Pedro squealed.
Paul narrowed his eyes.
Pedro slid over on the couch and wrapped a long tanned arm around Paul's reddening neck, “Baby let him alone, maybe he’s just window shopping. When he’s ready to buy, he’ll buy.”
“Thank you Pedro,” I raised an eyebrow and added imperiously “You see Paul. I’ll be ready, when I am ready. It’s not like Gran Canaria is going anywhere.”
“No, but we are,” Paul stood, walked towards me, held me at arm’s length with a hand on each shoulder and fixed me in his sights. “We’ve got four more days here and I intend to see you get well and truly laid! If not? I tell Jane.”
The threat worked: Finally, three days later on the eve of our return, I let my stiff-upper-lip slip and ended the holiday with some of the fun my two holiday mates had been trying to tempt me with for the past fortnight. The holiday was deemed a success and to overcome the downer of our return, I decided to maintain the momentum and book our next trip ASAP.
But the boys had other plans. They had already got their next trip booked, they were going to Sydney for Mardi Gras and I of course had no real desire to go to Australia, let alone spend a fortune doing it. Of course, sometimes fate doesn’t give a fig where your desires lie.
When Pedro called two months later and told me he was booking his trip to Sydney, I told him to hold me a seat.