I love the smell of Paris. I love the streams of glistening street cleaning water on a bright morning coursing over the cobbles. I love the great boulevard. I love my secret lovers courtyard and her cour. I love her white skin at night, my black hands on her breasts. In the hot afternoon she sprays her hands with eau de cologne. The pungent smell of vetiver filling the apartment with a promise of erotic nights. Guy de la Bedoyere wore vetiver, so did John Jermyn and Jay Jopling still wears it but he is most undeserving.
I am on a precipice.
There is a small boulangerie on the Boulevard St Germaine where they sell delicious croissant almonds; they are soggy with almond paste. This afternoon I will go to Trocadero and drink lemonade and eat macaron. This afternoon I will buy a white shirt in Charvet and wear it with my secret love at dinner on the rue de cherche midi. How strange and different a womans body is after so many years of hairy men. How they yield, how they do not judge you. I never mind taking off my underwear in front of a woman. Taking off your clothes in front of a man who spends hours in the gym. The last man I slept with had a firm, hairy body. I had to apologise for mine. He said, I like it, I really do. He was lying. He did not want to see me again. He cancelled. He lied.
I am not a very good gay. Bad Gay. I don’t like men. Of course I am useless as a straight-after making her climax with my tongue I wonder about the boys on the street. I think about that beautiful Russian boy I met on the train who I am almost in love with. Even so, when PH and I were together I needed no one else. I simply needed her. I have only been in love with one woman and one man. The love is quite different. It means something different.
American men have perfected the art of seduction. When the firm, hairy one told me that he would not stay the night-he had screamed out my name so loud I put my elbow in his gob so the neighbours would not hear. When he told me that he would not stay the night and wake up in the morning with me. It made me curse him. I left my body-floating just above the ceiling-and I could hear him say, you’ve gone quiet. And I replied, I knew that you would do this. And then he said, So you’ll not be disappointed then. He said it in that other way that Americans have when you see their true colours, when you realise that their charm is skin deep, that their intentions are dishonourable.
He said at dinner the line that makes a woman melt, Sex means nothing to me outside of a relationship I had already blown him ten minutes into the date. He paid for dinner. The champagne was chilling in the fridge. Champagne he had bought/acquired and that I would never drink. He did not think to ask if champagne was an entirely appropriate gift. I went to bed early that night. The smell of him on my fingers. It was my birthday-I had chosen to spend it with a total stranger rather than the friends who wanted to see me. It was not a good choice.
The following night the same thing happened with a red-headed boy who when I called him the next day was obviously petrified. Bad gay. I am a very bad gay. And then there is Ed. Ed, who sits in his room and has cam-to-cam sex with men. I think that he might have the right idea. He will never be disappointed.
I have lent my apartment in LA to a friend. I hope that he looks after it. People have very different ways of living than I do. I have a new bed. Hope that he does not stain it.
Susanna S. once said that Duncan will give you the world, then one day he will take it all back. She did not actually say that, that is better than what she would say-as she is an inarticulate grunt. That is what people would like to believe. She meant that people take advantage of me until I get pissed off. My friend who is borrowing my flat then asked if he could borrow money from me. Then you begin to get pissed off. Then you think to yourself-what the fuck? Joe T let me buy him alcohol and dinners and let me cook for him then when he had money expected me to pay the valet. I do not think so.
I am going to be a grumpy old man who has to defend himself like a prize-fighter. Resentment will kill them before it gets a sniff at me. I want to be on my own. People distress me. Their ways. When I took cocaine (ten years ago) it made me even more solitary, made me walk from Kensington to Soho at 4am. My toes bruised yet I could not feel the pain.
Do you remember the day Diana died? It made my blood boil. People said that I looked like Dodi. Now they say that I look like some actor. Cant remember his name. That is maybe why people look at me funny when I am in shops. They look at me like I am well-known. They think that I am that man.
We walked the Seine last night. It was perfect. The pedestrian bridge-the one adjacent to the Pont Neuf, is covered with young people puffing on weed. They have food and guitars and the police just wander on through. It’s like a little strip of youth revolution in the heart of the city. I could not imagine that happening in London-oiks would ruin it with their crude behaviour. At night it is incredibly warm on the streets. My secret love drank menthe and lemonade. We came home and had that sort of time you only remember from your youth: enthusiastic, passionate, and perfectly connected. Did that really happen? Nobody crept out after they came; there were no lame excuses. This morning we had breakfast and then we shopped around the rue de Bac. I bought a raincoat and a velvet romper suit for LA from Sonia Rykiel. We had lunch. I ate a delicious garlic tart with celeriac and rocket salad. We saw a glamorous woman dressed in black linen-her haircut immaculately severe-we saw her meet her affectionate lover.
Tomorrow my secret love has to go to the American Embassy and get her working visa. I will buy fabric for a lampshade. Tomorrow I will catch the wonderful train and be back in London, away from her arms until we see each other again in California. As I write she is playing with my beard. Her fingers glancing my nose and eyebrows. She looks tenderly over at me and smiles as the laptop noisily corrects my spelling.
She will learn to see me in less attractive circumstances. She will see me frustrated and sad and furious. She will see me rudely demand a better table in the restaurant or shout on the telephone at a moronic bank person-my least favourite phone call is to the bank/credit card/cell phone company-the thieves that come into my life monthly. She will see what I am like. The other side of this coin.
So. This bad gay has to kiss his secret love on the lips-adieu.