Evening. Strange thing happened to me tonight in the bar of Malmaison in Manchester were I sat to read the paper after writing the introduction in my room. A guy started hitting on me but I didn’t realise until the penny dropped. Lobstergate!
While I sat reading he turned from the bar and thrust out his hand “Darren.” I shook it because it’s polite. He asked if he may sit as he “likes to meet people” to which I replied “cheers but I am catching up on some peace and quiet so thanks, but no thanks.” I thought nothing of it. Not true I thought Hotels can be lonely and people like to talk (or need to) especially when they’ve had a drink or two. I consider how it could feel to ask a stranger for a chat and for the stranger to say no. A small crack of guilt split the protective film of personailty. Once he got his drink he turned and says something sociable to which i had to answer and then he sort of insinuates himself – as a conman would – into sitting down for a chat. The thought did enter my mind – didn’t I just say….
He tells me again how he “just likes to travel and meet people”. He was a chef he said. He looks at his hands as if they had I am a chef written upon them as if cut fingers make a chef. He was waiting for his girlfriend see, who is stunning.
His stunning girlfriend was coming at 10pm then it was 10.30pm when his stunning girlfriend was arriving. He asked me five times what I did. I had to remind him that I’d answered the question and that I wouldn’t write a love poem for his stunning girlfriend cause I wasn’t working, I said. She had a stunning personality too. She was stunning did I tell you that.
He was a DJ too and is on a form of sabbatical travelling to meet people randomly and then he writes about them for his memoirs. “So who’ve
you met?” I asked him. “What stories have you come across in that you mentioned that you are writing the memoirs of who you meet on your journey. Surely there must be some great tales?” There was a pause. “ I’ve met you” he said “I’ve met Lemn.” Oh dear. I looked at the bar staff for help. None came.
I wanted to say “he’s not with me. Help me out here guys.”
The moment would arrive when the penny would drop. I went outfor a cigarette alone. He followed and I swear on my life this is what he said “I have got two lobsters at home. I make her a different breakfast every morning. But what do I do if she doesn’t turn up What do I do with the lobsters”. That is when the penny dropped. But this was my answer “well you could freeze one and eat the other.” There was another bit of silence and I then said “ I’m not sure you can freeze lobster.”
I returned quickly i to my seat hoping he wouldn’t. He did. At the same time as sitting down his outstretched leg deliberately brushed mine. He was drunk, he was gay and he was hitting on me. The sentenced formed in my head. I
stood, shook his hand “nice to meet you” (why the hell did I do that) and moved to another seat to read my paper. After about ten minutes and with no stunning girlfriend he stood up and left without as much as a goodbye or a peck on the cheek. I sat there getting angry at myself for even thinking about whether a lobster could be or could not be frozen. And anyway shouldn’t a “chef” know.
Note to self: Maybe this is a karmic moment for all the times I have been drunk and harrassed some poor woman. That most hetrosexual men have done it at some points in their lives doesn’t make it right. I shalln’t allay your fears that I may be a raging homophobic. I think defensiveness as one of the breeding grounds for homophobia and racism.