Tag Archives: Best-friend

All Signs Point to …

I have been talking about relocating to a new city for a while.

Over pints, with a red, flushed face, did I all too often, dramatically announce, “I’m leaving! Remember this face! I am gone! I am sick of Dublin. Sick of it. There are too many ghosts in this city.”

Eyes were often thrown to heaven. “Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard this before”. Sometimes I even received, “what do you expect to get from London that you can’t get in Dublin?”

A month ago, Best Friend proposed he and I spend some time looking for jobs in London using the internet. We did an in-depth, intricate search on Google, using scant terms such as “London VAT jobs”. We received a few matches.

Best Friend  perused one particular job spec. “I think this job would suit you.”

I read the detail on the screen. I shook my head. “Oh, no, this sounds very technical. No, no, this is not for me at all.”

We came across similar jobs. I shooed the notion of them away.

A day or so later, I pondered the job spec. The more I thought on it, the more I realised this job was for me. I could do this. I could be good at this. This is my job! I called the recruitment agent. We chatted about my experience and interest in the role. He forwarded my CV to the recruiters, who instantly expressed interest in my profile.

Faraway, in another land, removed from flights of fancy of living the London Life, Best Friend and I addressed our living situation. The duration of the lease on the apartment, slowly wasted away; to extend the lease or not.

“I could just quit my job – for the first time in my life, throw caution to the wind and leave! Oh wait, no, I have no savings. This won’t work.”

Best Friend disagreed. “You need a job before you move. We’ll look at the matter of the lease, when the need arises.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere, away from employment opportunities and living arrangements, did I happen to meet a handsome, English man – London Bloke – in Dublin for a business trip. We arranged a date. The date went well. In fact, it went very well. I like him very much. I am lazy in romance and for what is a rare occasion, I made the first move on our date.

Roughly one week later, events progressed nicely. Before I knew it, I was required to go to London for a second interview.  London Bloke and I had been in contact prior to the interview. We arranged a second date, deciding to meet in Soho.

I arrived late, having spent fifteen minutes wandering around Soho in search of Compton Street. I walked into the darkness of the bar and looked around for London Bloke. I spotted him within seconds. He looked good. I awkwardly greeted him. I was nervous. Do I shake his hand or kiss him on the mouth?  What is the etiquette for a second date? I opted for a kiss on the cheek.

“It’s really nice to see you again,” he said.

My head spun. Wow, Irish men never say stuff like that. Well, the Irish men I’ve known never would. “It’s nice to see you too,” I replied somewhat coyly, looking to the floor.

“You’re in my city this time. Let me buy you a pint.”

We moved to a nook of the bar. Conversation and laughter radiated from that corner.

London Bloke supped his pint of ale. “So, how did the interview go?”

“It went OK. My head was completely fried afterwards. It was two hours long. I spoke for two hours! I am naturally talkative, but even I found that challenging.”

“When will you know the results?”

I hesitated. “Thing is … I already know the results …”

He raised his eyebrows in expectation. “Oh?”

“I got the job.”

A sexy smile crept across his face. “I am so happy for you. And, I am happy for me too.”

I was stunned. I’m sure my smile beamed. “Thanks.” I felt very strange right then, unaccustomed to the sensation of shyness.

I returned to Dublin the next day, slowly and gradually communicating my news to friends. Events were slowly settling in my own head. Since then, I have handed in my notice at work. I am due to finish my job 15th July; the same day the lease ends on the apartment.

I fancy the arse off London Bloke. As sad – or hopeful – as it sounds, I have not felt like this about anyone in years. I no longer feel dead from the waist down.

I never subscribed to the “whatever is meant for you won’t pass you by” train of thought. In my opinion, our lives are what we make them. Recent events have caused me to wonder if sometimes, now and again, things just go right and fall tidily into place.

It’s really quite nice when this happens.

In the Face of Danger

I moved into Best-Friend’s apartment a few months ago. It made sense at the time. Best-Friend travels so frequently with work there was no point leaving the place vacant. The location of his apartment is ideal. My daily commute to work is no more than a ten minute walk. Joy!

Since vacating Ex-Boyfriend’s house, I have no laptop. I mean to buy one. I just have not got around to it; clothes are more fun to buy. I can do all my essential internet things at work. The only websites I use in the evening are Facebook and Gmail. Having internet access is not essential.

Best-Friend has a Mac that’s about ten years old. It functions adequately for my needs. Its power adapter is a little finicky. One evening, it completely gave up the ghost . I had no way of powering the Mac but for the remaining battery life. In desperation I intricately moved the adapter box and cable until it delivered charge.

Last week, Best-Friend observed me doing this. He came over and examined the cable.

“The cable is split,” he noted. “Be careful you don’t get a shock. It could be dangerous.”

“Ah sure it will be grand,” I responded dismissively.

On Monday night I sat on the couch with the Mac on my lap. The adapter was again misbehaving. I tweaked the cable and sure enough it delivered power.

A few minutes into my surfing, I smelt smoke. It can’t be the adapter, I thought. Was that I spark I saw? A curling, string of smoke spiralled up from the dodgy section of the cable. Ah sure it will be grand, I thought.

Best-Friend walked into the living room. Just as he did, the adapter decided to give off another spark, followed by more smoke.

The alarm in his voice was clear. “Stephen, the adapter just sparked!”

“Yeah, it did.” I looked towards him confirming his statement.

He flapped in panic. “Quick … Ehhhh …. Unplug it … Quick … Smoke …. Fire …”

I removed the power plug from the laptop with a small movement of my hand. I looked up at him from the couch. The Mac still remained on my lap. I am undecided whether it was a serene calmness or dumb stupor that filled me.

“Ehh … Quick … Flames … Unplug it from the wall! Get it off the couch! The couch will go on fire!”

“It’s grand,” I said. Humour filled my voice. “There is no charge in it since I’ve unplugged it from the Mac.” I unplugged the adapter from the wall to keep him happy.

“I knew that adapter was dodgy,” he said.

“Yeah, I now agree with you.”

Best-Friend has incredible patience when it comes to my technological faux pas. Once, in our apartment in the IFSC, I was in the kitchen while he watched the evening news in the living room. Suddenly, the apartment descended into darkness and silence.

“Ohhhhh” I cooed from the kitchen.

“Did you just put a knife in the toaster again, Stephen?”

“Yes.”

He got up from the arm chair and tripped the switch on the fuse board. He compared me to his grandmother who apparently used to do the same.

My nonchalant attitude towards technology concerns me a little. I appear to have no respect for electricity and its potential dangers. Will this be the cause of a premature demise? I imagine a neighbour breaking down my door to find me dead in the bath – electrified – with a GHD hair straightener, dangling from my right hand, submerged in the murky water.  Am I dismissive of the dangers of modern technology or am I just calm when faced with danger?

Would I have been good in the rescue service? Picture me standing outside a burning building of six or seven storeys in a fireman’s uniform. My face is covered in soot. I look good, if I do say so myself. I appear calm, cool and collect in the face of danger. The building is engulfed in a fiery, orange blaze. Dark, black smoke pours out and fills the immediate area. While scanning the building, I see a young woman banging her fists of the glass of a window on the third floor. She is panic stricken.

An onlooker standing thirty or so feet behind me cries aloud. He points at the window. “Quick! Save her!”

“Ah sure, she’s grand,” I respond.

Small World and Even Smaller Gay Scene

I arrived at Panti Bar last night. I was a little spaced after seeing Inception – was or was this not reality?

Gay bars make me edgy. I wonder if Labrador Man will be here, I thought as I entered the premises. Low and behold there he was, two feet in front of me as I stood in the door way. I felt a little nervous. I managed to shimmy under his line of vision and crawl under one or two tables, thereby avoiding detection.

I met Best-Friend near the entrance and convinced him to join another group of friends further down the bar. Evictor was among this posse. I chatted to him a little despite my awkwardness. He is cute and very fanciable; when I talk at him it sounds a little like “blah blah blah blah … blee blah … blah blah blah”. 

While looking down the bar – to avoid staring at Evictor – I noticed Longford Man ordering a few pints. Things with him are amicable, but I didn’t necessarily want a conversation. I mouthed hello and resigned myself to talking with him later at the bar, while waiting an inordinate time to be served.

I made small talk about Inception with Evictor. I kept note of Labrador Man’s location so I could keep my back turned to him. Within seconds Labrador Man was behind me, trying to get my attention. I stood firm and did not turn around. I even turned when he an approach from alternate angles. He quickly moved on.

Suddenly, Housemate appeared. He looked at me. “Hi,” he said warmly. I returned his greeting. I did not know where to look.

So there I was in a bar surrounded by all these guys with whom I have had various awkward moments.

From reading this you might assume I am very active on the dating and sleeping around scene. This could not be further from the truth. In the last four or five months I have been on dates with three guys and I’ve only kissed one guy (twice).

The Dublin gay scene is so small that on busy nights out you are bound to bump into your entire love life in one evening. If you regularly go on dates it seems awkward moments are just something you have to put up with regularly.

The above extract starred the following:

Longford Man

I got talking to Longford man on George’s Street one morning at around 04.30. He was good looking, funny and chatty. We exchanged numbers. I met him for a date a few weeks later. I declined a second date as politely as I could. I have chatted to him out and about a few times since.

Labrador Man

 This guy was a knob; incredibly pretentious and full of his own worth. He said he was from an island off the coast of Cork; “the island of Cobh”. He said “naturally, I speak two languages; French and German”. I kissed him once.

Best Friend met him out during a drunken, consecutive night. He liked him and convinced me to give Labrador Man another chance. I chatted to him again. The event can be summed up in “kiss me badly once, shame on you. Kiss me badly twice, shame on me”.

The following night, when he invited me out, I texted him to say I was home alone enjoying a can of coke. He got the message.

I’ve called him Labrador man since I figure my black lab, Shelly, may she rest in peace, could probably give a better snog.

Evictor

This guy is friends with some of my friends. I think he is gorgeous. He has beautiful brown eyes and a radiant smile. Any time I talk to him, I just babble.

I met him for the first time one Sunday night. I was taking it easy; everyone else was drunk. We went back to Evictor’s apartment where we had more drinks. Evictor’s housemate was there with some other people. The crowd dwindled until Evictor and I remained alone. He gave signals. I made a move.

We entered the boudoire where he went a little weird. He told me, “This doesn’t feel right? I think you should leave”. He said more, but little made sense.

He walked me to the hall door and waited impatiently while I got my coat. I turned to thank him for making my birthday so special. I did not get the chance. He slammed the door on my face.

Housemate

One night while on a very well known dating site for gay men, I got talking to a guy. He seemed nice. For some reason he seemed vaguely familiar.

We messaged back and forth over a few days. I struggled to recall his face. One day, while out for a jog, it dawned on me. This guy – whose name eludes me – was the housemate of Evictor. He had gone to bed while I and the group remained in his and Evictor’s living room.

I eventually revealed myself to him, explaining I had met him before in his apartment. He did not recall. I pursued nothing with him. The whole thing was just too weird.

Shoes Glorious Shoes …

I am on a shoe buzz at the moment. I have fallen in love with both of the below. The first are Cuban Boots. I really, really want these. The second are a sophisticated pair of Kurt Geigers that Best Friend is going to pick up for me next week on his trip to London. These are as good as in the bag in my opinion.

RedorDeadKurt Geigers

Strange New Habit

When I am in public places, I activate the wireless network detector on my mobile phone. I do not intend surfing the internet; I do it to see the name of the surrounding Wi-Fi networks. Let me explain it better:

Wireless networks are broadband signals channelled through wireless routers. Owners of broadband generally give their broadband a name to distinguish it from a neighbour’s. I take interest in the names people give their broadband. Sometimes, during my bus journey home I activate the wireless network detector on my mobile. The display on my phone updates itself every few seconds to include wireless networks it finds in the surrounding areas of the bus route. One evening, while passing Parnell Square, names of surrounding wireless networks included “Bob’s Wireless”, “Humdrum”, “Jen Jen” and “Medical”. These names fascinated me; my imagination ran riot.

I pictured an overweight Bob sitting in a grubby flat of a dilapidated Georgian building, overlooking Parnell Square. In the flickering light of a television, Bob sat in a stained wife-beater, holding a can of Dutch Gold in his left hand and television remote in his right. I imagined Bob’s neighbour Jen Jen to be Chinese. Jen Jen is incredibly stylish and spends most of her minimum wage earnings purchasing high-end labels on EBay. The network entitled “Humdrum” belongs to some guy with a quirky personality. He foresaw the day when a stranger like me might pass with his wireless detection activated and come upon his Wi-Fi connection “Humdrum”. This man knew “Humdrum” would spark a riotous flood of imagination in my head. The same man also predicted that my discovery of neighbouring Wi-Fi network “Medical” would prompt me to imagine the many stories of a medical centre near Parnell Square.

This newly formed habit is clearly some form of escapism – a return flight of imagination. This evening was the first time I gave this behaviour any consideration; so much so, I now give it the status of “habit”.  I never considered the amount of information – or lack of – that could be gleaned from a simple review of Wi-Fi networks. I have no desire to meet Bob or Jen Jen, but it was fun to imagine them for the solitary moment I did.

The most frequent occasions I practice this habit is when I am alone. For instance, this evening, while Best Friend visited the bathroom of the new M&S cafe, I perused the selection of networks on offer. I thought it funny how all four wireless networks listed were Italian words.

Would you find such a thing interesting? Best Friend did not seem to when I told him on his return.

Something Fishy

I had a brilliant weekend. Nothing particular made my weekend lovely. It was a weekend with no purpose, no hit list and no arrangements. I was free to do as I pleased and that I did. I could not have asked for better weather to lounge about town. On Saturday afternoon, I spent an hour or two looking at fancy apartments with Best Friend. After much “oooohing” and “ahhhhing” at the amazing apartments in Castleforbes, I walked into town to meet Boyfriend. Together we walked around town basking in the sunshine. I had settled on the far fetched notion that I would make a fish over the weekend. I am trying to encourage myself to eat more fruit of the sea. Boyfriend and I visited the Asian Food Store near Jervis Street Luas Stop in search of ingredients. The Asian Food store is very cheap. Even the fish counter was impressive. A box of livelycrabs lay on the ground waving their legs at me. I declined to wave back. At this counter I bought fresh squid and some frozen scallops. I am a little squeamish with squid, but soldiered on with the task of preparing it at home. The end result was deep fried calamari. It was deceptively simple. I even managed to cook sea food again on Sunday; I cooked scallops with chorizo. Again, the recipe was easy peasy. The whole lot went down nicely with a few bottles of Heineken. One of the cons of preparing so much fish is that my hands smell funny. They smell like I attended a teenager’s disco on Saturday night. I assure you I did not.

Deflowering

Last night, Boyfriend, Best Friend and I sat over over drinks in a funky bar in Soho called The Edge. The bar men were handsome guys in tight black T-shirts. The music and was cheesy and the interior was cool. Elaborate floral displays sat on two of the windows. Each of the tables in the small bar had a flower like one might find in a cafe.

“Oh look,” said Best Friend laughing. “I found your flower.”

Boyfriend joined him in a chortle.

“Sorry,” said I in confusion.

“Remember you lost your flower?” Best Friend attempted to clarify. “Well, I found it.”

I remained confused. He and Boyfriend laughed. This irritated me further. “What the hell are you two going on about?”

“I found your flower,” said Best Friend.

Best Friend,” I responded sternly. “Are you making jokes about me losing my virginity?”

“Eh no, Stephen” intervened Boyfriend. He took a deep breath before proceeding with his explanation. “He was referring to the incident last weekend, when our house was broken into and you thought the intruders stole our baking flour. He claims to have found it.”

“Oh right. Puntastic,” said I before swallowing more of my Captain Morgan and Coke.  I threw my eyes to heaven.

Low Moments and Best-Friends

Everyone in life has a best friend. You might have a best-friend from work or a best-friend from home. You might be a best-friend-purist – someone who claims it is only possible to have one best friend at any one moment. If you are unsure of how best-friendy your best-friend is, think back and ask if they were there for you during your worst drunken moments. Did that best-friend demonstrate patience, when you were acting like a drunken, ‘wreck the head’? Did that friend look after you and make sure no harm came to you? If so, you are lucky. These are the people that will stick by you through thick and thin.

I am not an alcoholic, but I’m a firm believer in the one drink that is one too many. At one moment you are at a house party pacing yourself. The next thing you know, you’ve drank a little too quickly. All common sense is abandoned. You consume alcohol quicker than your ability. You have a good patch – a lull – which soon ends. Before you know it, you’re slurring your words, spilling your drink and falling over the couch that appeared from nowhere. Your friends take you on in a debate by listing the many reasons you should go home. Just before you make your grand exit, you spend a good ten minutes in the bathroom with your head in the toilet bowl. I’ll be honest and say I’ve had my fair share of those nights over the years.

My vast experience with alcohol gives me patience with my friends on the infrequent occasions they get absolutely ‘trolleyed’. In the past, my friends have been there for me; I will be there for them. One such occasion arose one night in my old IFSC apartment, where we held a party. I made the lethal mistake of making vodka jelly. I stupidly made the jelly on nothing but vodka and jelly – no water. The strawberry flavour did not compensate for the burning sensation caused by the high vodka content. I offered them to my guests and, after trying one, the majority declined a second. I left the many unconsumed shots on a tray in the kitchen in the hope the odd passing fool might brave a try.

A few hours into the party, things were kicking off. It was time for some food. I headed for the kitchen. Four of my friends, three girls and a guy, who I would thereafter refer to as the “Vodka Jelly Gang”, stood in the kitchen with silly smiles on their faces. I paused a moment to assess the situation. In seconds I scanned the kitchen and their smiley faces to eventually notice the empty tray that sat on the counter. “Guys, the four of you didn’t drink all of those yourselves, did you?” I asked. They confirmed my suspicions with nods and giggles. I explained how it was a copious amount of alcohol for a group of four. My concerns fell on deaf ears accompanied by dopey smiles.

Less than an hour later things took a turn for the worse. One member of the “Vodka Jelly Gang”, my best friend, is relatively inexperienced with alcohol. He doesn’t drink huge amounts, but on this night he was quite inebriated. For a while, he was highly entertaining. He waved his hands as he told stories and made more witty quips in one hour than he would usually offer in a week. I and a mutual friend took action by pouring his wine down the sink (only to be caught by him) and making him drink water by telling him it was vodka. Time passed. We thought he was fine until he made a sudden dash for the bathroom. During his dash, his hand covered his mouth. The bathroom door was locked – a bit like him you might say. He forcefully banged on the door. He then ran from the bathroom door into the kitchen for a reunion with his last meal. 

I joined him in the kitchen, after reassuring our guests everything was fine. It was time to earn some good karma for all the times my best-friend turned a tolerant eye to my drunken shenanigans. He intermittently apologised, while raising his head from inside the sink. I just laughed. “You know what they say – better out than in,” I chuckled. I stayed with him in the kitchen for a while until he thought he was recovered. We rejoined the party. Within minutes we witnessed another Linford Christie sprint for the bathroom. While he kneeled in front of the toilet, I sat on the ledge of the bath and passed him toilet paper each time he came up for air. That is what best-friends are for. I sat by chatting away as if nothing was wrong. 

“I can’t believe you put away all that vodka jelly. That was a crazy amount of alcohol to consume”, I said. “I am surprised you are still standing”. 

He raised his head and gasped for air. I passed the toilet paper. “Thanks,” he spluttered, before wiping his mouth. He handed the paper back to me and lowered his head again.

“Wow, you really have it bad, don’t you?” I sympathised. “Imagine all the calories you are ridding yourself of from this. You’ll be able to eat anything you like tomorrow.” He didn’t laugh with me. 

He lifted his head and gasped for air. “I am so sorry for this. I am really, really sorry”. 

I had some alcohol on me at this stage and felt emotional. “Don’t worry about it at all. You’d do the same for me, if I were in this position.” 

Again, he raised his head, coughing for air. “I’m really sorry,” he panted in a pleading tone. 

He turned to the side and replaced the toilet paper on the holder to the side of the cistern. This made me laugh. Even in a state of complete and utter drunkenness, my best friend was fussy about where things were put. He continued to kneel in front of the toilet dry retching. He was clearly mortified. I decided I would put this evening into context for him. 

“Do you recall all the nights I got absolutely off my face over the last few years?”  

He answered with a nod.

“Consider every single time I have made an arse of myself by getting too drunk. Next, weigh tonight’s one-off incident against my many nights of foolish, gobshitery drunkenness”. 

I paused to gather some thought. “Now, tell me if it get any worse than this?” I asked with a smile. 

He laughed out loud, paused and looked thoughtful for a moment.. “Yes, you’re right,” he agreed, before replacing his head in the toilet bowl.

If you wanna be in my gang

If you wanna be in my gang