It was my roommate’s birthday so I decided to take an evening away from the apartment so that him and his girlfriend could enjoy an evening of cooking and playing Wii and watching cartoons without the third wheel around.
I was taking a stroll through Hyde Park when I noticed three people walking in front of me. Two were loud, probably tipsy, joking and laughing their way down the sidewalk.
One turned and looked at me.
I returned his greeting. He was a slender Indian with the perfect eyebrows and a purple polo, paired with his friend, an Asian with high cheek bones, green pants rolled up along the calves, a khaki jacket, and a sculpted chest exposed by a deep v-neck. He had wide shoulders for his frame and a narrow waist. Their third friend was taller, built like a truck and dressed like a suburbanite, with brown hair and a stout face.
The Indian and the Asian poked and prodded with increasingly personal questions, ranging from where I was from to who I was sleeping with, until finally saying “come have a drink with us!”
The Indian danced and the Asian twirled. The third friend didn’t move much or say much, just walked along.
I forget most of their names, so I will call the Indian guy “Ray” and the third man “Mike.”
The third one was Mitch. I remember his name.
On our way there Ray would dance and call to strangers.
“I’m not gay but I just love the gay community,” he would say, “I’m not gay but I have gay friends.”
“Hi there how are you doing tonight?”
He would cackle with delight at the sight of a BMW or a Mercedes or an Audi.
“Ooh I bet a rich daddy drives that,” he would say with glee, “I don’t care if he’s ugly if he has a nice car. I’d fuck him.”
He would immediately follow with a graceful hip swivel and a “But I’m not gay, just so supportive of your struggle.”
Ray was the kind of person that I would probably hate being friends with but found his company entertaining. He was clever and quick-tongued and spoke on impulse. Mitch was vibrant and energetic, but it was impossible to meet Ray’s level of cheekiness. Mike was an accountant, which kind of explained why he was so quiet.
We made our way to a bar called, quite adequately, “Gay Bar.”
It was Bingo night, hosted by, and I’m not sure the right term, I don’t know enough about her anatomy, but she wasn’t a drag queen and she defined herself as a woman, so I’ll call her a woman. Gender should be that simple. We got our drinks. Myself and Mike had beers while Mitch and Ray had slender glasses of champagne.
Mitch and Ray continued to barrage me with inappropriate questions.
Circumcised or uncircumcised?
How many guys have you been with?
How many girls have you been with?
It was fun conversation fodder, so I rolled with it, answering their questions as I marked my Bingo card. In the background you could hear the glamorous hostess announcing numbers.
“A pair of old drag queens in wheel chairs, that’s fifty-five.”
“One lone skinny bitch, number one.”
Mitch, upon hearing each description, would know the number before she announced it. This definitely wasn’t his first gay Bingo.
When Mitch excused himself for the toilets, Ray leaned in and loudly whispered in his over-stylized and theatrical way, “Mitch wants to do you.”
We continued playing Bingo, and Ray took it upon himself to write “Mitch ❤ Justin” on my hand in green marker.
During a break the hostess joined us. She knew Mitch and they chatted while Ray barraged her with inappropriate questions. He referred to her as a drag queen and Mitch said “No, she’s a lady.”
She gently put a hand on his shoulder and said, “Thank you sweetie.”
Ray continued with questions that I couldn’t help think were bogus stereotypes, asking her about cattiness in the community and continuing to make a meow-growl while clawing his hands. I could tell it took restraint for her and Mitch not to slap him upside the head.
As the game came to a close, Mitch pulled me into a tight hug and wished me good night, as Ray pouted and demanded that Mitch and I kiss.
We might have, if Ray wasn’t demanding it of us.
Ray decided to stay on Oxford Street and try to find himself a daddy, while Mike the accountant and I walked back through Hyde Park and to the train station.
It’s been a few days, and I still haven’t been able to wash “Mitch ❤ Justin” off my hand.
TRUE IF DESTROYED, TRUE IF NOT DESTROYED, am I right?