Yes, believe it or not, I have been blogging for the whole decade! This is the fifth of a series.
January 09, 2003: This afternoon did not disappoint.
Cafe Max – Madam and Dimmi 2003
Nina, Trevor and a friend of theirs from Wollongong arrived at Cafe Max on time, and Mr Rabbit met Sirdan for the first time, after which Mr R had to scuttle off to the city for a time, but not before being somewhat taken with Nina’s amazing vitality and tales of salsa dancing in Cuba. Madam at Cafe Max won some new converts to her special Caesar Salads with edible baskets. While the Wollongong contingent went off to see Waiting for Godot, Sirdan and I went home and then to the Norfolk, where Mr Rabbit joined us.
Wanting to give Mr R an opportunity to beat me at Trivial Pursuit (which he almost did) he and I set off home to await a call and also the end of the play, which was apparently excellent, but the Wollongong group could not join us for coffee as they had a train to catch. Mr R set off a few minutes ago to catch another train, pleased with his day which was far from over.
Excursions both to the South Coast and to Sirdan’s (once he has de-mined his living quarters*) seem highly likely in the near future. Both promise to be excellent.
January 11, 2003
This is all a bit paradoxical really, but that’s OK. Life often is. Reflecting on the richest and most deeply satisfying experiences I have had in recent years, I find they are in doing ordinary things, especially in the right company. Much better than getting pissed in a gay bar, or feigning amusement at some piece of bitchiness, or suffering the percussive assaults that pass for music in too many gay venues. Yum Cha is of course one such time of pleasure, but I refer to even more ordinary things, like the Trivial Pursuit games that get mentioned here from time to time, for example. And so much more. One paradox is an old dog can learn new tricks, or relearn the value of old ones. Another is that the freedom we enjoy as gay men to be ordinary (and, in the best of all possible outcomes, to find a loving partner) only exists because of the dedicated noise and activity of our more Dionysian brethren (and sisters). Yet each of us must pursue happiness where he finds it, and for me that is not really on the gay scene (in the full sense of the word) – which is not to deny the good it has done me and the companionship I have found there. Told you I was being paradoxical. Funny thing is, M (much more Dionysian than I am) probably agrees with me too.
Writing about last night’s dinner is difficult. M and Y were the hosts, and their flat looks lovely now, particularly the roof garden. Y did the cooking, and, as great a fan as I have been of M’s cooking, I have to say (but so does M) that Y is just superb. Thousand-years-old eggs were among the delicacies on offer.
Two of my fellow guests were old friends of M: A (who had a heart attack just two months ago, had a stent put in, and has been in hospital twice); B, a delightful man who works in the field of education administration. The third, C, came with me and had been specifically invited by M. Had the dinner been last Monday, much of what happened would not have happened. Now if there was anyone in that room whose prospects for living seemed very much in the balance, it would have been A, but this fact really did seem to get lost. Mind you, alcohol rarely makes people more perceptive. M’s application of the responsible service of alcohol rules to a domestic dinner was actually quite masterly, I thought, and prevented things degenerating further than they did.
To be fair to C, I don’t know how I would cope with his recent news, and it is very fresh; there has hardly been time to cope. Everyone in the room was inclined to be sympathetic, but C does tend to go on when sloshed and becomes increasingly, well, boring and overbearing; I have seen this before. I was watching A particularly, given A’s situation; he had a need for a relaxed dinner with friends, not to be treated to various diatribes, however understandable their origin. I was also concerned that M would be annoyed with me as I had brought the spoiler into the feast. He probably is, but my role will be to defend C, who does indeed deserve to be defended, under the circumstances.
"I am being a good host; now you try to be a good guest," M said at one point in the evening.
M delivered some other very insightful statements, and I think he really did C a lot of good, and I have to be happy about that. C certainly was, and thanks to M’s strength of character — and Y’s — C left in better condition than when he arrived, and I am glad about that. But I don’t think it was the dinner M and Y planned. As I say, the food was to die for — no pun intended.
25 October 2003 M’s comments did do a lot of good, and relations between M and myself, strained severely in this incident, have much improved since.
* I really don’t remember what that meant at the time! — 2009