“Most blogs are shit. But, when I discovered theguyliner’s, I couldn’t stop reading. It is a brilliant blog because it depicts an interesting sub-culture and is written with skill and cynicism. But it struck me that he is operating in a comfort zone; aloof and perplexed, the straight man on a raft, in a sea of drowning oddballs. Writing the blog elevates him, detaches him. He is on the front line, yes, but he is watching the sun-set from a deck chair, while the other soldiers howl at it, from a pit. I wanted to get him out of his bubble. I wanted him to meet me.
Because I have no designs to fuck him, and because I am not mental, and because we are both anonymous bloggers, a parity exists that would remove potential for the haughty judgement that facilitates the dark humour in his blogs. It would be a challenge for him.
Clearly, gays like a challenge, because he agreed to meet. I suggested we both write about the experience, and that he post it as a blog; a two pronged perspective piece with some high-powered perception pointed at him, for a change. He bravely, and perhaps slightly reluctantly, said “okay”.
As perceptive and cutting as he is, I think a dogmatic tolerance is the unifying feature of his blogs, so I didn’t feel too nervous as I made my way to the pub; rather, excited, and intrigued.
I got a pint and looked around. There were a few guys who were on their own. Could be him, him, or him, I thought. Eventually someone approached me, and we shook hands, soft hands, and it was theguyliner and we went upstairs and we sat down.
He has a thoughtful face and a stern demeanour, which I didn’t expect. He looks younger than he is, has good skin, nice clothes, neat hair, smells nice and is handsome and thin. He takes pride in his appearance. The thing I enjoy most about him though, comes when he speaks. He is concerned with what he says and he furrows his brow and takes his time. He is very articulate and he speaks softly. He seems to value every word that comes from his mouth, as if he is giving evidence in a court. I am happy just listening to him, he reels me in with his dulcet tones, and I just absorb them, hanging on to every word. He is irresistibly compelling. He doesn’t smile much, only when it is necessary. It is reasonable that he disses people’s teeth a lot, because he has good teeth.
I think I offend him twice. Once, when I describe myself as “quite good looking” and again when I express shock at his declaration that macho-ness is desirable amongst gays. There are a few other faux pas moments but I think I get away with them.
Generally, we seem to get on well. We talk about our blogs, running, writing, loud people… it gets a bit blurry towards the end because of the alcohol. I am never bored. He is interesting, but not arrogant and he doesn’t talk too much, or too little. He is polite, but steely. Understated, but passionate. He has a lovely balance about his character.
He is remarkably humble about what he does for work. He has a brilliant job, but charmingly plays it down. I find myself looking up to him, admiring him, okay, honestly: envying him.
He tells me something that changes my mind about his blog. He says that he doesn’t write about dates that develop into something serious. To this extent, he is not aloof, it’s just that dates where a parity or respect exists are not always documented.
We do some people watching while finishing our last pint. He has a brilliant sense of humour, the best kind; he can switch from subtle to crude in a flash. I laugh hysterically as he tears apart my suggestion he should chat up a sickly pale emo-kid at the bar, full of creative expletives.
We leave when the pub closes and walk to the tube, whereupon some tourists ask him for directions. “You want to keep going that way”, he says, pointing, then laughing when he admits to me he may have misdirected them.
I ask him if he will go home with me, but he says “fuck off, your teeth are awful” and kicks me in the face.
We shake hands and say goodbye and I am struck by how much I enjoyed his company. As I board the tube, I consider that if, in ten years time, I am anything like him, I will have done very well.
I don’t know if he enjoyed my company, but, as is his wont, he tolerated me, for nearly five hours, and I liked those hours. Perhaps my friend-making days aren’t behind me after-all…”