If you’re in the UK/EU and have Sky TV, he’s on channel 513 every afternoon at 7:30 Paris time (6:30 London time).
He’s got the eyes of a puppy. I discovered him a while back at which time he substituted Anderson Copper as the fantasy husband in the fantasy life that goes on solely in my head. He’s a spectacular interviewer and can moderate a debate like no other.
BTW, I don’t think he’s gay, but I don’t care.
“Anderson Cooper has confirmed what most people in the media world and New York already knew: he is gay.
“The fact is, I’m gay,” Cooper wrote in an email to Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan. “Always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
Sullivan, who is gay and is a longtime friend of Cooper’s, had asked the CNN anchor for his reaction to a recent Entertainment Weekly story about the importance of gay celebrities coming out of the closet to combat America’s bullying epidemic.
“Andrew, as you know, the issue you raise is one that I’ve thought about for years,” Cooper responded. “Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.”
I’ve briefly mentioned how the 2007/2008 crash put us in a terribly difficult financial position. I was economic with the details because I’ve always found whiny people quite annoying. We didn’t starve, our bi-monthly wine deliveries didn’t stop and the house was heated in winter- albeit only half the house. We sold part of our modern art collection, but not the Botero bust. Ha!
Approximately four years ago, one fateful event after the next, we realized our investments were goners. Dust. That meant we were stuck. Both our businesses depend directly on investment. We went to our bank manager at Banco Santander (notice the acronym is BS). We explained our losses, that we had sizeable assets and that we wanted to increase our mortgage to 50% of the value of Villa l’Africaine (something they’d offered us many times.) Without batting an eye-lid he said: No. Mike, composed as ever, went on to explain he has income from his royalties, that my art brokerage business pulls in quite decent sums every year and we had land and another house. At that point in time we also owned 1/3rd of a beach-front apartment in Marbella that had belonged to Mike’s mother. The bank manager listened and when Mike was done he said, but you have no money, the answer is no. He went on to explain that as things stood we represented no risk to the bank at all. In the worse of circumstances, if they foreclosed on us, there was no chance of them making a loss. If they helped us, they’d be taking a risk and it wasn’t the moment for risks.
Fast forward four years. With the help of a friend (and her personal finances) we were able to push ahead with the building of Villa Trianon, next door. Far enough along that the build & our digital impressions captured the imagination of a lovely British couple who as of yesterday are the new owners. We didn’t get a huge price like we used to in the height of the real-estate boom, but we got enough to merit the renewed attention of the manager at BS. Yesterday was the anti-climax. We signed the papers, we had the check, we were furious at the extra fees BS was charging us for re-paying our mortgage. We were both quiet throughout the afternoon, wondering if maybe we’d accepted too low a price. Then in the evening we got an email from the buyers which included the following:
Dear Mike and Edouard,
Half way through the first bottle of champagne! (only bottle and probably our last for many years ….)
Thank you for today – hope you are as pleased as we are at the outcome !
It was very touching. Sometimes, when we’re doing business, we forget there are real people with real lives in the middle. The buyers of Villa Trianon are a couple in their 60′s. He’s a Major in the British army so they’ve spent their lives being stationed here and there and everywhere. As they approached retirement they began looking for their “forever house”. We’re very happy they chose one that we were building. We had been thinking of the transaction as one more house, one more client, one more sale- but it was actually so much more. We built something that a family wants to spend the rest of their lives in. We sold it at a time when no one is able to sell anything. We got enough for it to not have to worry about money for a good long while. It was a victory. An important one because before we got to it we were casually shown who was on our side and who was not. Who delighted in spreading gossip about us having had to sell one painting or another, and who didn’t. We purged our lives of that BS, and today of another.
This morning Mike stopped in at BS. The manager invited Mike into his office and outlined all the ways BS would be pleased to assist us in handling our newfound portable wealth. Instead, Mike wrote down our account number at another bank and instructed him to transfer every last cent we had there. It was his Pretty Woman moment. I haven’t had mine yet, I haven’t decided who I’m going to use it on- So beware world, it’s coming!
My grandfather is very busy. So busy that when someone wants to interview him, he’ll say yes on the condition the interview coincides with something else he’s doing. At least, that’s his story. He has a classic 1930′s sailing yacht, and he’s obviously found a way to get a young & pretty lady to accompany him on it.
I hated spending time on that thing. After one night, I’d start making faces. People would tell me that if the wind blew while I was making faces, my face would stay that way forever. They were wrong because the wind blew and I do not have an underbite.
I hated boats, but I loved horses. Show-jumping, endurance riding, breaking horses in. Everything horse related.
From the age of 18 to the age of 21 I was engaged (to a girl.) I had floppy hair and a beard. I thought the beard made me look more masculine.
At 21 I came out and immediately got myself a boyfriend. He was blond, tall and from Wisconsin. Somehow, I look much younger than I did when I was engaged.
It didn’t work out, but before I left the US, I got to be part of a great group with some really great gay guys.
I moved to Spain, in search of a new life. Here I am paying for parking at the Malaga airport, but I saw a camera so I threw my head back like Marlene Dietrich.
My first boyfriend in Spain was Norwegian. We were madly in love. We lived for a while in London together, but he got tired of me. I was really screwed up back then, I don’t blame him.
Oh, I almost forgot, between my first boyfriend in life and my first boyfriend in Spain, there was an American Marine. He was really cute, I called him tex-mex, I have his dog-tags. That’s him on the left. I got this off of Facebook, he was cuter 10 years ago, but DADT was in place and I’d just come out. I was enjoying being out.
back then we looked like this
Then there was T…, then F…, then the one who almost broke me, aka The Boy. I found this picture of The Boy online today. He looked better without the beard.
I have to begin by saying I’m very happy today, my happiness began last night. As I’ve mentioned I’m a bit from everywhere, I’ve lived on three continents- but I only have one citizenship. Having grown up in America (legally), I was given the choice at 21 to become a citizen, or go. I chose to go because I always felt more at home in the EU. Before I was eighteen, because of family, I could have opted for Spanish or Brazilian citizenship- but in either case that would have involved compulsory military service (it was the law in both countries back then), and I’m not well suited to following instructions. You put me near a red button and tell me not to push it, chances are you’ll soon hear a BOOM! I’ll have started World War III, just because someone told me not to push a button. So I decided to be kind to the Spanish & Brazilian armies and save them from me. France was kind enough to give me a dispensation from military service. I explained that I drink, I smoke, I complain a lot, I’ve got a temper. Do you really want me handling weapons? They said they did, but then a kindly doctor agreed that my asthma was a good reason to let me go on my way. So my citizenship is French and only French and although I was too lazy to drive two hours to vote at the French consulate in Seville yesterday, my candidate of choice won anyway! My new President is François Hollande. I am what is known in France as a Socialiste Champagne, in Germany as Champagner-Linken, in Switzerland Cüpli-Sozialisten. In Italy we’re known as Radical Chic and in Portugal as Esquerda-Caviar. The criticism goes that we’re wealthy people who push left-wing ideas, and somehow that’s incompatible. I can say wholeheartedly it’s not incompatible. I do like my champagne and caviar on occasion, but I also don’t complain about paying 43% income tax. I do complain about my property taxes, but that’s a long story, one that would merit its own post.
A few weeks ago I discovered Bird. Not like a casting director would discover a starlet on his couch, but in that internet way. You click here, then you click there, then you’re reading about property prices in Bratislava and somehow you end up buying a Nicer Dicer. Bird is not a socialist, not the champagne kind or any other kind. We’ve never talked about it, but I’m pretty sure she’s a Republican. She’s also a Christian. Those two things alone mean that theoretically we shouldn’t get along. But in some weird way we do. Maybe it’s because I’m a left-winger who drives a huge SUV and knows how to shoot. In fact, I shoot better than Dick Cheney and my evidence is that I never accidentally shot a friend in the face. I did shoot my brother in the leg once, but it was a BB and I even managed to convince him it was an accident. Small harm, small foul. On the other hand Bird isn’t a typical right-winger. She’s got a strong libertarian streak. A don’t you get in my business thing. More than that, she’s got great compassion and she puts that compassion above ideology. She does her own thing and I love that in people.
Today she nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Quite appropriate as I’ve already got a Versatile Gay Man Award. This is the first award I’ve ever received that comes with instructions. I didn’t know awards came with instructions except maybe the Oscars. Under any Oscar statuette you’ll find the words “insert into anus”. Not every Oscar winner follows those instructions, but Meryl Streep did. Hence this look on her face:
The instructions for my award don’t involve inserting anything anywhere. They are:
I’ve done the first two things, so now 7 random things about myself:
1. When a conservative told me they were going to give me an award, I was expecting this:
2. I’m 5’9 and Mike is 5’10, so ever since we’ve been together I buy shoes from a website called Tall Men Shoes. So I’m taller than Mike.
3. I have a glass, I know my glass, I only like to drink iced tea and juice from my glass. It’s slightly misshapen. If you bring me a non-alcoholic beverage in another glass, I’ll go to the kitchen and pour it into my glass.
4. We lost a lot of money and some of our investments turned to dust when the financial crisis hit in 2007/2008, I thought our business was going down.
5. Four friends helped us. One transferred $130,000 into our account. The other three got together and gave us $30,000. We gave an expensive car we owned to the three, and tomorrow we’re paying back the last that’s owed on the $130,000. She never complained or asked for the money, not once.
6. When I was a child I didn’t want to be a fireman or an astronaut. I wanted to be a dictator.
7. I own a 19th century, French tiara. I say I bought it to complement my 17th century Italian Madonna bust- but if I’m home alone, I take it off the Madonna and wear it.
Now, who am I awarding this to? 15 or more bloggers? No way. But here’s your award, do with it what you will. My top picks in no particular order:
1. Sweet Mother Lover, because she’s funny and very versatile, she’s been with boys and girls, and she’s Irish-Colombian. Yes, seriously, Irish Colombian. What’s more versatile than having a gun in one hand, holding a rosary in the other and transporting drugs in your stomach?
2. God and Son, he’s not very versatile, but he is very funny. It’s atheist humour, so if you’re a Christian, I don’t recommend you visit his blog. Stephen Fry says he’s like that kid with the magnifying glass killing ants.
3. My Life with Tits, you don’t get more versatile than Eli. He’s smart, he’s cute, he’s trans and he’s just bought his first suit.
4. Free Penny Press, totally versatile. There’s poetry, there are pictures, there’s even Basquiat- and genealogy and jazz funerals.
5. Colinology is my favourite mini-gay. He’s seventeen, extremely intelligent and embarking on his first great adventures in life and love.
6. Angry Ricky, he’s my Mormon. Not actually my Mormon, but the only Mormon I know. Some days Mike asks me, how’s your Mormon doing? His versatility comes in the form of reconciling sexuality and religion. He does it through critical thinking (most of the time.)
7. Caption America, totally versatile, totally random and totally funny.
So there… awards given. Done and dusted. This took ages. Don’t anyone even dream of giving me another award. I’m exhausted. I’d pour myself a glass of wine, but it’s only 3:05, which means I have to wait another one hour and 55 minutes. That’s random fact number eight about me, on work days, I only drink after 5pm.
I might be tempted to re-enact the wire hanger scene from that movie about Joan Crawford
If it annoys me, I might do this
I’d be a terrible example
Really, Really, Terrible
I’d probably send it out to buy cigarettes
I’m too lazy to follow a gayby around the house
I don’t like noise
I might forget it somewhere
More than once
Disclaimer: I don’t always wear my glasses. The television is always on, but we’re not necessarily paying attention. The television in the bedroom isn’t a big screen. If you ask me a question, I’ll always give you an answer, even if I don’t know the answer. The answer will never be: “I don’t know”. Cross racial identification is notoriously unreliable.
The Scene: It’s midnight on Monday, I’ve run into the bedroom before Tara, our Irish Wolfhound, has a chance to jump on the bed. If she gets there first, she spreads out, hogging most of it, and leaving me on a ledge. If you’ve ever met an Irish Wolfhound, you know what I’m talking about… They’re HUGE, extremely friendly, but huge. It’s no use kicking her off the bed, she’ll wait until we fall asleep and then get on top of us, which is worse.
Mike comes out of the bathroom and lays down.
Mike: What are we watching?
Me: Piers Morgan, I’m waiting for Law & Order.
Mike: I hate Piers Morgan. Who’s he interviewing.
I squint. It’s a good looking, African American man, he’s doing Streetcar on Broadway. I know the names of attractive black actors, but Denzel Washington is the only one that comes to mind, so it must be Denzel.
Me: It’s Denzel Washington
Mike: No it’s not.
Me: Yes. It. Is.
Mike: Then why does the banner say Blair Underwood?
Me: The banner must be wrong. Blair Underwood is a girl.
Mike: I think it’s that guy that used to be on Grey’s Anatomy.
Me: No it isn’t. It’s Denzel Washington. Blair Underwood is probably coming up next.
Mike: I’m sure it’s not Denzel Washington. You’re terrible at stuff like this. You’re the only person in the world who confuses Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro.
Me: They look the same
Mike: They do not, look the same.
Me: Blair Underwood is a singer. She won American Idol or America’s Got Talent. Was it Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro who was in Angels in America?
Mike: Oh my god. You ask that same question four times a year. It was Pacino.
Me: They look exactly the same. Big nose, floppy black hair.
Mike: If you wore your glasses more often, you’d find they do not look the same.
Me: Yes they do, and there’s that other one that looks like them too.
Me: Dustin Hoffman
Me: You’re an idiot.
Mike: Why would Denzel Washington be doing Broadway? He can’t need the money. Why would he put himself through that?
Me: How do you know he doesn’t need the money? Didn’t he have a big unpaid tax bill a while back. I think he was even going to go to prison.
Mike: That was Wesley Snipes.
Me: Who’s Wesley Snipes?
Mike: He was in that Wong Foo movie with Patrick Swayze.
Me: That was RuPaul.
Mike: RuPaul only appears in a cameo.
Me: Oh, I know. He’s that basketball player.
Mike: No, he’s an actor, not a basketball player
Me: Then he was a basketball player before he was an actor. He does all sorts of things. Remember, he wore a wedding dress once, he’s a cross dresser.
Mike: Dennis Rodman?
Mike: Dennis Rodman is the cross-dressing basketball player.
Me: Then who’s Wesley Snipes?
Mike: I’m going to read now.
Me: Just because you hate being wrong. Now we’ve missed the whole Denzel Washington interview.
Mike: When you get up tomorrow google it. If that’s Denzel Washington, I’ll walk the dogs for two weeks by myself.
Me: Shush, Law & Order is beginning.
If you’re a gay person travelling through Spain there are few words you need to know. The first is: Ambiente. Literally translated to English that word means environment/atmosphere, but as gay slang, it means: A place with some gay atmosphere, girl! Well, it means anything gay, person, place or thing. If it’s from the environment, it’s gay.
Below is my place of atmosphere, it’s called Passion. The video has Rebeka Brown performing live (then, being interviewed at the end). It also has a guy I know embarrassing himself by giving a drunken interview at 1 minute 50 seconds into the video. I’m not judging, I’ve often embarrassed myself there, but no one seemed to mind because I looked like that. Oh, and watch out for the Go-Go boy wearing a mask on the vid!
Okay, I know that’s cheating, I shouldn’t just post pictures of myself where I look good. So here’s one where I’m actually at Passion. The eyes have been censored for reasons only known to other drug users. And before you ask I have no idea how that little person got into the picture. And I am too Latin, albeit a pale version!
So now you know to go searching for The Ambiente when you get to Spain, but what next? Well, the Ambiente is very friendly which generally means many heterosexuals walk amongst us; So the next word (or question) you need to know is: ¿Entiende? You may already know that that word means Understand, but in gay slang it simply means: Gay. If you understand, you’re gay! So now you’re understanding and in a place of atmosphere. What else do you need to know?
Buga/ doesn’t have a non-slang meaning / heterosexual
Chupachochos / chocho sucker / not to be confused with the Chupacabra, It means lesbian.
Clóset / closet / means someone is closeted. Use: Mira el clóset / one would think you’re telling someone to look at a closet, when in fact you’re telling them to look at the closet-case
Daddy / daddy / means sugar daddy
Elvis / Elvis? / means bi-sexual
Heteroflexible / means they’re straight, but if you get them drunk enough you have a chance
Inter / means they’ll do anything in bed
Jotera / hetero token woman who’s part of a lesbian group
Julio Iglesias / older lesbian trying to look young
Leñador / lumber-jack / lesbian
Marimacha / Mary-Macho / masculine lesbian
Muerdealmohadas / pillow biter / gay man who is only passive in bed
And finally be careful with your masculine’s and feminine’s. Pollo means chicken, Polla means something else…
A more complete list is being compiled and will be posted soon!
A Life with a Soundtrack
Our Own Mess
So Mike said: si tu me dices ven, and I answered ven. Bliss did not ensue. We had no idea of the turbulence that was about to encounter. Our first and biggest problem was one of clashing personalities. He’d been living by himself for many years, most of his relationships had been brief (with two exceptions) and he was used to being in charge. Mike wasn’t just in charge of himself, when his father became ill, he moved to Spain to give his mother a hand. When his sister had financial issues, he stepped in to help. His brother and his young family spent their holidays at Mike’s place in the mountains, he was his own little sovereign nation. He was what Bush II would call: The Decider. The problem was, so was I. I’d gotten into a terrible habit of only pursuing relationships where I had some form of upper-hand. I can’t explain this without sounding like a total jerk, but in my defence, I only realized what I was doing with my 20/20 hindsight. My many successive relationships were exclusively with people who I believed I could control, whether it be because I had more money, I looked better, I was better connected or… whatever. I now understand it was a result of insecurity, a way of fooling myself into believing that if I had the control, it would ensure whomever I was with would never leave me. As there was an age gap between Mike and myself, I presumed young & pretty me would be the boss-man. T’was not so. We were gearing up for Villa l’Africaine’s very own Napoleonic wars. We fought from Monday to Friday. I blasted Thalia’s version of A quien le importa from one side of the house, and from the other side he blasted I am what I am (It was probably a Shirley Bassey version because he’s Welsh). Thursday nights we had a mediator, my late and great mother-in-law, one of the great allies I’ve had in life. Saturday was going out night and we kissed and made up, then I’d spend the evening flirting with everyone/anyone to annoy Mike and try to score points on our invisible score-card. Neither one of us admitted the power struggle was of an emotional nature, and that we were both deathly afraid of giving anyone our hearts to hold in their hands. We took childish to new heights and that’s when we began The Design Wars.
This went on and on and on. It went as far as one of us putting up a painting and the other taking it down, various times throughout the day. We were so involved in our fabricated war we hadn’t realized clouds had been gathering above us. We were in our own little world, dedicating all our time to arguing and the house. As our work load diminished we had time to rejoin the outside world and start getting to know the residents of our new community and get back in touch with the people who had been part of our previous non-coupled lives. This was when all hell broke loose.
Other People’s Mess
Some people have said that Villa l’Africaine looks like a fort because of the entrance tower. It’s 30 feet tall and has little windows which would be perfect for snipers. It was a comforting thought because we realized we were under attack. Both of us, up until that point, had been sought after guests. I was the life of the party, the snarky, risqué guest that no hostess could do without. The one that guarantees there’s no lull in the conversation at her table. Mike was the charming, former actor with the amazing voice and stories of his encounters with all sorts of interesting people. He worked with Ava Gardner three times, he knows Omar Sharif and acted opposite Maximilian Schell in Russia. He and Nureyev once rehearsed in adjoining spaces and Nureyev once goosed him as he was climbing up stairs. Then suddenly it hit us. Our first clue was from a Mrs. S. and came in form of an invitation that went something like this: When you two are on your own, that’s different, but together it’s kind of obvious you’re gay; But since it’s a garden party and there’ll be a lot of people, you’re welcomed to come. Or, why don’t you two alternate, each one of you comes to an alternate event on your own! What? Mike was in shock, he’d been part of the (progressive) arts world since his days doing drama at Oxford, which meant homophobia was practically alien to him. Principled man he is, he declined that and any other future invitations from Mrs. S.
But that was just the beginning, soon we realized it wasn’t just the more conservative sectors of polite society who thought we shouldn’t be together. Many of our friends agreed. But what happens when two obstinate guys are told by the world at large that their relationship can’t possibly work? They stop blasting Thalia’s version of A quien le importa and Shirley Bassey’s version of I am what I am from opposite sides of the house. They pull all the loudspeakers together (so the whole neighbourhood can hear them) and choose a new track. The new track is called Vámonos (Let’s Go)… because the two guys know that it doesn’t matter that one of them is a younger, spoilt, toff and a cad, and it also doesn’t matter that the other is an older, more conservative, homebody. What matters is they want to be together. But it wasn’t all bad, there people who stuck by us as well. The acting/artsy set: Sarah Porter, John McAndrew, Allan Corduner & Jane Bertish and a branch of the society set: Karin, Igel, Angelika & Andrea. Those were the main players who took up arms in our defence, and we’re very thankful for it!
I’ll only translate the important parts, because I’m lazy, scroll down to the second paragraph, but listen to the song to, just because the gently defiant tone is so wonderful.
ESTOY A PUNTO DE LLORAR,
DE TANTO RECORDAR, LAS HORAS QUE VIVIMOS..
ESTOY FORZANDO AL CORAZÓN,
QUE CUMPLA CON VALOR, LO QUE NOS PROMETIMOS.
A VECES, QUISIERA IRTE A BUSCAR,
A PUNTO DE LLORAR, NO SÉ CÓMO ME AGUANTO.
ES TAN DIFÍCIL DE OLVIDAR,
CUANDO HAY UN CORAZÓN,
QUE QUISO TANTO Y TANTO.
QUE NO SOMOS IGUALES DICE LA GENTE, They say we’re not the same
QUE TU VIDA Y MI VIDA SE VAN A PERDER, That our lives will be lost
QUE TÚ ERES UN CANALLA Y QUE YO SOY DECENTE, That you’re a cad and I’m decent
QUE DOS SERES DISTINTOS, NO SE PUEDEN QUERER.That such different people can’t love each other
PERO YO A TI TE QUISE Y NO TE OLVIDO,But I love you and never forget you
Y MORIR EN TUS BRAZOS ES MI ILUSIÓN, And to die in your arms is my wish
YO NO ENTIENDO ESAS COSAS I don’t understand these things
DE LAS CLASES SOCIALES,these social rules
YO SÓLO SÉ QUE ME QUIERES,all I know is you love me
COMO TE QUIERO YO.as much as I love you
VÁMONOS Let’s go
DÓNDE NADIE NOS JUZGUE,Where no one will judge us
DÓNDE NADIE NOS DIGA QUÉ HACEMOS MAL.Tell us what we do is wrong
ALEJADOS DEL MUNDO,
DÓNDE NO HAYA JUSTICIA, NI LEYES, NI NADA,
NÁ MÁS NUESTRO AMOR.
To be continued: Part III, how we lost the first battles but won the war!
Most people would probably be surprised to know that Mike and I only got to know each other because he made one of the most cringe-worthy mistakes in all of human history.
Our lives didn’t intersect in Torremolinos which was my gay-world, instead we met in Marbella. It was a winter evening and as I did in those days, I was searching for flashing lights, in the hope of growing my collection of pictures of myself in magazines. I know, I had unusual hobbies. Mike approached me, we had a casual, pleasant conversation mainly about there not being many openly gay people around. We made loose plans of him maybe coming with me to Torremolinos (where he’d never been!) or maybe having lunch. We exchanged emails and phone numbers and I thought that was that, I thought no more of it as I went home. The next morning when I woke up, my cell phone was flashing, there were six nervous messages, all of which included different variations of the following phrases: I’m sorry; Please don’t open your email; Let me make it up to you; I didn’t mean it!
I couldn’t resist, of course, so I opened my laptop and there it was in my inbox, a message from Mike. I opened it, it wasn’t addressed to me, but simply to J. The letter described his meeting with a toff. If you’re American you may not have heard the term, but basically it’s British slang for a haughty, upper-class fool. You’re wondering who this fool was? It was moi. I know, I was as surprised as you!!! He went on to compare my suit to one that would have been worn by the son of a wealthy mafioso, and he was furious about my coat. Furious it had a black fox fur collar. Furious it was real fur, and even more furious that when he asked me about it I made jokes about him and his hippy/actor friends pelting me with tomatoes. He asked J: Who in the world would wear a coat with a fox collar in the south of Spain? The rest of the email criticized my choice of home, my choice of car and basically the offence that was my existence. I didn’t call him back or answer the email. I wanted to torture him a little. We’d barely met and yet he seemed mortified and desperate to apologize in the voice-mail messages. He thought I’d be angry, but in reality I found his message hilarious. I’d laughed all the way through it. Not nervous laughter, but real, from the gut laughter. It was the best and funniest description of me I’d ever read, albeit in a caricaturesque sort of way.
When I got home from lunch, he was waiting outside my building, and began an apologetic monologue of how he hadn’t meant anything he had said. He wanted to make it up to me, take me to lunch, invite me to spend the weekend at his place… please, please forgive me. I invited him in, explained everything was fine and he was perplexed, incredulous I could just brush the whole thing off. I accepted his dinner invitation, and suggested the restaurant where I ate most nights in those days, El Gusto. I caught him by surprise by waving away the bill when it came, I had a tab there. He insisted on paying, but I told him it wasn’t up for negotiation. We were fast friends. It turned out our wildly different surfaces were disguising our wildy similar minds.
He found my excursions into escorting fascinating and advised me against doing porn, as that would go on my permanent record. He told me about his life in acting, working at the RSC with Ian McKellen and Judi Dench. Becoming friends when he was a young man with Mia Farrow and being the godfather of two of her adopted children (see what I meant about his hippy actor friends pelting me with tomatoes)… and how he’d given up his career after spending a holiday at his parent’s house here in Spain. I told him about my childhood, my first disastrous relationships, my move to Spain. We started emailing regularly, as friends. I visited one weekend taking with me folders of cd’s and he burnt copies of my Maria Dolores Pradera, Los Panchos and Frank Sinatra (and burnt copies for me of his Maria Dolores Pradera, Los Panchos and Frank Sinatra). BTW, If you like sentimental Spanish music, Pradera is queen. For a good long while he was watching out for me as I roller-coasted dangerously through life. At the lowest point, just as I was de-railing, ready to give up- he sent me an email with five words: Si tu me dices ven
Boy, did I cry. I mean, except for the Duchess of Windsor and myself, I don’t know anyone who was able to extract that sort of emotion from one of her Majesty’s subjects!
If you’re not an aficionado of this sort of music you probably don’t know the song. So here it is, this is a bad and loose translation, but you get the picture. If you listen to it in the video, you can perhaps capture its intensity.
If you tell me, come, I’ll leave (drop) everything.
If you tell me, come, everything will be for you;
My darkest moments
I’ll also give to you
My secrets which are few
will be yours too
If you tell me, come, everything will change
If you tell me, come, there will be happiness
If you tell me come , if you tell me come…
Don’t stop the moment…
To unite soul with soul, heart with heart
To laugh with you during times of pain (lit. before any pain)
To cry with you, to cry with you
it will be my salvation
But if you tell me, come, I’ll leave everything
Don’t let it become too late..
and find yourself (wandering) on the street
lost, without anywhere to go…
If you tell me come, I’ll leave everything…
To be continued… with the story of how our first year together was absolute HELL!
And just because this is one of the greatest lyrics ever, here’s Maria Dolores Pradera singing