There is a new guy in Stephen’s neighbourhood, and once more someone brought down the average age by a couple of decades. Because of this, Stephen brought him over today, and it made me laugh when it was another gay-boy.
The way I met Stephen two years ago was that he was stunned to see anyone below the age of fifty in the neighbourhood we shared. My aunt has her house there in that neighbourhood, and for the first year before Mark’s parents moved to Wiltshire, we lived in the cellar. That day when we met, Stephen came over and talked to me over the hedge to see if I was actually real or just a mirage.
Of course, Stephen being a social monster helped too because he can sit down and talk to everyone. Stephen is our social dictionary. If there’s someone we don’t know, we can ask him, and he’ll tell you about when he first met that person and what he’s like.
Anyways, a lot of the houses in Stephen’s neighbourhood has let sections, and while that usually means working people or pensioners who can afford the rents there, this time it was a student who’s going to attend university. So, the first thing this guy says when we arrive is that ‘we must be the gay couple that Stephen talks about a lot’. Then he asks about the gay scene in this town, if it’s any good, and if there are any good gay pubs or bars.
Stephen just stares at him and goes “not another one’. Stephen has his work cut out for him now. If he’s going to keep with tradition he has to dig through his social network and find a suitable match so that we can go to another wedding in a year’s time or two. Stephen, the matchmaker. I quite like the ring of that.
In the two years we’ve been together now, the funny thing is that we’re not part of the ‘gay scene’. I think we went to a gay pub once. There’s one in this town that’s fully an LGBT pub, and then there are pubs that have special LGBT nights sometimes. When we went, we just didn’t have much fun.
Apart from Mark’s membership of his school’s LGBT club, where he was the cashier, we’ve never been a part of ‘the scene’. And the funny thing is that we’ve never been tempted to be, and after meeting the guy Stephen brought over today, who was much keener to find out about the scene, our reluctance to be a part of the scene made me think.
There’s nothing that really would have stopped us going and participating. I suppose we haven’t because we’re not the out and social and out-there people who you need to be for that.
Maybe I would have been if I had been single and desperate for love and attention. But the relationship with Mark derailed my fuzzy social plans and hang-ups, and that makes me content. I don’t have to put myself out there, and as a slightly awkward social person that makes me glad. And for what? To hook up?
I’m not sure if the word ‘repulsive’ is the correct word to use here, and maybe I should use a combination of ‘prejudice’ and ‘hesitation’ and ‘doubt’ rather than that very negative word which may or may not be true to more than a degree. But, yes, in a certain mild way I’m repulsed by the ‘gay scene’, as if I was a magnet trying to approach another magnet with the same polarity.
I wonder what my life would have been like if I had tried to sneak into the scene at sixteen when I had decided to be fully out and was in this new town full of people, and when I was this close to London and all its delights and dangers. It wouldn’t have been hard. It’s not like there’s any great difficulty for sixteen, or indeed fifteen, year olds to party hard and fast. But what would my reasons have been? Aye, there’s the rub. I’m lucky in all sorts of ways, I suppose, for finding Mark.
With University about to start this is what occupies my mind, and I’m wondering, also, if there are going to be more social ‘obligations’ I have to do. That we have to do. In a way Mark’s and my paths are diverging now. For my college and for his academy is was simple enough because there wasn’t this drive to take part in external hall life and in social clubs and such. But that’s all the anyone talks about now – the social scene.
Back in college, social life was a simple need. It was hanging out with the mates in school halls and on street corners, or here at the house. Since we had the house, people just came here to get away from their parents. It was always so much simpler to just be here than to go to someone else. If for no other reason than the fact that no irate parent would come to the room and tell us to turn music volume down.
When we lived at my Aunt’s house, there was also only one time when I was told to reduce the number of visitors. Stumbling over cars, bikes and loud teenagers at one point annoyed Auntie. But given that we are a bit anti-social it has also never been that much of a problem. We always, in a way, kept to ourselves. And we’re content with that.
But now I’m wondering if all that is going to change, and if there are going to be far more demands on us, socially, to represent and take part. I’m not saying that I won’t enjoy some of it. I like a bit of partying and that, but Mark doesn’t. I’d like to keep him content and happy, if I can.