That's supposed to be our 'song', SnowWhite's Stepmother's (SS) and mine, and even though I tried to resist at first, it's come to Stick. O yes, SS is the new name of the erstwhile decorator/designer, in case you were wondering. (The other choices were Mr Miranda, which sounds like a tranny bar dancer in Mumbai, and Soiree Sistah because he insists on calling parties that, but those were all turned down by the protagonist.) And the other day, seeing that I was in the neighbourhood, we decided to meet up for some... 'fun'.
It was supposed to be a Monsoon Appreciating outing. The unanimous choice was Carter Road Cafe Coffee Day, with its vantage position over the Bandra seafront and its extensive collection of good-looking young studs. As anyone who's lived in Bombay will tell you, when people go to this particular CCD, coffee is the last thing on their minds. The objective is to see and be seen, and so SS announced that he would bring along his Rs 800 Bombay Store designer umbrella, with the city trainstops labelled all over it. I said, That sounds great, and proceeded to roll up my corduroy trouser legs to three-quarter length to get into the Rain Collection mood.
SS, about five minutes after he arrives: "This place sucks, and it's all your fault!"
CT, perplexed: "OK, so it's my fault that it's not raining anymore? How come?"
SS, frowning: "Not the stupid rain. Everyone here is ugly. And the pretty ones aren't looking. Why would they, if you advertise that fat Suketu Mehta book out there like that?! *flails arms* Put that thing away now beneath my umbrella!"
CT, complying: "Happy?"
Evidently not, and it was true: both the rains and the boys had played a cruel joke on us, and so we decided to go walking on Carter Road instead, spotting some beefy hunks jogging past. On the way, we squealed in laughter, as we discussed what it takes to get straight men into bed with you. That's when we saw the First Dud of the day. To be fair, he was masquerading as Adonis. Tight Reebok tanktop which showed off a great chest and arms that could hold up the world (what's a puny gay boy to that?!), and black shorts that showed off his firm ass. Both SS and I cooed together.
SS: "I'm in Lust. That's so much more powerful than being in love."
CT: "O, did I tell you that it's Boy and mine six-month anniversary tomorrow?"
SS, quickening gait: "You are the last thing on my mind right now. Hurry up now, he's walking faster. Let's overtake and see him properly from the front."
Well we finally did overtake the Adonis, but then we came to a shocked standstill almost as fast as we had walked past. Nothing! The guy had nothing!
SS, shocked whimper: "What a waste. What a colossal waste!"
CT, pointing out the 420th Theorem of Gay Life: "Have you noticed that it's always the same, give or take a couple of guys? The guys who're always so pumped out and have the best abs and the best chests and the best arms usually also have the smallest..."
SS, interrupts, still dazed: "Probably smaller than a chilli!"
CT, nods head morosely, agreeing, "And it's not as if his shorts were loose or anything. There was just no trace of anything there!"
First Dud of the Day.
The second one came when we decided to hop over from Carter Road to Just Around The Corner on Waterfield Road. This was the promised land for Bandra's gay boys. At any given time, it's populated by at least half of Bandra's upmarket pansy crowd. But then a voice of caution sounded in my brain: "You know, SS, it's a weekday today, so there may actually NOT be any gay boys here!"
At that, I was accused of being a pessimist, and it certainly seemed as if my fears were unfounded as we spotted two gorgeous young things sitting bang at the entrance, obviously on a date, from the way they were hunched forward on the table. Any closer, and they might have to be arrested, and SS and I sat nearby, pleased that our efforts in voyeurism had finally paid off. And that's when we spotted Second Dud of the Day. Tall and well built again, smooth arms, chest puffed out like a pigeon and wearing a shirt in psychedelic stripes, so that he would have to be gay or a gay Gujju. I was salivating, but SS was scornful: "Ridiculously flouncy. Too old. Easily over thirty."
CT, happy: "Yummy! The charms of an older hunk. O, look, he's coming this way!"
Striped Old Man came close to our table, ostensbily to look at the soccer game on the TV over our heads, even though there was a TV on the wall at his side, pushed his hands in his pants, jutted his hips forward a couple of times, twirled, and walked back to his table.
SS, shocked: "Did you see how tight those pants were?!"
CT, nods in glee: "I could see the outline of his crown jewels! *titters* I want to hit on him!"
SS, looks at me suspiciously: "And what would you say?"
CT: "O, something outrageous and corny. Like, 'I know leopards can't get their spots off, but I'm willing to bet that I'll have your stripes off in a trice, and you'll love it!'"
SS blinks: "I'm going to gag at that. How can you just say something like that?"
CT, proud as punch: "What?! Guys love those lines. They sound great over a cofee date!"
SS groans now: "O, I've had it with coffee dates. I hate going out for coffee, if I know that all I want in the first place is a screw. Too much time wasted, and I don't want to go through all that crap."
At this points, CT flexes his... ahem... muscles, and undertakes to eplain the Award Winning Closet Coffee Date Method. 1. If the guy is cute as hell and you know from your prior net conversation that he's a dim bulb, you flash him an outrageous pick-up line, and skip coffee, heading over for sex, instead. 2. If the guy is cute as hell and also has a head (as opposed to giving head!), you flash the pick-up line after fifteen minutes of coffee, and then have sex. 3. If the guy is not-so cute but smart and you'd like to know more of him in a platonic way, you invest thirty minutes in a great coffee and conversation. 4. If the guy is ugly and dumb, you say that something's come up at home and run, after spending zero minutes at the table.
SS, suitably awed: "But what kind of a line could I give, if I want to go straight for the sex?"
CT, smiles back, looking up from the menu: "Something like, 'Well, they don't have what I want here... but I'm willing to bet that you have more than enough of what I want over at your place'".
SS' jaw drops.
By this time however, we notice that both Striped Old Man and the cute young guys at the entrance have left, and we're the only two faggots left at JATC, and so we decide to hotfoot it ourselves. I need to buy a suitably pansy umbrella in shades of rainbow and a long curved handle, and SS suggests his personal Mecca, the Benetton showroom on Linking Road. Within twenty minutes, we find ourselves within its hallowed portals. (And, o yes, Nature had tp play the bitch and rain torrents when we're on Linking Road, while not showering a drop on us all the time we were at Carter Road.)
No umbrellas, says the attendant at the Holy Shrine, but then ardent devotee that he is, SS happily skips up to the men's floor on the second level to try out what they have in his size. After umpteen bouts of It Suits Me/It Suits Me Not minus the flower petals, we picked up a pink tshirt labelled FREAK for SS, meant to be worn over a collared shirt. As we leave the Sacred Temple, and get into the auto-rick, sheltered by the Rs 800 umbrella, I privately call him the lable on his new tshirt. But then, everyone knows I'm evil.
SS: "Something light."
SS: "Lemon Grass?"
CT pouts: "Broke. Cheap, please."
Ten minutes later, we're back at JATC, over a soup and salad, and once again we're the only faggots around. SS glowers at all the people coming through the door, and picks at his soup. "Today must be Uglies Night Out! Look at all these creatures here!"
CT mutters something unintelligable, his mouth full of a combination of beef/chicken/egg/pork/seafood salad.
SS, his spoon clattering on the table: "OMG, just look at that huge table behind us. They look like slumdwellers! U G L Y."
CT starts giggling: "You don't really mean that!"
SS, vehement: "I do! I do! They're awful. Just look at them. All ugly and noisy. *as door opens and another group walks in* Come in, come in. You're at the right place. This is the Ugly Night at JATC!"
CT, chomping: "O hey, look at those two. The guy is H O T."
SS, mollified slightly because of the couple at the salad bar: "OK, he's cute. But look at that horse he's with. I feel like retching, she's so horrid."
CT, nodding: "All the cute guys go that way *sigh*."
SS, perking up: "OMG, just look at his pecs! I love the way they stick out."
CT, examining closely: "No ass, though."
SS: "Who cares, as long as he's got more than the chilli we saw on the Carter Road guy!"
CT, turns and brightens up: "O look, Striped Older Man is back! He's outside on the phone! Let's walk out together, you from that door, and me from this one, and flash him a look."
SS, happy at the prospect of being a cocktease: "O, goody, lets!"
*Sigh* Striped Older Man didn't even turn to look at either of us. And so we lived happily ever after.
PS: In related news, Boy and I crossed the six-month mark. Six months into a relationship. For me, this has been the longest time I've ever been hitched to a guy, as bad as it makes me look, but I'm thrilled that we've come this far, and my fingers are crossed multiple times over that we'll take it much, much, much more ahead. OK, so that's where the Mr Sensitive Gay Boyfriend speech ends.
Next Episode: So what's the Real Shelf Life of a gay guy in Bombay? A CT-SS Exclusive!!!