‘Are you homosexual?,’ the Comedian asked Tom during his set. He was using Gay Pride weekend as an excuse to find out my relationship status. Off stage, he shyly asked for my number.
The Comedian had chosen a romantic restaurant overlooking the water for our date, but during the meal our different outlooks on life soon became clear: he is a fan of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, while I’m a firm believer in planning ahead to get ahead and that remembering one’s favourite moment is a good way of thinking about what’s important to oneself; he enjoys holidaying alone (although he often feels lonely), while I think shared moments are the only way to holiday; and he’s had an ‘awakening’…
‘I was holidaying solo in Seville and feeling lonely so I decided to go to Madrid before meeting a friend in Portugal and for the first time I decided to check out some museums…’
‘I hadn’t really been to any museums before,’ he said.
‘But you’re Dutch.’
‘I’m also working class… I know it’s just fear. On the last day, a permanent exhibition I wanted to see had been replaced by a temporary one of Edward Hopper’s.’
‘Ah, the “loneliness” artist.’
‘How do you know – have you seen his paintings?’
‘They’re pretty famous.’
And then he told me about crying in front of Two Comedians and feeling pure bliss while he sat on a bench in the sun after leaving the exhibition.
As he cycled me home on his rusty bicycle, we passed some windows in the Red Light District. ‘Guess the busiest day and time of the week for the prostitutes?’ I said.
‘Mondays between 8am and 9am,’ the Comedian responded.
‘Wow, how do you know – have you been to one before?’
I soon discovered that his three visitations to prostitutes took place after his ‘awakening’.
The Comedian’s honesty (aka TMI) continued as he walked me the last stretch home. ‘I just want to let you know that I’m not looking for a relationship right now,’ he said.
‘My bum (from the bicycle ride) and ego are sorely bruised,’ I confessed to Tom over Messenger on my tram journey into work the next morning.
‘I think some guys feel inadequate so say they’re not looking for a relationship to prepare themselves for not living up to expectations. Everyone wants a relationship really.’
‘You are saying that because you are my dear friend – you’re making me teary.’
‘That’s not what I want,’ Tom responded…