Spawn Of The Devil
Yesterday afternoon, because Carlo was up to his elbows in Brasso, I answered the doorbell and came face to face with the evil homunculus I call Swarfega Boy.
"Is Carlos in?" he said.
"If you mean Carlo, yes but he's cleaning the brass and is not at home to visitors today. However, if you wish to leave your card, I'll ensure he gets it."
This was meant to sound sarcastic but then I wondered why I was acting as butler to the fucking houseboy. There was a long silence, then Lee said: "Is it his birthday then?"
"Thank fuck for that cos I ain't got no card."
"Will there be anything else?" I said, still unaccountably playing the butler role. Lee stared at me vacantly like one of those boys in B and Q when you ask them where the matt emulsion is. He looked strangely innocent and vulnerable for the spawn of the devil that I knew him to be but perhaps that was a clever trick to put you off your guard. Then he handed me a Co-op carrier bag. (Why does everyone who calls here give me a Co-op carrier bag?). I opened it and caught a whiff of Lenor Summer Breeze. Or it could have been Co-op own brand Bluebell Mist. But as Lady Bracknell might have said, the brand of fabric conditioner was immaterial. Inside was one of Carlo's Michael Jackson T shirts.
"My mum says she washed it twice but she couldn't get all the stains out", said Lee. "Cheers, Mr Loopy".
"It's Lupin", I barked.
"Whatever", he said and pulled his hood up and swaggered off down the drive in a not very convincing imitation of what used to be called the 'pimp's roll'. In fact, it was more the roll of someone sent from a temping agency because all the pimps were on their annual holidays. I toyed with unleashing the Rottweilers but if Carlo got upset he would never finish cleaning the brass, so there wasn't going to be a vacancy at the garage just yet.
So, farewell then, video cassette recorder. (Dixons to stop selling VCRs).
You will have shuffled off your electronic coil without many of the people you lived with ever understanding you.
Rather like many marriages then.
If this blog has achieved nothing else, the mystery of what happened to Sir John Waller (see 13th November, Going Down With Christopher Robin) has now been solved. Someone has posted the information that he died in 1995, still 'without issue' and the title died with him. They have also revealed that he kept a daily diary, raising the intriguing possibility that he recorded his drunken encounter with me in the 1970s and that this diary is lying buried in some dusty tea chest. If so, it might be better that I don't read it. I could probably live with "good company but not shagging material" but "opinionated little tosser in a cheap three-piece suit" would be rather hurtful.
I omitted to say in that previous post that the Waller episode took place in and around Soho, which in those days was not a gay village. The brilliant television drama, 'The Long Firm' re-created the ambience very well, although that was set a little earlier. I don't want this blog to become too autobiographical but I may return to a description of Soho in those days. Now that London seems certain to get a Gay Museum, it's important that this secret social history is properly chronicled while my generation are still alive to do it.
Carlo has been sulking because he is always the footnote on this blog. Now that today he is the lead item perhaps the little drama queen will stop working-to-rule and get on with the ironing.
I have also put him on the title bar. I would like to be able to say that this was to see the smile that would light up his boyish Filipino face, but it's because I intend to add some new duties to his job description. Perhaps, as he himself once said, I'm a fucking bastard.