M., the t.v. producer, is back from London. It felt, as we lolled about on the sofas in the living room, he with his usual whiskey glass of white tequila, neat, as if he'd never left. But he's only back for the holidays, but back full of stories and snickering.
He's sharing a flat in Notting Hill with the brother of E., the friend in London. It apparently took some doing to get the flat.
"They won't rent to two straight guys," he told us. "You have to be a couple." Apparently, it took several, uh, incidents wherein real estate agents were happily showing the two of them flats until the agents realized that they were a couple of grubby hets who didn't give a flying fuck about order and cleanliness, at which point the agents clucked their tongues and told them "sorry, homosexualists only need apply."
M. then tried to convince E.'s brother that they had to start lying to the agents, saying they were big-time homos and ever-so-much in love. But E.'s brother didn't want to say that he was gay. At this point, M. noted that the story would be better if it were true that E.'s brother had internal conflicts and couldn't bring himself to say that he was a big-time homo to anyone; the truth is that E.'s brother thought it ridiculous that real estate agents would rent out only to homosexualists and he was unwilling to lie. M. persisted and coaxed and cajoled, however, and finally E.'s brother gave in and promised he would lie.
The day came when they saw an appealing flat advertised in the window of a real estate agent, and they went in and were told they would have to go look at the flat immediately. They jumped in the car with the agent, but the timing wasn't great because M. was supposed to be in a phone conference with all these various executive types in Sweden and the U.K. and the States. The agent didn't mind, and M. sat in the back seat doing business while E.'s brother sat in the front seat with the agent, who had just started out in her job.
"So," she said to E.'s brother. "How long have you two been together?"
M., who was supposed to be paying attention to his phone conference, was suddenly all ears, watching E.'s brother struggling in the front seat.
"We're. Not. A. Couple," E.'s brother finally said, barely able to get the words out, knowing he'd failed to do as he said he would.
The real estate agent stopped the car and M., desperate, called out from the back seat "I'll be gay any day!"
Which caused quite a stir at the phone conference he was participating in.
M. and E.'s brother did eventually get the apartment, after promising the real estate agent, who was worried that she was muffing her first job, that they would avow their alleged homosexuality to anyone who asked.
Do you think we are entering the golden age of homosexuality?
The Swedish word for the day is diskriminering. It means discrimination.
- by Francis S.