And, as if to prove my ineptitude at all this…….

No. of times out and about today – 1
No. of times ‘checked out’ by some guy – 1 (apparently, as I didn’t actually see it)

We go to the Monet exhibition in Pallazo Reale in the centre of Milan, near the Duomo.  It is late and we get there about 9.15 p.m.  There is a queue.  The bossy little lady is not happy about the queue.  She keeps muttering to herself and then calling out (to colleagues or just in general) that it’s almost 9.30 and there are more people and what are those idiots doing downstairs letting these people come up.  We don’t really understand.  It is only later that we realise that, although the exhibition is open until 10.30, the ticket office closes at 9.30.

The lighting was good, which is not something I can say about most of the permanent art galleries here.  However, the rooms are too small, there are too many people and so, it takes me about half an hour to get through, so pissed off am I that people continue to stand in front of me when I’m trying to view a painting.

I go out and sit on some plinth base to have some cigarettes and wait for A&F.  I see two gay guys.  One looks my age but is probably late 30s and the other is a kid – no more than 25 – they are together, the kid is quite camp, the older one less so.  I had noticed the older one being the ‘teacher’ and decide I don’t want that for the future either.  Nor do I want the campness or, quite, the youth of the kid.

The evening is warm (the rain has stopped, finally and the sun was out during the day, making the air warmer in consequence).  I sit in shirtsleeves without a jacket on, although I am carrying one for certain.

The Duomo (cathedral) either has some service on or someone is practising on the organ – the music faint but audible if only the people around would shut up.  But there are quiet moments and I stare at the Piazza Duomo thinking how beautiful this city is and how much is missed by the people who live here; staring up at the (now nearly clean) Duomo, the spires, the elaborate decoration, the wedding cake look, all white/light marble; the entrance to the Galleria, the buildings around.

I had told A&F about the date situation.  A is amazed and says things like ‘It’s like choosing from a supermarket’ or ‘It seems very risky’.  I try to explain that it’s more or less the same as going to the clubs/pubs, that, sure there is a risk (he means in terms of finding someone that you can be with, given that you would know nothing about them, really) but that was no different from the time I met V and that it had lasted 20 years, so it was a risk that I was willing to take.

F wonders why I’m not frightened of meeting these guys.  I can’t really explain to her – she is a woman and, as the song might have gone, it’s different for girls (this being based on my memory that the song was, in fact, about it being different for boys).

Anyway, I digress.  There we are, walking back to the car up Via Vittorio Emmanuelle, and A says to me:

‘I saw you exchange glances’.

‘What?’ I question.

‘You and that guy’

‘Which guy?’  ‘Where is he?’

‘Just passed us.  It was only a moment but I saw him look at you’.

There you go.  I explain that, although it may appear that I am looking and ‘get it’, really I don’t.  Of course, he could have looked for a variety of reasons.  But trust A, of all people, to realise when I didn’t.  This is getting to be incredibly frustrating.  Grrr.

Dennis has texted me and it looks like the pizza meet, next week is still on.  We are to speak/text on Monday.  I see Fred on Sunday, just for the day – and, anyway, Venice is truly a beautiful city.  Nicholas now says he wants to meet up sometime next week (in Milan).  Neil, a guy who lives near Varese, also will want to meet up soon, I guess.  And then there are the others which haven’t got that far.  Neil is from the site where they match your personalities.  Apparently he is about 70% perfect for me.  He seems a really nice guy but, from the pictures I’m not sure it can be other than friends but I have to meet him first.

As I write this, I get called by Dennis for no other reason than he’s buying the new Madonna CD.  He calls me ‘honey’. It leaves me with a funny feeling that I wouldn’t exactly describe as ‘good’.

And, last night I went to see V, who is in hospital.  I didn’t get told until yesterday morning even though he was carted off, in an ambulance, from work, the day before.  It wasn’t an easy meeting, what with his new arm tattoo that looks like it was done by a kid in Nursery school.  Still, it allowed me to rant about an old ex-friend of ours who has turned out to be something of a stupid jerk.

And I go and see him again tonight, if no one else is there.  I can’t be there if there are some of his colleagues from work there.

And now I really have to do some real work…..