Gay – the new ‘black’

First, there was Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons is the English title but the direct translation, apparently, is Wandering mines (as in sea mines used in war)).  Then there was some famous latin-pop singer.  It seems there’s a lot of it about!

Then there are the discussions about it.  First the Italians talking about the film.  The reaction, in general, is that it is a ‘nice’ film although, if the Italians talking about it had three children and the two male children were both gay, I’m really not sure how that would really go down.

And then there are the discussions about the famous latin-pop star.  They basically fall into two categories.  There is the ‘who cares – his music was crap’ to the ‘who cares in 2010′ and then there is the ‘what a surprise (not)’ to the ‘oh look, he has a biography to promote’.

Being gay has never been so ordinary nor so popular!  I guess I must also be a very fortunate homosexual too, then?  Actually, not really.  I’m a very fortunate guy, certainly.  But being gay has absolutely nothing to do with it

But I do get a little disheartened by it all.  So let’s get some things straight (so to speak).

Being gay – maybe it shouldn’t make a difference and, in many ways it doesn’t but in some ways it really does make a difference and it does mean that you have to consider every action, every word spoken, etc.

I regularly (here) see couples embracing.  In fact, for me, being British, it can be downright embarrassing on the basis that they seem only a small step from having full public sex!  But, imagine walking down the street and seeing two men or two boys doing the same thing.  It’s OK, or not?  I’m thinking that, however open-minded you may be, it may not be completely OK.  Even I would be more embarrassed than I already am!

The coming out.  There’s no right time.  Of course, there should be no need to ‘come out’ at all, you may say.  But, especially if you’re straight-acting, the automatic assumption is that you’re straight.  So, women may make passes at you; colleagues at work will talk about a beautiful women in the context of you being interested, etc.  I have no problem with women making passes at me.  It is, after all, very flattering.  However, I do feel that it would be unfair if I let them continue when there’s no chance of it going any further, don’t you?  And, so, there IS a need to come out, unfortunately. And although it’s not necessary, strictly speaking, I do really get fed up with people make lewd comments to me about females and expecting me to react in a ‘blokish’ way and, so, would love to ‘come out’ to them. I noticed that, with people who know, there are no comments about women in that way – at least not in my company.

The Family. OK so this is, probably, the hardest of them all. It doesn’t really matter how difficult it is or isn’t to come out to your friends or in the workplace – but coming out to your family is an entirely different thing. The problem here is that, however, relaxed and open-minded they may all seem (and for certain mine weren’t so I knew what the reaction would be before it ever happened), it’s an entirely different ball-game when it’s your son/brother/cousin/father/uncle etc. Even then most open of people can, deep down, harbour those prejudices that we are ‘taught’ when young. And, of course, it’s worse when it’s one of ‘your own’.

I mean, how can you face the outside world? What explaining you’ll have to do!

And, just in case you think that, just because I write all this here I am one of those people who are ‘out’ well, yes, to some degree. But not everyone knows at work and, having gone through all the crap between the ages of 18 and 25, I just can’t be bothered to go through it all again – except I find myself having to do so here, in this country where the film Mine Vaganti rings true as it would have done in the UK about 20-odd years ago!

So, although everyone ‘knew’ about Ricky, and although I don’t have any particular feeling about him (gay or not), I can feel the slightest bit sorry for him. Whether he did it now or later; whether it was for the book, to boost his flagging career or none of those (the timing would always be wrong for some people); whatever the reason, we shall never really know the reasons why he kept it secret for so long (what pressures he was under to ‘keep it all under wraps) or why he decided to come out now (maybe writing the book and seeing how his life to date was built on lies). At least he has come out and now we can get on with loving or hating his music and he can get on with his life.

3 dreams

Note: This post should have been before the one below and gives some background to the one below.

He phoned about 6.  I asked where he was.  At home.  His home, I asked?  Yes.  To be honest, I was very excited.  Excited about seeing him and being with him again.  I didn’t want to let him go.

But, as is normal for any situation, the anticipation was far better than the actual event.  It wasn’t a disaster merely a little disappointing; a bit of a let down.  We didn’t argue, exactly, but it was, probably, the closest we’ve come to it.  Later, we tried to book the flights for the wedding at the end of July.  Easyjet have stopped the cheap flights to Bristol, it would seem, making it all much more difficult (and expensive).

So, that was a bit of a let down too – because, in the end we didn’t book anything and the internet connection wasn’t working well.

We go to bed and watch a bit of TV.  I rest my head on his chest as his arm is around me.  Eventually (about midnight) we go to sleep.

The problem started (or continued) about 3 a.m.  I woke up.  I woke up because I had had dreams.  Three to be precise.  Then I decided I needed to go to the bathroom.  When I came back I just couldn’t get back to sleep – the dreams haunting me and also the need to have something to drink which, I was hoping, would not be a barrier to me getting back to sleep.

But it was.

Or the dreams were.

Or whatever.

Since it’s been some time since I’ve had ‘bad’ dreams, I thought I would try and tell you now.  But now is too late since I have already forgotten all but one.  Here goes anyway:

Dream 1 was about V.  It was a bad dream but, since I don’t actually remember what happened, I don’t know why.  Given that we’ve been having a sort of text discussion recently where he has been his usual self, I guess that’s the reason for the dream.

Dream 2 was much more memorable or real.  I got an email or a letter from some insurance company telling me that they had paid the hostage money but that there was an excess to pay of €34,000 which they had charged to my credit card.  As this was a dream, we’ll ignore the fact that this would be impossible since the impossible can happen in dreams.  I wasn’t worried (in the dream) as a) the hostages were nothing to do with me and b) how were they going to charge my credit card?

The next thing to happen (in my dream) was that the credit card statement came and, indeed, showed that over €34,000 had been charged.  I was, of course, outraged.  F was there and so was another friend who was a woman and a cross between N and L.  Certainly they were American.

They were on the phone to the card company to try and sort it out but the card company were saying they had valid authorisation and I realised I was stuck between some sort of scam and, being in Italy, the intransigence of Italian bureaucracy – this would take years and I couldn’t just say ‘oh fuck it’ and go back to the UK ‘cos F was there and I wanted to stay.

Dream 3 I can’t remember at all but it was just as bad.

Anyway, after lying there for a bit, being all fidgety and waking F up several times, I decided that the ‘wanting a drink’ thing wasn’t going anywhere and that I should get a drink.  So I get up and get one and sit at the computer and potter about having several cigarettes and feeling bad because the dreams were bad and had put me in a bad mood and because F was sharing my bed it meant that I couldn’t possibly go back there because I would keep waking him up with my restlessness.

However, about 4.40 I realised I could only get another hours worth of sleep and so I went back anyway.  And, you know how it is, once you know you only have one hour left and therefore you try so hard to get to sleep, you find it more impossible to sleep and so, apart from an occasional doze, I stayed awake until the alarm went off.

And at one point, after 4.40, I turned and rested my hand on F’s side and after a few seconds he brushed it away saying that he couldn’t sleep if I touched him and I thought that, sometimes, this is a bit one-sided and I didn’t like that much either.  And so all-in-all a rough evening/night – and I don’t even know why!

Sometimes I get confused

There’s another post that I had part-written that should precede this but, then, that’s the way the blog goes.

Last night I was tired (see next post, probably) but I went round to his place anyway.  He was watching a TV spectacular on Mina.

Actually, on that note, I must say how amusing I find it with some Italians when they mention some famous singer here and when you say you’ve never heard of them they can’t quite believe it!  They seem to think that, if some person has had numerous hits in Italy, then the whole world should know.  In the case of Mina, the first time F mentioned her and I said I’d never heard of her he was aghast.

‘But’, he said, ‘she was mentioned by [insert internationally famous singer here] and [insert another internationally famous singer here] said she was the best singer in the world’.

It’s difficult to explain that, if they are really, really lucky, they might have had one hit in the UK or USA, if they only sing in Italian.  Anyway, it was Mina’s birthday a day or so ago and hence the TV spectacular.

His TV is in the bedroom so I went and lay on the bed with him.  He seemed so pleased to see me, kissing me and hugging me.  Later, when I got into bed (and he did too) he cuddled me and kissed my back. Not that we can do that the other way around.  And, anyway, he was still watching the special.

I went to sleep, no dreams and only waking once for a short time.  Today he called me as he was booking the flights for the wedding.  He likes to ‘take charge’.

I thought he was just doing this wedding thing to keep me happy but he seemed really happy about it.  And we get to go to the UK.  I thought he wasn’t so keen on the whole thing and certainly not when it was going to be for almost a week but then, suddenly and without notice, he surprises me by actually booking the flights!

I guess I should be happy and I am but there is this thing that I’m never quite sure if he feels the same way; if we really are together.  Like last night when he seemed so very pleased to see me and, yet, if I were to make the move first he would say ‘Not now’ or ‘I’m too hot’ or something to make me stop.

Yes, sometimes I get confused.

How to find a new job

Here, in Italy, it seems to be all about people you know.  Certainly, A, who is currently looking for a new job, finds it much more difficult because his family are not from this area and his network of people is smaller.  Therefore, his search is made more difficult.

In the UK, of course, it doesn’t work like that.  Or, does it?

Certainly for the more menial of jobs, the lower end, the starting, it may not work like that.  Higher up, except for public office, it probably does, more or less.

So, if I was to go back to the UK and start to look for a job, almost certainly, the first thing I would do is tell all my friends in the hope that, one of them would know someone who was looking for someone like me.  For someone who is looking for a very well paid job in the private sector it is exceedingly difficult.

If you are currently in a position but know that, soon, you will be, in effect, redundant you need to make discreet enquiries.

And, should you be lucky enough to have an informal discussion with the potential new employer, it is, of course, important to sell your skills and abilities and bring your best attributes forward.  So, if you have a particular skill that is very relevant to the job in question, you would try to show the potential employer how your skill is better than anyone else’s.

This becomes more difficult if you are talking about a soft skill and you will be a consultant.

If I were going to an English company, trying to tell them how my Italian experience could help them, for example, I might say that my Italian is pretty good.  I might also tell them how I have a number of contacts in the field in which they were working and how I might call those contacts to help me to help the new company to gain more business and more market share or, if they were looking for suppliers, how I could get special prices or a particularly good service or something.

Of course, all this would be ‘off the record’.  And, to be honest, I could not come with guarantees – but I wouldn’t be telling them that – and, anyway, they should know that.  I would only be affecting introductions to the people I know.  It would then be up to them to make those contacts work, to sell the company (although, of course, I would help with that).

What I wouldn’t do is to wait until I was redundant and then try and hawk my round potential employers.  That would be madness.  And, if I didn’t find a job quickly, the contact list may go a little cold.  No, far better to look for a job whilst you are still employed in the old job.

It all seems very reasonable, yes?

Then why, I ask, is it quite OK for everyone to do that type of thing except politicians?  Politicians, let’s be honest here, live in an unreal world and invariably have very little real-world skill except the ability to speak and convince people of their ideas.  They are, in fact, like salesmen.  Knowing nothing of real value except, perhaps, they do have a lot of mates in places of power and influence.

When they become unemployed, what the hell do they do for a job?  And certainly, a job that will pay them the sort of salary they and their families are used to.

And this latest craze for setting up a ‘sting’ to trap current politicians into saying things we would rather they didn’t – like, I’ve got a lot of good mates in a position to, maybe, help you with government contracts, etc. – is really out of order.

We expect them to behave like angels whilst in office (which is unrealistic anyway, since they are only human beings) but to expect them to be perfect once they know they will be leaving and to NOT use their contacts to help them with their ‘next life’ seems more than unreasonable but completely stupid.

I’m not a fan of politicians.  The days of altruistic men and women, going in to the government to make this world a better place seem long gone (although, probably, it was never thus).  They seem a more sleazy, corrupt bunch of people than one finds outside their crazy world but this latest attempt to ‘out’ them seems unjust and simply a media trick to sell more newspapers or get more TV viewers.

You know, there’s those sayings about throwing stones and glass houses and things.  I wonder when this will all come back to haunt the people doing the throwing?

And this is why I write here.

See, this is why I don’t say anything.  Why I keep my mouth shut but pour out my stupid and illogical thoughts here rather than actually speak them.

F returns today.  He has phoned me at least three times per day and sent numerous texts.  It’s not like he doesn’t miss me, I guess.

I texted him once.  My thinking goes that he will be busy/with family/with friends.  Of course, my real thinking is that he won’t want to talk to me or will have ‘forgotten’ about me.  I missed two calls and called him some minutes later.  And, on both occasions he had to call me back.

Of course, the reasons that I didn’t go with him are possibly many and varied.  First there is the dogs – what to do with them?  Then there is the fact that he hasn’t seen his parents in six months and, to go down with a new ‘friend’ (since they don’t know he’s gay), would have been, shall we say, difficult.  So, maybe he wanted to lay the foundations for the next time, introducing my name.  Maybe it was because he would have had to ‘look after me’ and, after 6 months away, it would all be too hard.  Maybe his parents live in a very small flat and there wouldn’t have been the room without making it all very awkward (since he hadn’t told them he was coming and it was a surprise – the surprise being much greater had I been there too).

And all these reasons are logical and reasonable and I am being too selfish and unreasonable.

And, so, I will say nothing.  At least, nothing directly.  I would prefer if he just told me the real reason why, of course.  But it hasn’t even been six months yet and I should stop expecting it to be like we had been together 6 years!

At least, all these thoughts I keep to myself so that I don’t appear a spoilt, selfish little brat.

And this is why I write here.


He’s gone!

It’s the insecurity, the uncertainty about it all that bothers me.

On the other hand, I get my weekend back – at least this one.

He says he will phone me when he gets there.

I am, at once, disappointed, angry, upset, ………..I can write no more right now.

It doesn’t mean a thing


This is a ‘no smoking’ country for sure. Probably even worse than the UK.

The upside being that I have smoked far less cigarettes than normal. Even, at one time I found myself not needing one! And that was after several hours of not having one!!

That doesn’t mean I shall be giving up soon though. Just that, for that moment, it did cross my mind.

As weak as a baby


He turns to me and slips his free arm around me; his other being above my head – I’ve tried this but can’t do it. He cuddles me and he’s warm and it feels good.

There are times, many times, when I feel secure in his love, knowing, as I do, that we both want this.

As I think of it now it gives me that warm feeling, deep inside, warming me in a way that, although not true, I’ve never been warmed before.

He wasn’t feeling so well. His stomach – although what, exactly, was wrong, I still couldn’t ascertain.

He wanted to watch L’isola di famosi which is the Italian version of I’m a celebrity get me out of here – but it’s not quite the same, we are in Italy, after all.

I lay on the bed with him and just wanted to hug him and kiss him but, instead, didn’t even touch him as he had the bad stomach and, even after this short time together, I know better than to do that.

So I let him reach for my hand; him turn over to me and rest his head on my shoulder – yes, he calls the shots and, sometimes, I feel as weak and stupid as a baby.

I write this on my way to Bologna; the restaurant is booked for lunch. I invited him to come but he couldn’t or didn’t want to – I suspect what with tomorrow and the test results and the travelling down to his parents, etc.

And I think that he will miss me and think that he wants me with him and I wonder when he will be back home and what he will want to do when he gets back.

In the meantime there is this evening – S&N’s leaving aperitivo. I have made arrangements to go with L, who lives round the corner from me. He is invited. I made the decision that I couldn’t wait for him or ‘not go’ and, so, I go anyway. We shall see if he comes or, if not, then what he will propose for the night – me having made the decision that I will be strong and stay at mine – knowing all along that I am as weak as a baby when it comes to him ………

For sure …….. maybe.

He doesn’t want to talk about it.  He doesn’t want me to come.  I took Lola’s advice (thanks Lola) and asked.  I think he appreciated the thought but then said he doesn’t want to talk about Friday.

He doesn’t want me to come to Tuscany, either.  Well, actually I don’t know that he doesn’t.  Anyway, it’s probably a good thing not to go.  Too many difficulties in that.  This all needs to be a more gentle introduction.  I am being too selfish.

And, yet………

It’s not like he’s pushing me away.  He’s just stubborn – even more than me.  He’s already told me that when he’s ill he doesn’t even want anyone in the house, let alone looking after him.

He’s a strange guy, for sure.

Last night we went to see a film – Mine Vaganti.  This was a really difficult one for me as all the talking was very fast and, although I had already got the plot from the internet, I missed out on some of the jokes, of course.

Then we went for a pizza at Le Specialità  .  We were with a colleague of his and her husband.  They raved about the pizza but, at €14 plus for a pizza with ham, I thought it was overpriced – about double what I would normally expect to pay – and although all the ingredients were obviously fresh, it was not worth the doubling of the price.

Still, a nice evening and at least I did understand the film, more or less (although it was all a bit ‘done before’).

On the way home he mentions about going to his parents and that he hadn’t really made up his mind.  He added that it was six months since he last saw them.  I said that he should go – that he had to go, kicking myself inwardly as I said it.  But it’s true.  He must/should go.  By doing it this weekend we keep Easter free for us.  He explained the excuse he would give for going down this weekend rather than Easter.  It would seem that he wants to spend Easter with me.  Maybe we go to the lake or for a day out or two and lunch in a restaurant.

Either way, I think he wants to and doesn’t want to go – in as much as he wants to spend the time with me.  I think.  I hope.

I think it’s me

He sends me a text.  It has a smiley after the sentence as if everything is now OK.  Of course, this was the hurdle and I do understand but, still, its not done and dusted yet.  In three days the result although I shan’t see him until several days afterwards which is, if I am honest, more than a little annoying.

I don’t know what he wants.  He says, last night, by chat, before I went over (I went over because of this morning because he has to be home before an “important event”) that he had to go to his parents because he hadn’t seen them in six months.  I knew.  I have no problem.

Yes, I do.  Even as I write this, I get that clenching in the stomach.  It seems he just won’t let me in to certain parts of his life.  Or maybe its me with the problem?  Yes, probably, that’s it.  We are a couple and not a couple.  At least, as far as I am concerned.