Last night I went to see Hero
at the Embassy cinema. The cinema was revamped to host the premiere of the Lord of the Rings
films, and it’s beautiful; a clean 1920’s design with tiles and big leather seats. Even the movie screen curtains looks expensive and plush, as if they got the movie screen curtain experts to go to a think tank to come up with some extra luxurious material for them - made out of puppy fur and silk. The only let down was that they’d designed the seating numbers so tastefully small that they’re all but invisible.
The movie was awesome, real cinematic stuff; no wise-cracking talking fish or all-too-obvious product placements (in case you count Communism) - just movement and colour and water and leaves and sand. And fighting. Amazing fighting. And betrayal. And passion. And honour. But mostly fighting. And leaves.
After the film I bumped into a good friend from drama school who was in Wellington for the night and was sent by the Gods to remind me that, yes, New Zealand really is that small.
I love Ben. He’s like Noel Coward. There’s something about him that makes me want to wear scarves and make fun of the common classes. He was already pretty drunk when I met him so he decided that we should go out and drink some more. I was kind of looking forward to some cheese and crackers before going to bed, but I didn’t let it show. Great, let’s go out!
Ben was in the city for his cousins 21st birthday. I didn’t recognize her but she promptly informed me that she’d gone to my High school and that her step dad had been my teacher when I was eight.* Everyone in the bar was young. Ben and I stood in the corner like old fogies. We even danced like fogies. I bopped. Ben was wearing shoulder pads. It was lucky the cool kids didn’t ask us to leave.
We decided to try another place. Wellington has one main strip with most of the bars on, from popular mock-American clubs called Coyotes and Shooters with queues of slutty girls and boys in their best shirt / hair gel, to funkier side-street jobbies, with hidden doors and upstairs lounges filled with bored looking hipsters.
After grabbing a drink in one of my favourite bars called Matterhorn, we decided to go to Pound. Now we all know that the closest I’m getting to hot loving is watching White Squall on TV (you just know that Scott Wolf and Ryan Philippe are still swabbing the decks long after lights out...) and that Pound is the only gay club in Wellington. And that its awful. Sure we can’t marry or adopt and there’s little representation in the media, but nothing makes a gay man more upset about their sexuality than going to a club that smacks of depression. But Ben and I had had three Moscow Mules, so up we go. After paying our $5 each we enter the main room. It’s busy, which is good. There are stringy looking men in police uniforms on a stage, and they are about to strip and reveal ugly boxer shorts. Which is bad. The show goes on too long. And they keep getting women up on stage to thrust their ugly boxer-shorted bodies against. Note to gay clubs: get gay strippers. Or at least gay for pay strippers. Or at least make them wear briefs. And, by the way, the uglier the strippers, the more the audience expects them to take everything off. It’s a rule in stripping. IF YOU ARE BUTT UGLY WE EXPECT TO BE REWARDED BY GLIMPSING YOUR GENITALS. IT’S THE LEAST YOU CAN DO.
To cut a longer story shorter, there were no ruggedly handsome men at the club. There were, however, a lot of guys in shirts and gel, so I guess they didn’t get that memo from HQ that said we were only to use salon-only hair products from the beginning of this year.
Ben and I danced some more. Then I saw someone I’d met at a party in Auckland*. His name was Jared and he was a cute in that salon-only hair product kind of way. He also had some cute-ish friends and the night felt like it was picking up. I told them the story about the guy at the pool who had followed me around the changing rooms in his speedos. I was all with the trying not to look and he was all with the looking. A great story.
And then in walked the guy himself*. I’d had three Moscow Mules so I was a bit more brave than I was at the pool so I decided to grab the bull by the horns and dance near him. He looked at me and looked away again.
When Jared and Ben came over, they did the how’s it going? eyebrows. “I think we should call it a night” was how it was going. I went to grab the coats and when I returned Jared and Speedo boy were flirting. With each other. Jared looked up, his big betraying eyebrows going all whoops, I hope you don’t mind. “I’ll get his number for you” he said. You know, I think I was wrong about Jared’s hair product. I think it was gel after all.
Ben and I walked back to mine. He was staying in my sister’s room, so when we got back we both drank a liter of water and said our goodnights.
“Unless you want to pash up for a bit?”
I looked at Ben and blinked. I love Ben. There’s something about him that makes me want to wear scarves and make fun of the common classes. But it felt weird even thinking about kissing him. And so I told him that. And then I went to bed feeling more like a schmuck than I had in a very long time.
*Yes, New Zealand really is that small *sigh*