Invisible Stranger

Invisible Stranger

Collecting Crises on Old Compton Street and Beyond

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Little Tinker

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Friday, November 21, 2003
Perfect Skin
Regular readers will know I seldom talk about my personal life. But I've been doing this blog for a while now, and I reckon I can trust you with the details of one who's shared almost my entire life in London.

I still remember the day we met. It was Saturday 8th December 1984, round about three in the afternoon, on London's Piccadilly. It was one of those crisp and clear winter's days, the sky a grim shade of grey, and it was lust at first sight.

Friends would tell me later they thought him way out of my league, and very high-maintenance. He was certainly different to the biker type I hung out with when I was whoring my way through half of the Coleherne in Earl's Court. Deep inside, though, I knew that here, at last, was the one for me. We were made for each other.

What first attracted me was his smooth, perfect skin, soft and warm to the touch as a baby's, and his sexy, distinctive animal smell, which, once scented, could never be forgotten. And even though I would later discover he could be very supple (ahem) in the places where it mattered, there wasn't a hint of effeminacy about him.

In fact he was as butch as rivets, and had the classic V-shape physique of broad shoulders and strong, wide back, tapering down to a narrow waist. I was later to discover he was English, but initially imagined him to be a moody Italian. Elegant and smoulderingly sophisticated, he certainly looked the part, and you could easily have pictured him pouting magnificently from the pages of L'Uomo Vogue.

We went on our first semi-official date that very night to a posh and pricey Chinese restaurant in West London. I'd also invited along a good and trusted friend to check him out over the crispy aromatic duck, and confirm that I was doing the right thing. I got the thumbs up: my mate could hardly keep his eyes, or his hands, off him all evening.

Within a couple of weeks, lust had very definitely turned to love, and I somehow found the cash to take him with me to New York for Christmas. Back home, we'd go out almost every night, and, of course, always to the most stylish places. Whenever we entered a room together, admiring eyes would turn in our direction. We looked good together; and, even though most of the attention was focused on him, I was still able to bask in the reflected glory, as I showed him off to everybody.

By now, I think I'd become a little obsessive about our relationship. I'd never let him out of my sight, for one thing, scared that one of the jealous queens at Heaven or the Copa would steal him away from me. They all wanted him, I knew that. Some of them even tried their luck.

But, my dears, they never got their grubby hands on him, and next year we'll have been together twenty years. Of course, over the years, people change, and some of the glamour and shine inevitably goes off a relationship. These days, we don't go out together as much as we used to, maybe just five or six times a month. More often than not I'm seen with younger and trendier and more flighty models. But when we do hit Soho, he makes me feel just as good as he did when we first set eyes on each other.

And, you know, the old dear still looks fantastic for his age, even though he's getting a little ragged round the edges now, and is starting to creak a little. And no matter where I've been or who I've seen, he's always there at home, faithfully waiting for me at the end of the day, rewarding me for all the care and attention I've given him over the years.

In 1984, friends told me I was stark raving mad to spend four hundred quid on a black designer leather jacket from Simpsons in Piccadilly. Nineteen years on, I have no regrets. And we still look great together.