Sunday, May 02, 2004
Keeping Up Appearances
I’m a private sort of person. For example, I rarely invite friends over for coffee. These days, they don’t even get invited back for, ahem, “coffee”. In the past five years I’ve lived in my flat, I doubt the number of people to cross the threshold has even reached double figures. And two of them were the gas-man and an extremely disappointing pizza delivery boy.
It’s less a case of being anti-social, and more a case of valuing my privacy in a city where it’s hard to find any. Besides, the shoebox behind King’s Cross in which I live is hardly big enough to throw a tantrum, let alone a party.
This evening, however, will be different, as a mate’s dropping by before we both head off to a mutual friend’s barbeque. (A barbie! I ask you! A mere three years ago and most Sunday lunchtimes would spot me stumbling, saucer-eyed and smiling, from a certain establishment, before heading off to join the rest of the Marvellously Mashed on London’s Old Compton Street. Why, hello, Middle Age, and how are you, my dear, and yes, I’d love another Sanatogen, thank you very much.)
In honour of the visitation, I have spent the entire morning Dysoning and polishing, as well as eliminating a rather interesting new eco-system in the kitchen sink. What’s more, I have ensured that the CDs on display are the ones she would approve of, and not the music I’m currently listening to. The mags on the black-ash coffee table are classy and arty, rather than my usual trash. And I’ve even hidden the stash of porn behind my Robert Mapplethorpe, which, I suppose, is replacing like with like, but at least this time it’s in black-and-white so that makes it Art.
My dears, you couldn’t get more wallpaper* magazine if you tried.
This woman has known me for twenty-five years, and she isn’t even my mother. She first met me slumped over an Irish coffee in a Berlin bar. She knows of my fondness for willies, is well aware of the fact I’m a slob, and has learnt to live reluctantly with the fact that I think “Somewhere” from West Side Story is possibly the most moving piece of music ever written.
So. Just who am I trying to impress?