This is the continuation of the story of my visit to Yuri and Michael in London in 2007. You remember that I hooked up with a South Asian emo boy named Nehal at an Indie bar.
Turns out that Nehal is not interested in frontsides, and for backsides, he's strictly a bottom. Unfortunately, Michael doesn't top anyone but Yuri, and I'm not really into it at all. After some perfunctory kissing, Nehal is reduced to sitting on the side of the bed, watching.
Afterwards Nehal and I move onto blankets on the living room floor, where he won't take "I prefer the frontside" for an answer. What the heck -- finally I give in, borrow a condom from Michael, and top him.
I am awakened by Nehal trying to sit on me. In the cool light of dawn he is slim, soft, androgynous, even girlish, not at all my type. We kiss. I reach for his...sorry, no frontsides. He turns over on his stomach.
No way! "Sorry, I'm a little tired this morning."
"No worries, we have lots of time to get your motor running, don't we? How long will you be in town?"
"Um...I'm leaving for Paris tomorrow morning."
"Well, we'll have to make today count. We should go to a tea dance this afternoon, and then George and the Dragon for their Sunday night drag show, yeah?"
"Actually I was hoping to spend the day with my friends."
In other words: Get out!
"Oh, I'm sure we can find a way to squeeze them in." He kisses me, then bounces into the bedroom to awaken Michael and Yuri.
Londoners don't really do brunch, but we go out to the Breakfast Club, a campy dive diner with a bright yellow exterior. It serves bacon-and-egg sandwiches called "butties", beans with a poached egg on top, and salmon and eggs on multigrain bread.
Nehal monopolizes the conversation, mostly talking about London's music scene. Garage beats, UK funky, electro house, grime, bassline.
"Um...I like...um...R.E.M....and Madonna."
"Dinosaur music, innit? Don't matter, though -- we won't be listening to music, will we?"
"Today we have a surprise for you," Yuri says. "Hiking in the North Downs. It's 30 kilos away -- 20 miles."
"Takes about two hours to climb to the top," Michael adds. "It's rather rugged, actually."
In other words: Get out!
"No, sounds like fun, honestly. Just let me pop by my Mum and Dad's to pick up a change of clothes, and that."
Yuri and Michael glance at each other anxiously.
On the way to Nehal's house in Deeley Road, we stop to pick up someone else.
Turns out that they have arranged another surprise: a date for me. Their friend Justin, a graduate student in Urban Studies at the London School of Economics, short, dark-skinned, exactly my type.
"Sorry, I didn't know that there would be four of us," I tell Nehal. "You don't have to..."
"No worries," Nehal says, visions of another topman dancing in his head. "The more the merrier, right?"
As we climb to the circuit of Box Hill, with its view of the Downs, Justin and I talk about Chaucer, Madonna, and gay neighborhoods from a sociological perspective.
Or try to, anyway. Nehal keeps pushing between us to leer and make dirty double-entendres in incomprehensible British slang.
Justin is completely hot, totally my type, and actually interesting to talk to. Nehal...not so much.
We arrive back in London around 4:00 pm. No way am I letting Nehal horn in on dinner, and another uncomfortable backside-only night. Especially with Justin in the picture!
"It was great that you came along for the hike," I tell him, "But I'm sure you have other things to do tonight. Maybe we could meet for breakfast tomorrow, before my train leaves."
In other words: Get out!
"Oh, no, mate, I'm free as a bird!" He links arms with me and Justin. "Deal with me as you will."
"Why doesn't everyone go back to his own place to shower and change clothes?" Michael suggests. "Then come back to our flat for dinner at 7:00. Yuri's cooking moussaka."
"Mum and Dad are a bit far," Nehal says. "Can I come back with you?"
"Four of you -- that's a lot of hot water," Justin says with a grin. "Why doesn't Boomer come to my flat and shower there?"
"Boomer and Nehal, you mean?"
He looks disappointed. "Yeah, sure, mate."
So the three of us head to Justin's flat on Cromer Street, near King's Cross Station.
Nehal showers first -- very quickly, in and out. Justin and I barely have time to kiss and grope.
Next is my turn. I shower, towel off, and go into the bedroom, expecting to see Justin and Nehal naked there. No, they're sitting in the living room, talking quietly as Nehal gets dressed.
Now it's Justin's turn to shower.
As soon as he shuts the bathroom door, I ask Nehal, "What's wrong? No chemistry between you two?"
Nehal puts his old clothes into a knapsack and zips it up. "It's not that. I just have to be running along. Paper due tomorrow, right? Give my best to Michael and Yuri." He practically runs out of the apartment.
Soon Justin returns, wearing a towel. A little slim, but nicely toned, with a smooth chest and an "outie" belly button. "I thought you'd be in the bedroom waiting for me," he says, sitting on the couch and putting his arm around my shoulders.
"Looks like you scared Nehal off."
"Yeah, mate, sorry. He's nice and all that, but the aggressive bit is something of a turn-off, and apparently he's a total bottom. How are we supposed to go about shagging?"
My heart sinks. Is everybody in London a bottom? "You mean you..."
"Eh, backsides -- when I do it, I'm a bottom, but it's really not my thing, you know? The frontside -- that's what I like!" He takes off his towel.
See also: Yuri and I Meet the Emo Boy of London