"What are you writing?"
I looked up from my notebook. Suddenly sat at my table was the impossibly Abercrombie & Fitch guy who'd been at the bar. And he was grinning. "What you writing?" he repeated.
"Oh. Someone told me to compile a list of everything I want in life," I explained, mortified. "Apparently it's very revealing."
We both looked down at the list. So far, I'd written the word "Cat" three times.
The American grinned. "If you're asking me, I'd just ask for truth and honesty. I'm Lucas."
Lucas, it turned out, was over here doing a doctorate in wood carving - actually carving wood. He was out on a bender to celebrate it being two months since the love of his life (a nude life model) had left him in Florence. Lucas was half American, half-Swiss, was a ski instructor on the holidays and... oh yes, very drunk.
The great thing about drunk pretty men is that sometimes they talk to us mortals. And it's nice. True, it's also a bit like sitting next to a petrol-soaked toddler playing with matches, but you make allowances if they look exactly like Jake Gyllenhal. Plus the blonde barman was seething.
Actually, Lucas was a very functioning drunk. Witty, sensible and charming, his only problem was occasional wooziness and a slight stagger.
When the pub shut, I walked him to his bus stop and said goodnight, pointedly. It seemed undignified to make a pass at him. Lucas blinked. "Can't I come home with you?"
On the walk home, Lucas threw up with magnificent casualness. Halfway through a complicated sentence about Italian cooking he ducked briefly behind a Vauxhall and continued without even a shrug. "It's a Swiss thing," he explained. "Anyway, the sign of a really good pancetta..."
The pattern continued when we got home. We'd be talking about favourite films and he'd go quiet ("Fellini-"), dash from the room, and return smelling of mouth wash. It even continued in the bedroom, where he curled up in bed wearing his jeans and overcoat. "You're a bit overdressed aren't you?" I asked.
"Er, yeah. Problem is, these are all I'm wearing. Hey - I'm loving the shadows on your wall, they're really dancing! I am Waaaaasted! Ever been to Venice?"
So, I thought, as I settled the bucket down by the bed and climbed in, this is decidedly peculiar. I am sharing a bed with a man of quite startling natural beauty, but he's completely drunk and dressed for orienteering.
Lucas laughed the easy laugh of a beautiful drunk who's forgiven for everything. "Hey! It's really warm under this duvet. Would you mind if I either took it off, or my clothes?"
PS: The sweetest, preppiest thing about Lucas was that at his Happy Finish he cried out "Hell yeah!"
Sparkling Cyanide (1945)
2 years ago