Chapter Number 7
After everything that had happened, this was the first time I had to check out the gay scene locally. So throwing caution to the wind, in view of my new financial situation, I decided I was going to have a good time. I Might even get lucky and meet someone to talk to. It would at the very least be a chance to eye up the talent.
A short walk away was a club that intrigued me. It was called “Blobby’s”. A strange name, I thought, until I arrived inside and it became apparent it was a club for those with a few extra pounds around their waste, and their admirers. This was indeed a novel twist and one which seemed to work as it was fairly busy. A line of guys were sitting at the bar, presumably on bar stools, although only the legs of the stools could be observed emanating from the well-proportioned bottoms spread out on them.
Managing to squeeze between two of these people to get a drink, I found they were a very friendly crowd. It appeared I was more than welcome, with several advances and offers of drinks coming my way. Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be the same proportion of smokers in this bar compared to normal gay bars, and the smell of aftershave and wind hung heavy in the air. Everyone appeared to be perspiring profusely.
Could it be me, I thought? However it was not really my scene, and so it was down the hatch with the drink and then off to discover what the “Capricious Man” bar was like.
This was not far from “Blobby’s”, down a back alley behind the shops on the main road. The entrance was a small door that had an even smaller flickering neon sign above it. Having paid the doorman / bouncer / cashier a £5 entrance fee, I made my way up the dimly lit stairs. On opening the very heavily padded pair of green vinyl-covered doors and being immediately assailed by the horrendous volume of the sound system.
I made my way through the haze to the bar. There was no fear of slipping as, with all the drink and chewing gum on the carpet - made visible only by the cobwebbed covered spotlights hung from the jet black ceiling, one’s shoes felt as if they had Velcro attached to their soles.
The place was busy, and it was almost impossible to see the small stage at one end through the mass of bodies stood watching the second-rate drag act, one which was followed later by the almost obligatory stripper sporting a grotesque-looking tool. The more lascivious older clientele, drooling with open mouths, were at the front of the crowd and the stripper was allowing the lucky few to feel his member.
I managed to get a drink from the all-lesbian bar staff. This was a picture in itself, as the well-proportioned buxom wenches leaned across the bar to hear what was being ordered. Often there was a beer pump perfectly positioned between their bosoms and they would envelope the pump, apart from the black and brass top.
Exploring all the corners of this quite large bar, one with a dining area that sold chicken in a basket with chips and nothing else, it appeared to be built over at least six of the shops fronting the main road. Even so there was not much chance of me meeting someone here, I thought to myself. Everyone appeared to be part of a couple or group, and anyway the volume would certainly put a stop to any attempt at conversation. I decided on another drink, and a visit to the loo.
Cautiously making my way across the wet slippery floor to the urinal, I discovered there to be more urine on the floor than in it. Fabulous place were you to be into water sports and kinky for the smell, I thought. The cubicles were no better, with locks that did not lock and huge peepholes big enough to poke all manner of things through. Of course there was no paper, and all the pans were nicely decorated inside with the remnants of the former user’s curry.
Standing there at the urinal quietly doing my business, watching the cigarette butts floating past and briefly helping them on their way with my jet stream, I was joined by a guy who, glancing sideways at me, said, “Hello, have you just moved into our road? My partner and I have seen you about. Weren’t you coming out of Julian and Tristan’s place last week wearing an overcoat with no trousers?”
Well, the upshot of it was that this guy and his partner owned a hotel not a dozen doors away from me. They, as did most of their friends in the trade, kept themselves to themselves in order to fit in with the community without antagonising or threatening them. That way worked really well for them.
After a few more questions he suggested I should go with him and his partner to another bar where we could hear ourselves talk. As a bonus, I was told, there we would not have our elbows sticking to the tables and the ashtrays would not be hidden under piles of dog-ends.
Thank goodness, I thought. Standing there whilst hanging loose was not the most inspiring of ways to have a conversation, especially as so many of the other users seemed to be cross-eyed. So it was a zip-up and a splash across the floor again as, picking up Patrick’s partner Dave en-route (I had learnt their names by now), we made our way out and headed for the Freedom Tavern. My new friends revealed the club we had just left was a great place if you wanted a rent boy or needed to buy some drugs, and the stripper there was usually quite good, but only if you could stand the host, albeit apparently a very nice man, bellowing out his repartee of old show songs and gags that rarely changed.
Not ten minuets walk and we were at the Freedom Tavern, a traditional-looking pub, where with no entrance charge the doorman merely waved us inside. Great, I had already wasted a fiver at the previous place. The main bar area was nicely decorated, and furnished throughout with sofas and small tables. It had discreet and unfussy lighting, with no music - just the hubbub of everyone talking – yet there was hardly a seat empty.
It seemed to be very popular, with a very mixed gay crowd. Apparently the place was always full as it never had any music or entertainment. People went there just to enjoy each other’s company whilst being able to have a conversation. What a great place, I thought. I will definitely come back here again, especially if I get lucky.
Someone at the back of the room was frantically waving over to us, and Patrick and Dave acknowledged them. “Come on, Andrew and Kelly from the Pastel Hotel have got seats for us with the rest of the gang,” said Patrick.
Dodging the elegant glass collectors who were skilfully performing their duties, and emptying the ashtrays, we made our way through the sea of leather seating, all occupied by people laughing and talking animatedly to each other around the coffee tables. My friends introduced me to everyone as the latest newcomer to the area, and I was fired with all the questions of: how was I doing, what did I intend to do, and who did I know already? We were soon joined by another couple, and then by even more people. Suddenly I realised there was a real vibrant gay community here with all these hoteliers and guest house owners, some of them having places much smaller than mine too.
Having related my experiences so far, they went on to tell me they were working on an idea of setting up a small group amongst themselves. They wanted to share advertising costs and to help each other by having an internet site where they could communicate and share information. Nothing formal, they were at pains to point out. They would not have a chairman or a committee, or even members as such, as they wanted to ensure they could invite only those whom they actually wanted. They would each pick up the costs of running it by each in turn paying any costs or bills as they occurred out of their own pockets. Perhaps, when I had finished my refurbishment, I might like to join them, they went on to suggest.
“Are Julian and Tristan going to be part of this?” I asked.
“No,” came the reply.
As they were deemed to sail too close to the wind with their naked art groups, it was felt they might bring the group into disrepute. Seemingly they were not very well liked by those present. Later on David revealed that Julian and Tristan had told a friend of his they had found a mug to part with £200 to take all their rubbish away for them, thus saving them having to pay for the council to remove it. Huge roars of laughter ensued, until I admitted that it was me that had bought it. Then there was an embarrassed silence, but only momentarily, it was quickly followed by more roars of laughter when I showed them I was happy to join in with their enjoyment.
Changing the subject, someone began enthusing over a website they had recently seen which listed all the gay hotels for Blackpool and ran informative articles about the local gay scene, suggesting they should attempt something similar.
“Don’t be silly,” said John from the Adventure Holiday Flats, “Something like that would cost a lot of money to set up, and you would probably need a degree in computing and literature to make it a success. Even if we found someone to do it for us, they would want at least £300 or £400 hundred pounds a year. They might be able to afford that in Blackpool, what with all their chandeliers and grand pianos, but we certainly can’t here.”
I was really excited to be amongst this group, all running businesses and still sharing their free time together. Plans were made to include me in the group, and to invite me to their coffee evenings. They said they would also help me by passing on decent bookings that they couldn’t accommodate themselves. Wow! What a stroke of luck it was meeting this crowd. I feel now that I truly have some friends in the area. The night just flew by and by the end of it, although I had not met anyone I fancied or who was single, I had a really smashing time, and got quite pissed.
There had been the one guy though that caught my eye whilst I was at the bar getting a round of drinks in. He was probably about 25 years old, and was very cute. Sidling up to me, he started talking and seemed impressed when I told him I had a guest house. He had for a long time been looking for someone just like me to share his life with, and together set up a home. At this point my interest picked up.
He was, after all, remarkably cute. He was wearing one of those black net-type vests, tight, really tight, with his nipples cheekily poking through the mesh. The white silk trousers, that I would swear would show even a pimple through, had a slight stain at the front - but never mind, accidents do happen.
Whilst we spoke his hand was on the small of my back, and he was gently moving it up and down from my shoulder blades to the top of my buttocks where gently his wriggling fingers threatened to explore further. I asked him what he did for a living, and he told me he was on disability at the moment, “under a psychiatrist”, because he had a phobia about going into open spaces and crowds, and so subsequently he could not work. Funny, I thought, what’s he doing in here then?
I discovered he was having trouble with his landlord over the amount of rent he owed, plus the landlord was getting rather heavy about his missing television and video recorder that the lad had only sold to Money Converters in order to try and reduce the arrears.
“What more does the landlord want”? he pleaded, before then claiming the council had mucked up his housing benefit. He was gradually coming off drugs, his methadone was being reduced, and he was due to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in a few days time, but for now he was just going to get “well and truly pissed” for one last time.
All he needed was for someone to give him a chance, he explained, telling me then how gorgeous and what a hunk of a man I was, and how he bet I was great in bed too. Throughout all this time his hand had continued rubbing my back, and was now roving further and further a field as with his other hand he grasped mine and pulled it towards his groin.
He did ask if my place had a bar, and then tried to convince me not to give it up, suggesting that if he lived there he could run it for me as he never went to bed before six or seven o’clock. That’s when all the best films on the television ended. He even said that he could do all my cleaning and shopping in the afternoons, when he got up. He was a very devoted type of guy and completely monogamous for the special man in his life. And apparently that was me!
For some reason, although I felt very sorry for him and even lusted after his very cute body, my interest was beginning to flag a tad. Preferring not to pursue this conversation any further, and by now having been served my round of drinks, I told him I had to get back to my friends.
At this point he began to shed a tear, and I wondered: was it the cigarette dangling from his mouth, or the sheer lust for me? He begged me to give him a chance and to let him go home with me, just for the night to see what a wonderful time he could give me - whatever turned me on, he could do it!
After giving him the money for another drink, I bade him farewell and returned to the group. I felt very cruel, and not a little disappointed with myself, that I had not given him my address when he had asked for it. Such a cute, good looking boy - would I regret missing this opportunity of someone so loving and caring who was willing to share my life with me?
When I arrived back at the group, one of them said he noticed I met Shaun at the bar. He was concerned in case I had given him my address, or worse: had arranged to meet him. I soon learned that everyone but everyone had been there, and with some coming away with more than they went with. If he fancied someone, sometimes he didn’t even charge them. Oh, yes - and he was a regular for some of Julian and Tristan’s guests.
Phew! That was a close one, I thought!
Darryl. Copyright ©Chaucer Guest House.
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