Keith stared down at the linen table-cloth and the shining “hotel silver” cutlery. Then he looked at the array of liquor bottles stored on the shelves behind the counter.
Jason waited patiently,
At last, Keith muttered, “Have you ever wished you weren't gay?”
Jason thought about it. “Well, at the beginning I had a relationship with a bloke at school. It didn't seem such a big deal, in a way. I read this book called The Charioteer which starts with a scene in a boys' boarding school. It's written by, um, …..”
“ … anyway, in it she says something like 'some people are like cattle, which will lick up salt wherever they can find it if they are deprived of it. What she was saying is that with us 15, 16, 17 year olds, we wanted sex, and since we couldn’t have girls, being in a boys' boarding school and all, we were attracted to each other. And it was half expected but by the same token totally expected that after school we would get over it and get married, and most of the men did, eventually.”
“But you didn't?”
“No. But it never seemed 'gay' to me, if you know what I mean. My guy,” and here Jason had to stop and swallow the lump in his throat, “my guy,” he went on, his voice strained, “ he was so straight-acting. He was just a regular bloke who loved me. We didn't go to gay pubs, we didn't sleep around, he had lots of straight friends who knew about us. It was so … ordinary. So I've never felt 'gay'. I mean, I am, but ….” And he thought of Luigi, and decided that he had to see him again, just to tell him the truth about himself.