|First London Gay Pride March, 1971|
Luigi couldn't get Jason and Keith out of his head. He felt that he was falling in love with the one and in lust with the other. Or was it the other way round? He smiled at his silliness.
After telling them all about Cody he felt better than he'd done for a long time. Their casual acceptance of him, with all his effeminate gestures, his obvious gayness, his complete unstraightness, warmed his heart. After Cody, he'd often felt indifferent to life, even after his deep depression had passed. Life was so pointless, so dull. Nothing seemed to matter. But when he stopped going to the gay help line, too depressed to get up, his colleague Stephen had rung him up and invited himself round for coffee. Luigi had expected pity and a jolly hockey-sticks encouragement. Instead, Stephen had said, simply, after they'd exchange pleasantries, “They need you Luigi. They miss you. You were doing good. That's all we can do, you know, in a shitty world. Try and make it better.”
Luigi had nodded. He'd been close to tears. His grandmother had kept on trying to cheer him up, but though he'd put on a face for her, he'd still not felt right inside. Stephen, though, had jolted him out of his rut. It was no good saying he wouldn't again feel anger or grief or loss, for he knew enough now to know he would, maybe always. So he'd gone back to work, and step by step, things had got better. Talking to Keith and Jason, and being accepted by them had quickened the process.
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