My friend Dean told me today, over coffee, the he’s just split up with his boyfriend James.
“What again?” I say, “This must be like the fourth time?”
“Don’t be like that,” he says, but how am I meant to take his suffering seriously if he doesn’t even try to avoid it himself? I’ve told him that man is bad news. I say nothing more. I mean you cant really slag off the ex boyfriend knowing he might return at any minute like a slutty boomerang, now can you? Anyway, I’ve got nothing left to say about him that hasn’t already been said during the numerous previous break ups.
I blow on my latte and try to look sad and understanding while I think about whether I want a piece of that lemon drizzle cake I noticed on the counter.
“Do you want to talk about it?” I say, hoping he really doesn’t.
“I need to talk to someone.”
“So what happened this time, cheat on you again did he?” I put my cup down and lean forward, all caring like, and he starts to explain.
“I got a text from Barbara a couple of nights ago. She says her brother John, you know, the younger, cute one, just back from Uni, he tells her he’s been chatting to some bloke on Grindr and he really likes him and shows her his picture. She recognised James and thought she’d better let me know. Turns out they’ve been chatting for a while, swapping dick pics, the lot.”
Well, that gets my interest.
“No, Really? What did it look like?” I say, “was it big?”
“How the fuck…? That’s not the point, focus. Anyway I challenged him about it. Asked to look at his phone, see who he’d been messaging.” I pick up my latte then, all nonchalant, and take a sip.
“And… did he show you?”
“No, he said it was just flirting, a bit of fun and he’d delete it off his phone.”
“Is that all? Better than last time then, eh?” I say.
The last time, or was it the time before? I really can’t keep up, James had gone out on the piss while Dean was away for the night. He got wasted and took a bloke home with him. However, being so fucked,he’d forgotten that Dean had recently moved into his place and he’d let the shag stay overnight, only for Dean to come home and find them in bed together the following morning. If that weren’t bad enough, to put the cherry on the gateaux, the shag was one of Dean’s exes. It was all very messy and I honestly thought that would be the end of them. But no, two months later they were back together trying to make it work. I sound a bit negative don’t I? I don’t mean to be, but come on, you don’t expect an episode of Jeremy Kyle to have a happy ending do you. I guess I’m just a cynic. Anyway, he says this time it’s for good, he cant trust him. No shit Sherlock.
“Well it sounds like you want monogamy and he can’t give up the cock,” I say, “And if he isn’t gonna change and you don’t want an open relationship… do you? Have you talked about that?”
“He tried to talk about it once, but It’s just not for me,” he says. Then he starts to cry right there in the coffee shop. I go and grab a handful of napkins and hand them over and he blows his nose really loudly. Like unnecessarily loudly. I look around to see if anyone is staring and I catch the eye of the hot barista, so I give him a shrug and a little smile and I lean forward and pat Dean’s hand, like ‘there, there you’ll be alright’ kind of thing. Like I don’t know he’s already regretting it and thinking of getting back together with him. It’s November for fuck sake, Pride season is over and everyone wants someone to cuddle on the sofa in the middle of winter, even if they are a lying, cheating prick.
He looks over at me after he’s wiped his snotty face and says
“Thanks for being there for me, it really means a lot.”
“Don’t you worry, that’s what friends are for,” I say and he grabs his coat and off he goes to feel sorry for himself and probably figure out how to get back with James while trying to save face.
As he walks out of the coffee shop I pick up my phone and open Grindr. I see James is online. I send him a message and ask if he’s free this evening to come round mine. Well, if Dean doesn’t want him…