Different kind of straight? … all the same

different kind of straight, it's all the same river

Before God, we are all equally wise, and equally foolish. Albert Einstein

Half an hour before my meeting and I’ve time. Who’d have thought I’d discover a different kind of straight? Time for a coffee. I drop into a favourite café in Edinburgh.

Human Encounter

The bell on the door rings as I enter, the boss glances up, nods, and returns to some writing. His assistant smiles at me with her usual bright warmth. I arrive at the end of the counter where the boss scrutinises me. A friendly smile brightens his handsome satyr face, framed by thinning dark hair and a neatly trimmed, pointy, greying beard. Coal-black, round-framed spectacles magnify his liquid brown eyes.

I stop, “how’s it going?”

“I’m an unhappy queen today.” There’s a glint in his eyes.

”What’s up?”

When it’s not always raining …

“People like me have days like this.” He shakes his head in mock-emotional, effeminate anger.

“Don’t we all?” I turn to his assistant and order a large Mocha. Our eyes lock and our connection of several years—and many coffees—tunes in, vibrant once more. I nod towards boss-man; “I better clear the area.” My hosts giggle.

Down two steps into the back room, I find a table. My Mocha soon arrives, and, after a brief chat with my hostess, I sit back, look up, and see those brown Greek eyes gazing at me over the frame of his reading glasses. “What have I left off my list?”

“What list?”

“My cash and carry list.” I sit, bemused. He raises his head rather like a humorous, dangerous gay-queen cobra.

“Haggis,” I say, he laughs: after all it’s a Greek café. I nod, “and Scottish sliced-sausage.”

“I’ve never had a good bit of … sausage in Scotland.” Magnified eyes await my response.

He gazes at me. “Now I know how a polar bear feels at the zoo.” He and his barista laugh …

The banter goes on until the café door shuts with a bell-ring behind him.  A gentle thought grabs my attention. Why would many people say Mac is straight, yet my Greek host isn’t?

A different kind of  “straight”

Walking along the street towards my appointment, I make some connections.

  • Tomorrow my wife and I are meeting friends, a lesbian couple
  • There is a transgender person I have begun to know via social networking, as she copes with loads of emotional pain, owning and becoming who she is
  • There’s my Greek friend, out, loud, proud in his café

These three, with me (a heterosexual, alpha-male) could hold hands and march together. We are ourselves, that makes us straight, not bent, not by any stretch of the imagination. This is my kind of straight, a consistent kind of straight.