Different kind of straight? … all the same
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.
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.
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?”
“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.