The Pocket Piece, Part 4
The Pocket Piece, Part 3
French Fred and I followed Jim out of Bromptons, Fred's hand in my back pocket. Outside, there were a few minutes of confusion as I tried to figure out exactly where French Fred and I were going to fuck. Jim stood a polite ten feet away, smoking.
'So, um....where do you live?' I asked.
'No, I mean where in London are you staying?'
'Ah! Glphem blrr roos klxzbu.'
'Um, is that near Soho?'
French Fred shook his head vigorously, and tugged my sleeve, indicating a waiting taxi.
Jim called over, 'I hope you know where you are going!'
'Nope. Not a fucking clue.'
'Watch out, he probably lives in Ploughsbury-On-Thames!'
Ploughsbury-On-Thames was a fictitious place name that Jim used whenever we seemed to be lost in London. Where does this train go? Oh, Ploughsbury-On-Thames. Where in the world are we now? Must be Ploughsbury-On-Thames.
'Do you think I can bring Fred back to our place?'
Our place was a rented apartment above the 24-hour Burger King in Leicester Square. My roommate back in San Francisco (who was English) had found it for us, through a friend of his. It had two bedrooms, a bath, a living room and a full kitchen. It was fairly priced, and despite the fact that its location was the London equivalent of living above the Ramen Cup-O-Noodles sign in Times Square, we had quickly grown to appreciate its convenience to the clubs, shops and tube station.
Jim shook his head, 'Honey, that's up to you. You know I don't care, but what about Ken?'
Ken was my ex. We'd been together for seven non-consecutive years in the 80's, and continued to live together right up until I moved to San Francisco. Ken visited me there often, and we both had very, ahem, active social lives, we just never flaunted tricks in each other's faces.
Somehow, I communicated to French Fred to come with us, and we all walked back over to the Coleherne to pick up Ken and Ed for the ride home. However, the Coleherne was closed, only a few stragglers remained outside, desperate remnants of the sidewalk sale that every gay bar in the world has after it closes for the night.
We took a cab back to Leicester Square. I steeled myself for a possible confrontation with Ken over French Fred, but Ken and Ed, those cheap tramps, were still out somewhere. Jim sweetly pulled the covers off of his bed, and sacked out on the couch in the living room, leaving our bedroom to French Fred and myself.
Fred sat on my bed, smoking and smoking looking. We undressed facing each other and I felt uncharacterically nervous, and spent a few minutes wasting time by pawing through my cds and selecting something to set the mood. Finally, I clicked off the lights and laid down beside Fred. The windowshade scarcely blocked the riot of flashing lights out in Leicester Square.
Outside in the hall, I heard Ken and Ed roll in. They were clearly smashed.
Fred saw me listening intently to the discussion between Ken and Jim, and jerked his head towards the door with a questioning look.
'Oh, that's my ex-boyfriend.'
'BOYFRIEND!' Fred exclaimed, bolting upright. That was one English word he DID know.
At that moment a loud crash, followed by cursing, came from outside the door. I found out later that Ed had drunkenly tried to pull his suitcase off of the closet shelf and it had sprung open and its contents rained down on his head.
Fred leapt off the couch and dove for his pants, jumping up and down as he wriggled in the leather.
I tried to calm him, 'No! No! It's OK! He's just my EX boyfriend! My EX!'
Fred started shouting at me. 'Gbmel brros rmmrow! No! NO!'
The guys must have gotten worried from all of Fred's shouting, because one of them knocked on the bedroom door.
'Joe! Is everything OK? Joe?'
'Everything is FINE. Go away! You are SCARING my friend!'
Wrong answer. Because that just made them think it would be REALLY hilarious for ALL of them to start knocking on the bedroom door.
'Joooooooe! Joooooooe! Are we scaring your friend? Viva la France! Frog legs! FROOOOOG LEGS!'
That really sent French Fred over the edge. He pulled on his boots and his jacket, and rushed over to the window and started tugging on it. Jim and I had been unable to open the window all week, deciding that it was probably painted shut. Fred strained at the sash, the veins in his neck going purple .
I tried to calm him, 'Please! Fred! Really! It's OK! It's FINE!'
Fred ignored me and put his shoulder to window and tugged.
The knocking on the door stopped at the precise moment that Fred's shoulder went through the window, sending chards of glass sailing down to the to the cobbled alley.
A moment of terrible silence. Fred looked at me helplessly. Someone opened the door cautiously, and Ed stuck his head in.
'Hi honey, what's going on?'
I looked at Fred, then at Ed. Peering over Ed's shoulders were Jim and Ken, with anxious expressions.
I turned on the light. Fred was frozen where he'd broken through the window.
'I guess we better find some bandages.'
-to be continued-