Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wherein I get a little bit more Will & Grace in my life

Wherein I get a little bit more Will & Grace in my life

"You've come back!" Camp Bookseller says with rather startling excitement.

I get the message immediately that Camp Bookseller's enthusiasm for our return is not so much directed towards me as it is directed toward Breakfast Club Boy. What can I say, clearly the fact that Breakfast Club Boy's red hair co-ordinates with the decor of the Royal Court is working in his favour when it comes to the employees.

"I know which one I want" Breakfast Club Boy says, his decision over which Wallace Shawn play he is to purchase made on account of the discovery that Grasses of a Thousand Colours includes gratuitous use of younger women and centres around Shawn's penis. And people say that I am obvious.

Camp Bookseller, however, is not letting go of the opportunity to flirt that easily.

"Did you like [Aunt Dan and Lemon]?"

Me, I thought it was quite striking in parts but desperately in need of some rather servere pruning. Not to mention the fact that Shawn and I - like Jonathon Swift and I - ultimately see the world differently.

But it is not me whose answer Camp Bookseller is interested in.

There is a pause whilst Breakfast Club Boy considers. 

"Y-es". It's drawn out sounding distinctly, well, Camerican.

Camp Bookseller, however, doesn't seem perturbed by either the hesitation or the accent. 

"And - in one word - what did you like about it?"

One word? This is difficult flirting.

Breakfast Club Boy, not generally lost for words, seems to be struggling. 

"A sentence then" Camp Bookseller suggests achieving a worrying amount of eye contact. I start to wonder if I should leave the two of them alone.

Breakfast Club Boy answers, though I'm not actually listening to the words coming out of his mouth being more preoccupied with how Camp Bookseller is looking at him. And the fact that in this scenario Camp Bookseller has clearly placed me as the Grace to his Will. I refuse to look into the implications of this, especially given the fact that I live with two gay men anyway.

Camp Bookseller changes tack. "So - what do you want it for? A monologue? Acting? Writing? Studying? Directing?"

Momentarily I am distracted from the flirtation by the list. Because, hello, does no one just buy a play simply to read and enjoy it any more?

Breakfast Club Boy pauses and I sense, just for a second, that we are having identical thoughts. Albeit that I am not having to work out which category I'm going to place myself in. 

"If anything - writing" He answers.

"And you've only got the money to buy one?"

Camp Bookseller will be working out Breakfast Club Boy's prospects next. Though if the answer to the previous question didn't point to a life of poverty then I don't know what does.

"Yes, if I want to get home tonight".

Camp Bookseller does not miss a beat. "I don't know - you could take a chance".

MY EARS, MY EARS.

Then, at the moment the subtext has stopped being sub-anything and is now just text, Camp Bookseller suddenly remembers that I exist. It is odd if only for the fact that I too have kind of forgotten that I am actually visible to the man standing behind the counter. I register the flicker of doubt. Excellent, I may not be Grace afterall.

As if to reduce the potential blow, Camp Bookseller looks in my direction as if to suggest that it was me, rather than him, who might have said those words.

I give a look back at him. The kind of look that conveys - Oh no, thank you very much. This is your mess. And I'm not going to be the one to get you out of this. Or even give you absolution by letting you know whether he is straight or gay. I'm mean like that just because this is so much funnier.

All options taken Camp Bookseller accepts that he is actually going to have to sell Breakfast Club Boy the book he said he wanted five minutes earlier. In this upside down encounter selling a product is clearly a failure. Or at least a failure in as much as he hasn't managed to get his phone number into it.

When we finally get into the stairwell the words rush from Breakfast Club Boy's mouth:

"He thought I was gay!"

I do not think it is the place to say that I kind of see why the mis-conception might have happened. I take instead the equally obvious route.

I laugh.

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