Focus is a Dutch prog-rock band I love. I have an mp3 collection with Moving Waves, In & Out of, 3, Hamburger Concerto as well as some of Thijs Van Leer’s solo work. I can clearly recall hearing the amazing Hocus Pocus ‘yodel’ that, thanks to excellent engineering, & stunning guitar work, would bounce around a room, or inside your head if you were wearing headphones.
Similar to British prog-rockers the Nice, or Pink Floyd but less music-hall & more jazz & unexpectedly heavy metal at times. The music was sonically dense, crisply engineered and captivating. Leader Thijs played keyboards & flute & one his solo lps proved to be an accomplished classical musician as well.
The band never did ‘songs’ – there are a few attempts but they lacked a vocalist. Long instrumental suites, sometimes aggressive but usually contemplative. I checked iTunes and they recorded as recently as 2016 so they are still around.
Nearby on the shelf is Foreigner: Agent Provocateur, Unusual Heat. One of those almost super groups with members from other British bands: King Crimson, Stories – this is solid metal rock with blues base & solid song writing. I Wanna Know What Love is is an amazingly emotional piece of work that is unlike most of their work.
The gay guide was mostly in French. He knew the basics: cuir = leather; commericals = hustlers; enough to avoid what he didn’t want. Too bad what he didn’t want was as out of his reach as what he wanted.
He took a quick shower, rinsed his socks and underwear. He lay on top of the bed with a dry towel over his chest. Cool air through the open window tickled his public hair.
What could he do? Should he go down and join the new arrivals? Is that what one did here? Guests mingle at sunset. Without Patrick he didn’t know what was right. But that light was red. He could go down and ask about a restaurant. Or would that make him look hopeless and alone?
He got dressed, made sure he had his room key and walked down the stairs. He stopped at lounge and looked in. Two of the new arrivals were still there. Both appeared to Mike be in their late 20’s. In almost matching jeans. The taller, clean shaven, had very short hair cut the other a head of loose reddish curls and he needed a shave.
The taller of them smiled at him. “Hej, taler du Engelsk. … Sorry I mean English you speak or French.”
“English.” Mike answer. He thought a moment. “Besøg fra Danmark.”
“Ja. Ja. Du taler dansk?”
“Ingen. I have had some Danish students though. I know a few words in many languages. Vaša prva poseta Kanadi?”
“A little Bosnian.”
“You are teacher. Here?”
“Not in Montreal. I teach ESL. (plant this info earlier). English as a second language. I am from Halfiax.”
“Yes. I know Nova Scotia.”
“I am Eluf, this is Tyge.”
Mike shook hands with them.
“We are both from Odense.”
“On your honeymoon?” Mike asked.
“Ingen.” Tyge blushed. “A field trip?” He looked to Eluf to made sure he had said the right thing.
“We are seeing how alternative lifestyles are supported in other countries.” Eluf explained. “For university.”
“Are all of you here on a field trip? I mean when i cam in there were others with you. Here.”
“Ingen. We met them first time. They go to supper.” Tyge said.
“If you are doing nothing you could come.”
“Come! Yes he can come.” Eluf began to laugh. “Come is (some Danish sex slang for shooting off.)”
Their laughter was contagious and Mike joined in. “I would like to dine with you. Coming with you we’ll have to talk about later?”
“Good. Good. Then we can go to the fireworks.” Tyge pointed to a flyer on the wall of fireworks. Mike read it carefully to make sure that it was in fact for a fireworks display and not some bar event.
“Sure. Why not.” Mike said. “You’ll needed warner coats though. Gets cool fast & it’ll be even cooler by the river.”
“Righta said Nutteta.” Tyge playfully punched Mike in the arm.
“I’ll get coats.” Eluf went up the stairs.
“Nutteta?” Mike asked.
“Yes. I give you Danish name. Means … cute. Yes. Nuttet means I can call you cute and only Eluf will know.”
“Thanks, I guess. You think I’m nuttet?”
“That comes as surprise? Yes I forget in America the young gays don’t find experience men … sexy. Not me.” He squeezed Mike’s ass.
“Here is your coat.” Eluf came into the room. “It is much warmer now than when I went upstairs.” He looked knowing at Tyge. “You have been flirting again.”
“Ja. Kan du bebrejde mig?”
“Er han gammel mand nok til dig?”
“Huh?” Mike said as they put their coats on.
“Elug wanted to know if you were mature enough for me.”
“Tyge usually goes for the grandfather.” Eluf laughed. “You are not that old.”
“I’m not sure if I should be flattered on not.”
They walked up to corner of St H and St C. Eluf hailed a cab. The three of them crowded in the back seat with Mike in the middle. Eluf quickly gave the driver an address.
“You know Montreal?” Mike asked.
“Research. He is taking us to Pou-Pou Palais. According to guide it has the best poutine in Montreal.”
“We have never had poutine. I must try it once. You are a fan of poutine?”
“Can’t say that I am.” Mike said trying to stay focused as Tyge’s hand moved along his inner thigh. He was tempted to push the hand away. “Do you have enough room.” He inched away. “Am I sitting on you?”
“Not yet.” Tyge answered with a wide grin. “Would you like to be?”
He and Eluf burst into uncontrolled laughter.
So this is what I’ve been hiding from by being with Patrick. Using our relationship, no it was never than, using our hook ups to be safe.
The taxi pulled up at Pou-Pou Palais. Eluf paid the driver before Mike could offer. It more a take out restaurant with only two large round tables for sitting. Each table could seat ten. Mike explained as best he could the tables where shared. That strangers would often sit together to eat.
The menu boasted “soixante-dix-sept variétés délicieuses.” He scanned the lists which were organized by main toppings. Each type had its own number. Plus you could “crée le tien” by picking your own toppings. He wondered if there was a salt free option. He watched as another customer picked up their order. It was huge. The fries were dripping with dark gravy, on top of which was chunks of bacon and what appeared to be avocado and beans.
The Danish guys both opted for the traditionnel. Mike ordered the Grec that added gyros meat and replaced the gravy with tzatziki. It would be almost healthy.
For some reason the food silenced Eluf and Tyge. They took photos as the chef prepared their meals and of the finished product. After their first few bites each typed in notes on their cell phones. He expected them to take pictures of each other next. But they didn’t.
“You have enjoyed your pou-pou?” Tyge asked him. “Oh you do have the rich sauce. It is very nice.” He dipped a finger into the tzatziki left on the bottom of Mike’s bowl. “Mmm … comes alive in the mouth.”
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