Andrew Gurza talks about his time on 1 Girl 5 Gays on a recent Disability After Dark. The show was produced by MTV Canada. It was somewhat like The View with the six of them chatting about different cultural and sexual issues in an edited for bitchiest lines way. I do remember watching an episode or two back in the day but not when Andrew was on. I didn’t like the ‘edited for bitchiest lines’ that left these people with personality but little substance.
Andrew explains that each episode was edited down from two to three hours of conversations & he felt that often the most emotional or complex stuff was never used. I wonder how such a show might work today looking at recent events: the predatory nature of wealthy, entitled people of power. Now there’s a shop that Andrew should pitch with him as host.
He also talks about how his disability – the necessity of his chair – kept him off the couch that the rest of the chatterboxes sat together on – and as a result he never felt that bonded with them even after his seven episodes were done. Drinks after the tapings ended up with him on one side of the table and them on the other, or him with the production crew. One thing I learned from a showbiz pal is that good lighting will do more for your career than any co-star. So always bond with the production crew.
I know that non-bonding feeling while yearning to bond though. Often at poetry show, workshops, & other cultural events when you are not one of the smokers, tokers, snorters, or boozers a shadow falls between you and the other there almost as dark as the shadow that separates the MFA in creative writing from the clearly less skilled writers.
The myth of bonding is that it lasts forever, the reality is that it usually merely means years later, when you haven’t seen each other since that bonding experience, you have fond feelings for each other. Listening to Andrew it sounds like he has those fond feelings so perhaps he was more bonded than he thought with his 1 Girl 5 Gays cohorts. Though something tells me Andrew might enjoy bondage even more.
By the time they had worked his way through the several ages of illumination with the man as his companion, Mike was reluctant to leave without saying something to him.
The other man had stopped to talk with two of the guides. Mike didn’t want to stand around. It would be too presumptuous to think there was a reason to speak to some stranger.
Out on the street it was time to go back to the hotel. Which way was that? He’d lost his sense of direction in the twists and turns of the stairs in the museum.
He started to cross the street. No, not this way. He turned abruptly and almost walked into the black man.
“Perhaps I should wear a bell.” the man said.
“You seem to know a lot about lamps.”
“Non. I know it can make a rather dull experience much more interesting when others think you are interested. I get more pleasure out of talking with the … guides. They are so eager to impart. The more they impart the more I know.”
“The more I have to forget. You are right, you did make it more interesting for me”
“As you did for me. Perhaps you would like to dine with me? Robert Etang.” He shook Mike’s hand. He pronounced his name in French Rober.
“Mike Poole. Supper?”
“Yes. I see we are two men alone in a strange city. That is unusual of itself, isn’t it? Unless you have left the wife and kids for this calm.”
“Hardly. I’m not …”
“Yes, I know you are not married. You do not have the harried look of a husband. I could tell. You are, perhaps, as I am, a man who prefers the company of other men.”
Mike laughed. As he laughed the tension he’d felt for the past day melted away. (The stranger) Robert joined him and their laughter echoed along the narrow street.
“I take that you would be delighted to dine with me?”
“Yes Rober I would. But I do have to return to my hotel to freshen up.”
“Take a shower, change my clothes.” Mike often found himself explaining these North American turns of phrase to his ESL students.
“Ah I see. Here is my card.” Robert took a card out of his shoulder bag and wrote him hotel information on it and handed it to Mike. “Will an hour be long enough for you to be fresh with me?”
Mike wanted to say ‘I’d be fresh with you right now.’ But wasn’t ready to explain all the subtleties of the English language.
He glanced at the card. “I’ll call if I’m delayed.”
Mike looked at the business card repeatedly as he walked back to Assoupir. It was a delicious buzz between his eyes. The card hardly seemed real paper. It was from Les Bras D’Or. Another bed and breakfast in the south quarter of the village.
“Robert Etang – Room 206.” was written on the back. “7:15 p.m.”
Rowber A-tange. Rowber A-tange. Mike repeated the name to himself. He had a date! How did that happen? Right place right time? It was so simple. All he had to do was accept and he did. He’d be a fool not too, right? Strangers in the Musee.
Would they have sex? Should they? Would it seem desperate if that happened right off the bat. After all, this was why most people travelled. Single people. Gay men. Sex. Or was the supper invitation merely a way to pass an empty evening?
No, it couldn’t be. Robert’s eyes danced with that knowing invitation. Even when he fresh Mike suspected Robert knew the subtext. More than food was offered. Offered to him by a stranger. Him and a stranger. How had it happened? How?
He was at the front floor of Assoupir. Where was his electronic key? Back pocket. Nope. Fuck he hadn’t lost the key had he? There it was at the bottom of his shoulder bag.
Would half-clad Danes be sprawled in the living room to giggle at him behind their hands as he came in? No. Empty. He went to his room. There was an envelope taped to the door. He opened it in his room. It was his gold pass and a note.
“Sorry about today. I don’t think I can accept this. Thanks for the thought. Sam Degan, 4C.”
Mike put the pass in on the desk. I won’t be able to use it either. I’m dining with a dark prince. Was that racist? The man was black. He couldn’t ignore that. Any man would have excited him. A stranger. A casual meeting and now promise. One night would be enough.
How could he see to it that the men at the b’n’b saw him with his black lover? Teach them a lesson.
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