Last week I wrote about the pitfalls of fancying your friends. But what about those other taboo areas of flatmates and colleagues?
Lesbian house shares in particular have always had a certain frisson. The adverts in the first place state that ‘professional lesbians’ are sought. Well, if I’m professional at being a lesbian, doesn’t that make me some kind of hooker? When I moved into a North London lair 12 years ago after my first big break up, I had an immediate electric attraction to one of the others. An actress and musician, she seemed to have more in common with me. She also had a girlfriend.
So when I went to great lengths to bring another fling back to the house to throw her off the scent, imagine my surprise when she burst into my room, whipped her top off and wanted to join in. I politely asked her to leave but knew I didn’t really want her to. The next day was confusing to say the least. We spent hours reading each other entries from the phone book to make each other seem really boring and non-alluring, before we eventually gave in to the inevitable earth shattering kiss. We never did anything more than kiss. But we kissed a lot when our two other flatmates were out at their day jobs, and had secret midnight feasts by torchlight. She also used to play the piano and I would lie next to her enraptured, a sort of Harvey Keitel to her (less mute) Holly Hunter.
Of course, this eventually was a path to heartbreak and despair for me as I found myself falling in love while she went back to her girlfriend and distanced herself from our fling. I was eventually ejected from the house Big Brother-style when I wrote an ill advised thinly veiled blog about it under a pseudonym.
I think I’m safe now as I have lived on my own ever since.
A previous house share where I had been the compulsory token gay (it was Islington, everyone wanted one) had included a beautiful French woman with a certain androgynous quality. She wore a really butch suit to go to her city job, and her breakfast was always coffee and a baguette ripped viciously in two with a Galaxy or Dairy Milk shoved roughly inside in a very lewd and sexual motion. I have no idea if she did it to provoke me but she did always seem a little intrigued when my gay friends visited.
And finally when I was fairly new in London, I got myself a traineeship on a radio show and had an affair with one of the presenters a good few years older than me. I knew from the frequency of mentions of her ex and how handy it was that I lived on the 19 bus route, she wasn’t really that into me. But I got to queue jump with her at Duckie and all the best club nights and have some fun.
The downsides were that I potentially muddied a good professional opportunity… and I ruined my A – Z by ripping out the page on which she lived because I wanted to arrive at our first dinner date unencumbered by any baggage, lest she think I had pretensions of moving in. Eventually this scrap of map fell from my pocket as I de-robed, making me look even weirder.
I think I’m safe now as I have worked on my own ever since.
Image via x-ray delta one's Flickr