Thursday, March 05, 2009

Une liaison dangereuse

Side view of Notre DameFor the whole week following the MSN conversation with W, I was looking forward to our rendezvous in Paris enormously. I'd only been back to Paris once since my long weekend there with ex-boyfriend S two years ago, so a visit was long overdue. W warned me that he might have to cancel the trip at short notice because of work commitments, but with everything looking good with two days to go, I confirm our hotel booking and the reservation that I'd made for dinner at a smart restaurant on Saturday night.

When at last my train pulls out of the new Eurostar terminal at St Pancras on Saturday morning I'm feeling very happy, so I send W a quick txt msg:

Bonjour W! My train left on time, and I'll let you know if we run into any delays. A bientot :-), GB xxx

A couple of hours later, just under an hour before I'm due to arrive, I get his reply:

Just got to the Gare du Nord – send me sms when you get here – I am now drinking coffee in the bar on the second floor.

The train is slightly delayed but not massively so, so about an hour later I send him another txt msg:

I should be arriving within the next 5 minutes or so, let me come and find you on the second floor. GB xxx

but his reply makes it even easier for me

Ah, am in the relay bookstore right next to the eurostar arriving lanes

I spot the Relay bookstore as I'm walking towards the platform exit so I turn towards it as soon as I'm past the barrier, and almost immediately a guy comes up to me looking slightly unsure of himself.

"Are you GB?" he asks.

"Yes :-)! You must be W :-))," I reply with a huge smile on my face, "Really good to meet you! Wow, I can't believe that we're really doing this!!"

Looking at him in the flesh for the first time, he's a reasonably attractive guy who's slightly shorter than me and very casually dressed. From the way he looks, I get the impression that he's quite a kind and gentle guy.

"Did you have a good journey?" he asks me, smiling slightly now.

"Yes, it was OK!" I reply, "I guess the delay wasn't too bad! Shall we go and get a taxi?"

The taxi queue is quite short so before too long we're getting into a taxi together. I use my best French to tell the driver where to go.

"Wow, you speak French well!" says W.

"Not really," I confess, "I'm not too bad at simple things like that, but I couldn't hold a real conversation or do a business meeting in French."

While we chat and start to get to know each other, I try to read his body language and assess what will happen later when it comes to bedtime. I'm still keen on my plan to cuddle up to him, but now that he's seen me in person, will he want to put up a barricade down the middle of the bed? Hopefully not, because it would be nice if we're able to get to know each other a bit better :-). Some of his conversation is a bit business-like, however overall he seems very relaxed about the situation, which makes me feel relaxed about everything too.

We arrive at the hotel slightly before their official check-in time, but none the less the room is ready for us so we head up to drop off our bags.

"Actually, this is the same room that I stayed in the last time I came to Paris, which was with ex-boyfriend S," I tell him once we're inside, "I hope you don't mind!"

"But don't you mind? I mean, memories of him? I'm sure they'd have another room!"

"No it's fine, actually I requested this room purely for convenience reasons! This is the best room that's close enough to the lobby to be able to connect to their wifi network, because there's a blog posting that I want to do tomorrow!"

We'd tentatively planned to go and see the exhibition of Yves Saint Laurent's art that was due to be auctioned by Christies the following week, however I also want to go shopping. When we check with the hotel staff though, they tell us that unlike London the major department stores still stay closed on Sundays, so we agree to go shopping immediately and try for the exhibition tomorrow.

"Let's go and get a taxi up to Boulevard Haussmann then," I say, "Printemps is always a good place to start!"

"Just so you know," says W, "anytime you want to walk anywhere, I'll be fine with it. It's nice to see cities on foot sometimes :-)."

"It'll be about a 45 minute walk from here," I reply, "is that OK?"

"Sure, if you know the way?"

I do indeed know the way, and several hours later we arrive back at the hotel feeling quite exhausted. I'd managed to buy a shirt and some nice new Prada shoes, but we'd walked all the way! After Printemps, we'd taken a scenic route back to the hotel via Concorde, then through the Louvre and finishing off with a walk along the Seine.

"Paris is a beautiful city :-)," says W, "but I could really do with some rest. What time do we have to be at the restaurant?"

"Not for a couple of hours," I reply, "so there's plenty of time for a nap :-)".

While I'm checking my new shirt and shoes, W turns on the TV and takes his shoes off so that he can lie on the bed. Soon I join him on the bed, and just for fun, I move over to lie next to him so that our bodies are touching.

"Hmmm, that's cute :-)," says W, without objecting or making any attempt to move away from me.

Once the news program that's on the TV is finished, W turns over to face away from me for a quick nap. Feeling a bit tired too I decide to do the same, and since I'm lying next to him I put my arm round him for a cuddle. Again he doesn't object, so we both lie there dozing together for maybe an hour, before I check the time and realise that we need to get up.

We decide to walk to the restaurant, taking a slightly long way round so that we can stroll across both the Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis. We have a great leisurely meal together, marred only by the fact that the Sommelier talks me into having a 1993 Clos de Vougeot when I'd asked for the 1996, but when we taste the 1993 it seems to be past it's best :-(.

"Do you believe in Conspiracy theories," asks W as we walk back to the hotel.

"No, not really," I reply, "do you?"

"Well, I guess I do a bit."

"But they're often mentally corrosive!" I argue. "If one believes that other people are covertly controlling things, it can make you feel 'How come I'm not more important?', or 'How come I'm not the guy making the decisions?'. Actually there's a South Park episode that neatly sums up my views on this subject :-)."

"You should always base your opinion on the facts," counters W, "I'll give you a web site that's got a lot of convincing evidence on it, then we can have a real debate about it all!"

On the way back to the hotel, we stop off in a gay bar, but after all the travelling and walking we're both feeling quite tired so we decide to hit the sack.

Back in our hotel room, W uses the bathroom first. When it's my turn, I don't take very long, and when I come back into the bedroom I find W lying bare-chested in bed watching TV. I start wondering whether he's wearing any undershorts, or whether he's decided to sleep nude like me. He doesn't take any notice of me while I'm taking off my clothes, but I hesitate to strip off completely because I need to walk in between the bed and the TV on the way to my side of the bed, and walking across the room naked seems unnecessarily exhibitionist. So I decide I leave my undershorts on to walk across the room, but I slip them off at the last minute before just getting into bed :-). Once in bed, I move across to the centre to lie next to him, just like I did earlier.

"What are you watching?" I ask.

"Oh nothing really, I was only watching it while you were getting ready for bed, let's turn it off!"

He turns off the light too, and in the darkness he turns away from me just like he did when he was having a nap earlier, however he manages to maintain a bit of contact with me. I turn towards him, and put my hand round his chest to hold him, and I feel him nestle into my cuddle. We lie there for a while, just enjoying the warm intimacy of the situation, but soon I can't resist feeling his body a bit more. As I'd expected he is wearing his undershorts, and even though I don't put my hand under the fabric I can still tell that he's a man, albeit a tired one. It somehow feels inappropriate to pursue further activities, and in any case I'm feeling tired too, so eventually we both fall asleep.

Throughout the night, there's a lot of body contact between us. Some people find it hard to sleep in such situations, but in fact I much prefer sleeping with another guy and waking up with him :-).

I'm feeling quite awake by the time there's daylight coming round the sides of the curtains, however W still seems to be dozing. Deciding that I hadn't finished exploring his body, I put my arm round him again, and a little later when I feel down to his undershorts there's almost something poking out the front! Slowly I start playing with him, and at first he seems a bit reluctant. However a little later I manage to get his undershorts off, and taking things slowly, eventually things reach their natural conclusion :-). Afterwards we doze a bit more, but soon it feels like time to get up.

"Do you want to have a shower first?" I ask him.

"Um, err, yeah sure :-)," he replies sleepily.

A little later when he comes out of the bathroom, he looks noticeably more relaxed than he did the previous night, and I can't help thinking that it's probably a consequence of the recent activities :-).

With a blog posting to do, W's ready before me, but before too long we're heading out to have breakfast together.

After breakfast, we walk over to the Grand Palais where the Yves Saint Laurent art exhibition is being held. Starting at the front of the queue, we walk for ages attempting to reach the back of the queue, and without doubt neither of us has ever seen a queue so long.

"I'm sure it's a great exhibition," says W, "but we're going to have to wait hours to see it once we've found the back of the queue!"

"Yeah, there are plenty of other things we could do."

We get half-way up the Champs-Élysées before deciding to head back to the Musée de l'Orangerie. With eight big water lily murals by Monet, the Musée de l'Orangerie is one of my favourite Parisian museums.

Emerging from the museum, we take the metro back to within walking distance of the hotel, and find a small café for a late lunchtime snack. And after a leisurely stroll around a few of the neighbouring streets, it's soon time to go back to the hotel to pick up our bags and head off to catch our trains.

"It's been really good meeting you GB :-)," says W in the taxi on the way to the station.

"Yes, likewise :-)," I reply, "we must do this again sometime! Perhaps Amsterdam or Prague next time?"

"Or how about New York?"

Even though he's still in the back of the taxi, he's slightly uncomfortable when I kiss him goodbye. But as he walks off towards the entrance to the station, leaving me in the taxi to go on to my train station, he turns round to wave goodbye to me. He smiles back at me when I smile at him and blow him another couple of kisses.

I think he's got a few personal issues to resolve, because he didn't seem very comfortable with his sexuality, however underneath all that I could tell that he's a good guy. Hopefully the time that he spent with me did him some good. If we're able to meet up again sometime, I’m sure that we'll enjoy ourselves :-).


Godfrey said...

sounds like an awesome trip GB. hope you too can get together again.

Anonymous said...

are you sure it wasn't YOU he was uncomfortable with, rather than his sexuality?.....

Anonymous said...

Um, yes, perhaps he just wasn't that into you? Just saying, like...

mosiaotunya said...

That's the first date of my dreams. Dinner, museums, long walks all while in Paris then back home.

'having an I dislike living in California moments' haha jk

Seemed like a charming weekend get away GB...

Anonymous said...

well that does sound like a very wonderful 'liason'....
it is a shame it was left with a few mixed feelings...however first meetings are often filled with these especially when overawed by wonderful surroundings...i hope we see a sequal!!!!!!

Will said...

Since you glossed over the actual sex, it's difficult to get any reading on any discomfort he may have with his sexuality other than your feeling that it was a factor. Was he an active, comfortable participant? I get a hint of recessiveness about him in your narrative.

Anonymous said...

I have a news flash the guy was not into you. Twice while in bed he turns his back to you. Hello!

GaySocrates said...

Oh dear!
I once traveled all the way from London to Rimini in the South of Italy in response to a 'Lonely Heart' column entry.
Well the entry was mine and the response came in the form of a letter from the Italian Guy.
I was planning a holiday City-Hopping across Europe anyway so decided to include Rimini on the itinerary.
As the moment for us meeting approached I'd built up such huge expectations of the guy that it was doomed to be an anticlimax.
Your liaison dangereuse reminded me of this experience. Although you don't state it directly, I'm sensing an atmosphere of the anticlimactic in your narrative.
After years of holidaying in Paris and Amsterdam, I've come to the firm conclusion that Amsterdam is for sex liaisons and Paris should be reserved for true romance with real existing lovers.
It was maybe asking too much to expect something romantic to spring from a sexual liaison.
This may not have been in your mind but it had been in mine and I was kind of hoping for a nice cheesy happy ending
All the best!

GB said...

Indeed Godfrey , it was a very enjoyable weekend :-).

You're right, first and second anonymous commenters, I can't rule out the possibility that he was uncomfortable with me.

California is a nice place too mosiaotunya, but I think Paris is quite special too :-).

I'll be certain to blog about it if we do meet again, third anonymous commenter.

You must know by now, Will, that I always gloss over the details LOL! As I implied in the post, my interpretation of a lot of his behaviour is that he's not comfortable being gay, and that thought applies to the activities too.

Hello fourth anonymous commentator :-). As I said to the first two anonymous commentators, you may be right!

Luckily Gay Socrates, I didn't go to Paris hoping for a cheesy happy ending! This is real life after all. I guess if we ever meet again it'll be more real, because it won't be the 'blind date' kind of scenario.

GB xxx

SubtleKnife said...

Whatever else you do ;) you better schedule some time for a drink with me if you come to Amsterdam!

A-Philosophical said...

GB, I believe you spent too much time shopping and doing too many tourist activities when you actually wanted to go under and win over the guy. You liked him at first sight. So, in case he has problems with his sexuality or he is a bit timid (like I would in a similar situation) I would rather have spent time trying to get more personal. Then, attach him. And if you could get a bit tipsy better. Judging upon the story you tell you were more interested in shopping and seeing art over getting actually personal with the lad. Think about next time. Who knows?

close encounters said...

"and walking across the room naked seems unnecessarily exhibitionist"

wow - i never got the impression [from the way you speak] that you would consider anything in the privacy of your bedroom to be exhibitionist !!

shame you didn't make it to the YSL exhibition ... glad you had a good weekend, even if it doesn't sound like it will lead to a new bf ...

Anonymous said...

You want to convince your readers that it was a "fun" weekend, but, even your biased story fails to hide that he was clearly not interested in sex with you. You claim to understand body language and yet you tried to get him to have sex. He had "morning wood" and he let you have sex with him, doesn't mean anything. You can blog about this twisted tale but I'd feel disgusted if I were you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a nice weekend. However, how do feel W will feel seeing what you've written about him? He reads your blog and presumably will see this entry. I can't tell whether he's into you or not, but I know I'd be a lot less into you if I saw you'd written that I had issues about my sexuality, however nice a guy you thought me.

Anonymous said...

well did you ever watch that movie he told you about?

Anonymous said...

there is the feeling of a lost connection here... Can you create the perfect hybrid of connecting on a deep level and awseome sex in a first encounter? Expectations about each other and of the adventure itself are partly tied in with ones own fantasy however realistic we are and so we take a step further away from what is likely to happen and ironically what we want to happen. GB seems to have put some thought into making this 'special'. Its hard to detect any thrill or excitement on x's part from the story (You're meeting a stranger in Paris.. come on!)- was he indeed not interested or was it a case of feeling overwhelmed (by surroundings, circumstances, dominance of other) and therefore retreated a little into himself. Although there is a meeting of minds (or you would not meet) there has to be something more for it to be the explosive encounter we were all hoping to read about...unless its just about the sex and it doesnt seem like this was meant to be one of those. It does sound like this could have been alot more interactive without the 'distracting' activities... alternatively creating that 'personal' element whilst emailing before...although that can also put a damper on the mystery element of things. I think it sounds like a good first meeting and there is plenty of room to explore or take it to the next level..see him in Zurich on his home territory ;)