Existential Angst at the Tesco Express

I was in a Tesco Express the other night buying myself a selection of junk food – BBQ Beef Hula-hoops, Quorn pasty, a Frijj milkshake.

When I noticed another guy who had a similar vibe to me – beard, long hair – but he was around ten years younger. He was buying similar stuff too: Monster Munch, a BLT, Lucozade.

I did a little eyebrow raise of recognition to him, kind of like if you see someone else wearing the same piece of clothing. Or like when bus drivers doing the same route in opposite directions acknowledge each other. I then thought nothing further of it.

It was only when I was outside I realised that he probably looked at me and my basket, and thought “that could be me in ten years time, if I don’t get my act together”.

Coming Out Story – a vignette

You’re a nice boy – you’ve always made mum proud.

There’s something you’ve got to tell her though. She’s always known you’ve been the shy and sensitive type, you were never really into sports at school, you played the clarinet. She knows that you and Harry have lived together since you met at uni in a student production of Little Shop of Horrors, but she seems to think the two of you are just very close.

So when she’s visiting you – her only son – in the big city, you take her to one of the nice (gentrified) pubs in your neighbourhood on a Sunday afternoon.

You sit in a quiet corner in the dining section. Roasts and a bottle of the house red have been ordered. You look at her meaningfully,

“Mum, i’m gay”

At that moment, the barmaid rings the last orders bell. Rainbow glitter rains down from the ceiling over your table. The Vengaboys’ signature hit Boom Boom Boom Boom starts blaring over the sound system.

Two oiled up bodybuilders in jockstraps and leather harnesses arrive out of nowhere and gyrate in front of you both.

TV presenter Anna Richardson emerges, drapes a pink feather boa around your neck, and congratulates you on being the 1,000th person to come out to their mum in that pub.

Richardson and the bodybuilders disperse, the music stops – as abruptly as it started. The waitress comes over with your roasts. When she brings the bucket full of condiments, she points out two bottles of Berlin XXX Hardcore poppers nestled between the mustard and the HP sauce.

“On the house” she says, with a knowing smile.