- Vol. 06
- Chapter 07
I don’t remember the year exactly, but I was still living in Scotland, in Edinburgh, so it must have been the early nineties, ‘91 or ‘92 maybe. I was just turned twenty, only a year or two since I’d first begun to… Well, you know.
Like so many who shared my affliction, my illness, some would say, I’d felt the first stirrings in my late teens and, so far so cliché, these had within a short time been confirmed following a brief but intense experience with a teacher thirty years my senior. Of him, the man, I remember little. Time’s rendered him no more than a shadow of threadbare tweed and stale tobacco, looming over me while outside, in the schoolyard, the voices of my friends oblivious as they larked their way homeward. Why he chose me I couldn’t say. ‘Suppose they just know, don’t they, from experience. For I was under no illusions that I was his first, nor that what he had done was as new and as momentous to him as it had been for me.
Nevertheless, he’d done it. Without shame he’d revealed to me his passion. Turned me from a healthy minded schoolboy into what I had always suspected I was, deep inside, yet hoped might be no more than a passing phase, just plain adolescent confusion. But soon I was harbouring a fleet of shameful fantasies, about men mostly, though gradually women would sometimes creep in too. It didn’t matter whether they were old or young, or even dead. I was for so long ashamed to admit such a thing, but often it was the dead ones that excited me most. I couldn’t get enough of them, would sneak them into my bed where, captivated by their ghostly voices, I’d bury myself deep within their embrace till the small hours forced sleep.
It didn’t take long for them to find out. At first I thought they understood, accepted that despite my differences, my unnatural desires, I was still me, still one of them. But no. I don’t wish to dwell further on that aspect, but that’s how I came to be in Scotland, finally happy and out. In Edinburgh I could be who I was, and proudly so.
There was this café I frequented there, a haven for people like me — like us — where for the price of a cup of tea we could practise our perversion all day long. Every inch of wall was lined with shabby shelves bowed with the weight of brown earthenware bowls, pitchers and pots. I remember a young woman who used to sit by the window scribbling at her notebook, her name was Joanne-something — I forget now. One day she said, as we shared a fruit slice, that all those ornaments, pots, jugs and what-have-you, had given her an idea for a magical children’s story. The hero would be a boy called ‘Harry The Potter’.
I often wonder if she ever finished it.