A personal taste of Nelson de Gouveia

Debunking the Public Perception - Sitting by a bar with a friend

in Life by

Let's set the scene; I pick up my friend from a section of Voortrekker Road in Bellville and head up to Durbanville to the Meraki Bar.

We both enter, greet the door lady stating we're comedians, then we head to the bar, order a few drinks, share a box of cigarettes and look over our notes.

"You think people will show up?" I ask.

"Are you kidding? It's Meraki." he retorts, before taking a drag, blow smoke up in the air and looks down at his notes.

The promoter ambles by. "Hey guys, we're ready for tonight's show?"

We look over into the venue and see the one table occupied by some "youths" cracking jokes in Afrikaans. "Yeah, we're as ready as we'll ever be."

But the point of this story is not what you think.

Another week rolls by and I'm back at the same venue, aiming to try out some new material. I'm seeing someone new, so I invite her to join me in the experience of dating a some-time comedian, and as we enter I introduce her to the promoter.

"Hey, this is ########," I begin.

He flashes his smile. "Hey, how's it going? I've heard so much about you, welcome to the show."

I lead her to a table to sit down further towards the back and I head over to the bar to order a few drinks. The promoter's girlfriend.

"She's lovely," she remarks, a big smile on her face. We both know my history of relationships and how this one is a massive improvement over the emotional mess that preceded it. "You know what though, some of the people here thought you were gay."

I blink. "What?"

"Yeah, remember when you pitched up with ###### last week and sat down with him? They thought you were a couple."

How nice, it seems. Due to my demeanour and my friend's obvious sexual stance, the assumption was immediate; I must be gay and that cannot be any question, and that raised a giggle.

It's not really anyone's fault except for those with a genuine lack of an open mind. I condone anybody's sexual choices, not to mention the way they project their personality. But somehow I have to question the perception I offer to people, that I lean pretty much more towards a "manly" homosexual, and not a straight male, although you can mistake me more for a feminine bloke that COULD be dating someone.

But those that make the mistake of my orientation, my heart bleeds for you. If only you were brave enough to ask, if only you were intelligent enough not to make the immediate assumption, you would find out that I'm not gay, and my friend is, and we're ok with it. We can still by a bar and smoke cigarettes, because you do that too.

Or was it because we were writing love-notes to each other by the bar?

He procrastinates like crazy, has little friends and a blog with no traffic. All in all, he's doing well if he's at least breathing.

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