Monday, March 28, 2016


Maybe it was when I hit the snooze button, not once but four times, on Saturday morning, a lingering jet lag as the acceptable excuse. I would end up arriving at Hyde Park twenty minutes late for the gay running group.

Perhaps it was two nights earlier after logging in to Manhunt and changing my location to Kensington only to check back and find no messages. Not even a record of profile views.

I suspect it was earlier, maybe even on the first day as I wandered in and about Harrods, realizing I wasn't registering as the new kid old man in town to, well, anyone.

Hell, the moment may have even come before taking off from YVR as I spotted two gay couples boarding and sensed quite strongly that that wasn't my lot. At least not in the foreseeable future. I tried to swat away any defeatist thinking. Your Stella moment awaits! Get your groove back! Or, if you never had it, then just get it. And, if not a full-on groove, a slight indentation. A back scratch.

Whenever it was, it was blessedly early on. Any notions of finding a prince in this land of palaces, a Mr. Right or Mr. Slightly Left of Centre evaporated along with any sighting of that notorious London fog.

Whether I view it as pessimism or realism (even self-preservation), abandoning any hope of a romantic interlude proved a good thing. Shaking off all expectations, I felt complete freedom. Isn't that how a vacation is supposed to be? No goals, no agendas. Seeing what I see. Not seeing everything else. (Oh, why would I ever want to go to a wax museum?!)  The only man I had a conversation with was a daft Scotsman who'd just witnessed a woman stumble on a raised portion of a sidewalk near Trafalgar Square. As had I. Unfortunately, he needed to debrief this exciting event and chatted me up for two long blocks as I politely nodded--in part, I struggled with his accent--before I got wise and asked for directions to a place I'd just passed. Complete U-turn and I was safely all alone once more.

A vacation for an extreme introvert like me mutes all the people, single and otherwise, and allows a closer pondering of the lone black swan in the pond at Hyde Park, of the utter nonsense of being a boy king and of the lives lost while building the fanciful Tower Bridge. I leave London still single but feeling a greater sense of inner peace.

Bloody hell. Maybe Stella got 'er groove back after all.


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