The other Spaniard

by whatsthatyousaymrsrobinson

Last Friday a young Spanish man, a friend of ‘my’ Spaniard, asked if he could sleep with me. He asked so nicely it seemed churlish to refuse.

‘My’ Spaniard (who is, full disclosure, half WASP) had invited me to come and stay in her family’s lake house in the Berkshires, as a thank you for putting her up in New York. When she said lake house what she actually meant to say was multi million dollar estate sprawling over several acres. The main house was built by her great grandfather in the thirties and designed by an architect whose name you would know.  It is quite simply exquisite. The balustrades are designed like trees and have openings in which flowerpots can be placed. The living room has a Juliet-style balcony for a band. For, you know, those parties where it’s absolutely essential to have a band. There are several cottages on the property, each more cunningly designed and more adorable than the last.

I was one of thirteen guests, and the crowd was accomplished, smart, and funny. They had the droll, relaxed banter of people who’ve known each other for years and heard all of each other’s jokes.

My fellow guests were also, to lift a phrase from P G Wodehouse, impressively dedicated to the pleasures of the table. Saturday’s dinner ended at five on Sunday morning. One guest made ice cream sandwiches. From scratch.

Adding to the Gatsby-esque unreality of it all, on Saturday evening three other friends who were staying on the same lake, motor boated over, James Bond fashion, for cocktails. The jokes about wetsuits and dinner jackets were probably not worthy of us.

I have loved the Berkshires for many years. I spent a lot of time there with my husband, so my old friend pain was the fourteenth guest that weekend. In New York my divorce is not news, somehow it seemed newer and fresher out in the country. I could feel the phantom limb once more. I felt set back.

But as T E Laurence said, when asked what the trick was to being able to hold his hand over an open flame; “The trick is not minding that it hurts.”

I tried not to mind that it hurt.

And at least I didn’t have to sleep alone. I had the other Spaniard to sleep with me. The arrangement worked so well the first night so we repeated it on the second. Two nights. One man.

We had taken the train up together and my friend had collected us from the station was showing us the house. The other Spaniard had been allocated a single bed on the ground floor and I was to share a double bed with another female guest upstairs.

The other Spaniard looked at the bed and shook his head. “I can’t do this,” he said.

Our hostess looked puzzled. It’s a beautiful room with a full on view of one of the more exclusive lakes in north west Connecticut. It had the cutest little en suite bathroom with the original 30s fixtures in avocado green.

“I can’t sleep alone. I’m afraid of the dark,” he said. “It’s very dark in the country.”

We went upstairs to my room. “This is much better,” the other Spaniard declared. “I would like to sleep with you,” he said to me.

I shrugged said sure. The other Spaniard is gay. 

I am sleeping with fully grown gay Spaniards because they are afraid of the dark.

Yes sir, going to heaven for a very long time.