On the morning of my birthday, we awoke to the thud of wildebeest migrating across the floor of the apartment above us. It coincided with the thud of wildebeest migrating across my forehead. We dragged ourselves out of our pit and wandered into the sunny run-down wilderness in search of comfort food. We found it at Jimmy’s bar and availed ourselves of generous Jimmy’s ample portions. The rest of the afternoon was spent in a semi-coma around the cool pool. Around us, there was an excitable coach party, in from Maastricht. It turned out to be the same rowdy herd who disturbed our slumber by clog-hopping across the floor. Why didn’t I pack my elephant gun? As I nodded off in the shade, Liam slipped away and when I returned to the apartment, I found it decorated with Canarian-style birthday paraphernalia. A cartoon banner was draped across the balcony and a mini chocolate slice was topped with eight multi-coloured candles. We toasted my old age with a glass of plonk Liam had picked up at the local market, a steal at 65 cents a litre (yes, 65 cents), though I admit it could have doubled up as oven cleaner. Once Liam had put a smile on my face, he then took advantage by sitting on it.
Rested, rinsed and sporting a post-coital glow, we headed back to the brothel in our best gay-about-shopping-mall outfits. Even at our age, we scrubbed up rather well. We drank, we ate, we drank some more. Meals on the rock are more ‘hearty’ than haute cuisine. Liam’s steak was the size of the Isle of Wight and I was served up half a sow stuffed with Brie. As we sucked on our after-dinner woos-woos, we watched the congregation of happy gays weaving around us; young and old alike, same sex couples of all genders and hues holding hands, laughing and loving. The security guards looked on in amusement. They were there, not to harass, but to keep us safe. I wonder what General Franco would have made of it?
We bar-hopped the night away before agreeing on a final snifter or two at Coco Loco, a raucous dance and video dive. Everyone was in a merry mood, fuelled by the cheap duty-free triples coursing through their veins. Cabaret was provided by a lithe young thing whose skimpy gold lame shorts gave his religion away. He rode the dance pole like an old pro and shook his booty like Beyoncé. As we meandered through the exotic hubbub, Liam was being stalked by a tall dark stranger, a man whose snout was so large he could have snorted Colombia. I too had an admirer. My foreign paramour was a drunken vision in denim with a face that could grate Parmesan. Liam, ever competitive, leaned over and whispered, “Don’t think much of yours.”
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