#89 was friends with my ex-flatmate Katrina. I knew that he was gay and non-scene and into punk and/or indie, and that was about it. For a couple of years, I’d been saying hi to him when we passed in the street. He generally looked reluctant to acknowledge me, and I wasn’t sure if he actually knew I was friends with Katrina or if he just didn’t want to talk to me or what, and it had become increasingly awkward. Sometimes I would pretend not to see him if I thought I could make that look plausible, but other times it was too obvious that we’d already spotted each other, and I wasn’t willing to blank him so blatantly. I wished I had never attempted to greet him in the first place. It all felt very stupid.
Things changed in the summer of 2000 after the Reclaim the Streets march. The march had ended up on the Meadows where people drank through the evening, and then somehow #81 and I wound up in #89’s flat in Marchmont Street for an impromptu party. #89 and I finally spoke to each other. We discovered that we thought the other was actually pretty cool. We swapped numbers. He lent me a Kathy Acker book that I tried really hard to like but ultimately didn’t. We kissed to celebrate our newfound friendship.
And after that night everything went back to the way it was before. It is now 2009 and I still occasionally see him around town and he still looks like he doesn’t want to talk to me. It continues to be awkward. This is ridiculous.