First of all, a big thank you to my fans out there. After last week's disturbing revelations a number of concerned readers wrote in to offer emotional support, condolence and the services of their utterly-gorgeous-yet-strangely-single gay friends. Well, actually, that's a total lie. None of you bastards did anything of the sort, but I live in hope. The usual post box address please.
I can, however, offer some solace for those who felt a pang at my predicament. For although I've yet to reset the clock, this week I was able to dull its tick and kill its tock (self-congratulatory note to self; I love the subliminal spoonerisms HW. You are so wonderfully clever).
For this reprise I have to thank Pushy Yoga Lady. Every Wednesday she takes Straight Best Friend, The Midget Boy and I and yells at us until we have attained zen as Floating Didgeridoo, Kicking Lotus Cat and Unfortunate Curry Stain. Even better we pay her for the pleasure, the idea being that in return we will achieve wonderful posture and a lifetime free from muscular pain. The reality is quite different; all I seem to achieve is a pool of sweat so deep you boil potatoes in it.
This week Pushy Yoga Lady decided that we were going to do a group exercise which required us to pair up with people of similar height. Straight Best Friend and The Midget Boy teamed up instantly, abandoning me to the ruthless vagaries of heightism. None of the ladies wanted to couple up with the creepy guy who looked like he'd been for a swim in his yoga kit, so as the class paired up it became apparent that I was going to be left with Hot Rugby Thug. So annoying.
I paddled my way over to him, with a look of alarm crossing his Neanderthal features, as Pushy Yoga Lady began the exercise.
Pushy Yoga Lady: “Right, we're doing the same routine we did last week but this time we'll do it back-to-back with your partner. The idea is that as you bend and twist - reaching one hand to the ceiling and the other to the floor - you'll touch hands, legs and arse with your partner so that you know you're straight. If you're bent, you'll push your partner over and have to start again.”
HW: Bent as a butcher's hook and lovin' it. Ready when you are, big boy.
I assume the position and dutifully press my hands, legs and arse against his. I am, if nothing else, a thoroughly conscientious student.
Hot Rugby Thug (looking nervously towards the door to check no one is watching): “Oh man, this is so gay.”
HW: “Mmmm hmmm.” Oh sweetheart, you have no idea.
We stretch in tandem while bent over, making a kind of 'x' formation with our arms and legs. It's actually quite difficult, and to my distress I have to press my hips firmly against his to maintain my balance. Imagine, if we fall over we'll have to keep on doing this again and again and again and again and again until we get it right. The idea is thrilling.
Hot Rugby Thug: (Grunting) “Dude, this is quite hard isn't it?”
HW: “Mmmm.” It's not the only hard thing around here, honey. Oh, I crack me up.
Pushy Yoga Lady: “Right, now I want you to really stretch. Those of you with tight hamstrings, this is going to hurt.”
Hot Rugby Thug: (Wincing) “Great. Gay AND painful.”
HW: “Mmmm hmmm. Imagine that.”
By this stage I'm quite relieved that my excessive sweating is cleverly disguising the drooling, and that I can pass off my clammy palms as normal exertion, rather than the fevered excitement of a man who's recent sexual highlight was an amusingly shaped croissant at Sainsburys.
We master position A and then move on to a more complicated position B, which is similar but involves an alarming straddle technique. I am suddenly fearful my dignity may not survive the session intact, and resort to imagining Obama losing the 2008 presidential election to save the situation. It works every time.
A few minutes later we complete the exercises and go back to our singles work, accompanied by grins from Straight Best Friend and The Midget Boy. I am spiritually up-lifted, physically rejuvenated and feeling absolutely fucking filthy. It's about bloody time.