Sleepless in Vancouver

JOHN: How do you do it man?

RUGGED FOX: Do what?

JOHN: Crawl into bed with these gorgeous women time and again? What is your secret?

RUGGED FOX: It’s really quite simple John, you just can’t touch them. Cause as soon as you do, it’s all over.

Life in a bachelor is one living plan that definitely has its perks. With a zero-month contract on a roommate, there is never any question as to whose turn it is to take out the garbage or clean the dishes overflowing in the kitchen sink. Other benefits included in the package are: free evenings and weekends to yourself, unlimited peace and quiet, and no additional charges for roaming around the apartment naked. However like any plan that sounds too good to be true, there are most certainly hidden costs. And written in the fine print of my contract, is the price I pay for living alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike living with myself. As far as I am concerned, the prospect of returning home to an empty apartment after a hard day’s work pumping out caramel macchiatos, is almost as delicious as the thought of eating extra olives with a dry gin martini. However, there are the occasional nights when this is not the case; and it is during these times that the sight of an empty mattress can be just as devastating as getting up from the couch only to discover the bottle of red on the kitchen counter is empty. It is in these moonlit moments that I am most likely to get in trouble, because I will do anything to keep from coming home.

Now I know what you’re thinking at this paragraph, and that is that, ‘gee Fox, you are a fabulous gay man, a fabulous smoking hot gay man that is, shouldn’t you just bring home a different boy each night of the week like every other gay man out there to fix your problem?’ And the answer is no. No I should not; because contrary to popular belief I am not that easy, and apart from that I have an irrational fear of syphilis. So, instead I take the hole less traveled, and either (a) try to convince the bartender last call is really just a suggestion or (b) dial up one of one my friends in the middle of the night pretending it’s not three in the morning.

Case in point: last Friday night.

After getting off work early, I invited my girlfriend Elle over to watch the first season of Sex and the City and drink the rest of the wine I had leftover from the night before. Elle is a twenty-first century power woman who is fiercely independent, crazy smart, and looks to die for in a Mad Men shade of red lipstick. Settling in to what was supposed to be a quiet evening, I poured us both a glass of wine, pressed play on the DVD player, and prompted a serious discussion on what matters more: length or girth (more on that later). However, one bottle of un-oaked Chardonnay and 46 minutes of Carrie Bradshaw-with-exposed-roots later, our low-key night called a cab and jumped about eight octaves higher.

Stopping at the nearest gay village (my choice), in less than ten minutes the two of us went from the kitsch of my apartment to the rainbow-flagged streets of downtown Davie. Pulling open the metal-rimmed glass doors to 1181, a chic bar/lounge where the bartenders always seem to forget their shirts, we walked into our very own episode of the HBO classic. Filled to the brim with homosexual men, the two of us breathed in the smell of pretentiousness as we weaved our way to open spot at the bar. Throwing my boyfriend VISA down on the vodka-stained counter like I could actually afford it, I started a tab with the two pecs in front of me and suggested to Elle we take our glasses to the back, where there was better lighting for my skin.

Sitting down beside a tripartite of fabulous lesbians, the five of us spent the rest of the evening talking, dancing and making fun of the people we were most jealous of - k maybe I was the only jealous in our party, but whatever. Everything was fine and dandy until the night began to wind down and it was clear I had drank six glasses of wine too much for an empty stomach. Feeling the lights would soon be turned on and I would have to go home, I began to panic. Home meant a dark apartment with me drunk inside of it trying to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Home meant having to set the alarm for morning in order to drag myself to work. Home meant the biting reality that I would have to go to bed alone, and at that moment in time, that was the last place I wanted to be.

And so, determined to sleep in someone else’s bed, I looked at the options under 40 before me, and decided to whip open my cell phone instead. Dialing the only person I knew who would still be awake (God bless servers) I was filled with delight when she picked up on the other line. Bidding adieu to Elle, who was off to meet her own after-hours man downtown, I caught a cab for Gastown and met Joy at the front door of her loft. Equipped with an extra pair of pajamas for when I arrived, she poured me a night-cap filled with water on the rocks, showed me to a toothbrush in the washroom, and readied a spot for me on the bed.

It’s funny how life seems to work out sometimes. As it turned out, neither of us wanted to crawl (or in my case fall) into bed alone that night. So it worked out well that she just happened to have her phone on while I just happened to be drunk down the street. Drifting off on the mattress next to her, I remember savoring the moment of what it felt like to have someone lying beside me, because I knew the next time I opened my eyes I’d have no clue where I was or how I got there.