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  • Arriving to visit the boy I will call Chanson, I realised I was not going to well-heeled Chelsea, but Earl's Court, an area known for cheap hotels, Australians and a certain type of poorer gay. Moreover, the house was a long walk from the Tube and on one of the no-stopping Red Routes that blight many areas of this city and accessed by crossing several more.
    Chanson opened the door. He was 20, 6' 4", with very dark brown eyes like a deer. His hair was a wild frizz above his head and came down in tendrils into his eyes. There was something incredibly soft and snudgy about his nose, which had a mole to the right of the tip. His lips, terrifically pink, a wide bow at the top, seemed to be set in a smile. His laugh, on greeting, tinkled rather gratingly, and his hand clasped his long neck. He was poised-gracious, looking for all the world a starlet receiving an admirer into his dressing room. He was certainly self-consciously receiving me into his home. He made me, now I recall, some flower-fragranced tea and we sat on a rather hideous, pale rug in the middle of a room full of nondescript furniture and unhappy upholstery.
    Alarmed, I became aware of another presence in the house. A squat, chubby girl of about 25 entered. Her gaze was slightly splayed, neither eye quite meeting the same object. She reminded me of Ralph from the Simpsons. "Run along, Deborah," said Chanson, less graciously, waving his long fingers. She gurgled froggily, and disappeared. He would tell me that this was his lesbian-ish cousin, who had a crush on Steffi Graph and - possibly, it seems - stalked the tennis player.
    The ugly house and furnishings were, it turns out, bought for him by his father. Chanson had not had a chance to look around or choose anything. The doors were on automatic closers and kept shutting on us. It was terribly hot. Deborah was living there because her father was bankrupt. Oddly, there was no sign of the "music" that Chanson had been going through. He had simply been in all day.
    With all the elegance and the youth, I was happy to have - utterly by luck - an ecstasy tablet given to me by a rather annoying Hong Kong banker in Canary Wharf who had thing for me. Chanson and I split it and let it take effect. Chanson laid out some candles and a sheet and we did it in the middle of the pale rug - having trouble finishing due to the MDMA.
    I took a bus home to my shithole, saucer eyes blazing, and, en route, received a text. "buona notte mio principe," it read. "Good night, my Prince."
    I was amazed that this incredible creature appeared to want me in his life. It never occurred to me to ask whether I wanted him in mine.

    Continued ...
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