Gran Canaria is the second most populated island of the coast of Spain and every year in May 3 Million queers descend on the island for a two week celebration of faggery. Pool parties, drag queens with VIP areas packed out with their friends and plenty of Z List Celebrities on the main stage.
I am told that it is a wonderful festival of debauchery and promiscuity. I wouldn't know for sure because for the last 2 years my closest friends have gone on this trip without me.
I can make up a hundred excuses, too busy, prior commitments, an acute allergy to sunlight. But really, I never had the money. Which is really just half the story, I could have had the money but I spent it on other less important things like cigarettes and coffee and other undesirable things a person should not consume.
But this year, this year would be different, I would be going if it meant saving every spare penny I had. I really meant this but then life does that thing where every time it came to put some money away – something disastrous would happen. I would be evicted, I would have to change jobs, I would have to buy important things. But yet, I still somehow managed to do it. I paid the holiday off and now here we are checked in and set to go.
There is a suitcase on my bedroom floor with 15 or more kilos of barely there holiday attire. Flimsy fabrics made for warmer climes. There really isn't anything else to worry about. Not quite though, as I made my way to work this morning this morning. Coffee in hand (£1.75) with the sun shining on my face (Free) I thought about all the magical memories I would be making in just a few days. I recalled with whimsy the last holiday I went with some of the same chaps I would be travelling with this year and then I thought about those who I have not….Especially those I would be sharing a room with.
There is my friend Daniel, who when he would stay over would spread himself over every free bit of space in my room, a Ted Baker T-shirt there, a can of 7UP here. I would find empty ASDA bags days after his stay. Then there was Danny, who if I recall slept a lot and complained when woken up to early. I would be sharing a room with these two and I am an early riser and clumsy – Would this mean tip toeing my way around the room, quiet as mouse whilst at the same time trying to get through an obstacle course of Daniel’s belongings.
We have all done countless weekend’s away together and they always start the same way, on the coach on the train, scrambling around in each other’s seats, excitedly sharing stories, playing around but then on the way back, all sitting separately, quiet and subdued. Spending a lot time with the same people can be testing. I don't think this unusual and I believe many groups of friends to be this way. I think and no matter how well you know someone, that they never truly see the real you, the slob, filthy or slightly weird aspects of your personality and you can subdue those for small periods whilst you pretend to be a normal functioning adult.
Being an Adult means you get to have sex, being in Gran Canaria surrounded by other men means you really should have lots of sex.
If you don’t come home frail and ill with AIDS’ you might as well not go because every story of trips past seems to start off innocently enough before descending into a flurry of condoms, lubrication and bodily fluids. Do I want to come home riddled with STI’s, no not particularly, having said that. I don’t want to feel left out either. But if I want to keep up with my skinnier and better looking friends, where is the line between too much and not enough. It’s a lot of pressure.
In the weeks leading up to the trip it made sense in order to have 10 days of nothing but sexual perversion it might be a good idea to make myself more attractive to the same sex. This really meant dropping about 11 stone. A task easier said than done but I am pleased with the results because nothing fits me anymore and to put on a shirt that I couldn't even close just 3 months ago.Well, that feels fantastic.
There are a lot of small things, costly things that need to go into a holiday booking, travel insurance, fines and penalties for incorrect spelling of names. You need a credit agreement to buy sun tan lotion these days. I bought travel insurance for the first time in my life yesterday because the chances of me being killed in some freak drunken accident are very high. We joke about this and when we laugh, it tends to trail off in a nervous fluster as the realization that it’s definitely going to happen dawns. What better way to go than drowning in a crisp blue sea or falling from a 6th floor balcony with beautiful Tuscan tile. There are worse ways to go. I don’t really believe this will happen of course. No, I think I will die from something less rock and roll – Carbon Monoxide poisoning from a dodgy boiler or falling down an exposed manhole. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Or so the saying goes.
Will the ten days be worth it? Most likely, because even if I don’t have sex or if I do wake Danny up or trip over one of Daniels cans of 7UP and fall six floors down and splattering my skull off the terracotta Tuscan tile. I will be doing it with a group of beautifully dysfunctional people and that is just guaranteed fun.