- There's this awesome club in Berlin, every Sunday evening, where for the low low price of 5 Euro you get a ballroom dance lesson (taught by a saucy gayboy in a "real men let go on 3" t-shirt) and then a night of gorgeous dancing. All the different eras and styles are represented, each dancer obviously with their own preferences and areas of expertise. The floor crowds for the easier rhumba and cha-cha steps, clears right out for the more complicated tango or exhausting swing. There's collisions and smiles and laughter, queers of every imaginable variety and hue, the ballroom courtesy of polite requests for a dance, shared between strangers. Flushed faces, footwork that grows more confident with every song, and the elation of getting it right for eight whole bars in a row. Perch on a seat for a moment and watch an elegant dyke lead a gangling gayboy in a disco fox, and an elderly leatherman following a punk rock androgyne. It's wonderful, the kind of thing that tells me for sure I could live here, in Berlin, that the people of this city are my kind of people. I want to be one of the regulars who knows almost every step, from coming to so very many classes.
- In Amsterdam, hallucinatory from lack of sleep (and nothing else, I swear it), I found a little shop where hard candy was being made from a vat of coloured sugar. The confectioners noticed me standing there, invited me in and offered me pieces of beautifully detailed candy, and a few kind words for the tourist.
- I remember sitting in the dodgy little dive bar at the bottom of my hill in San Francisco, sucking on the horribly sour simulacra of 'lemon lime and bitters' that I had acquired, after heated and detailed instruction, from the bartender. She was handsome, and messy, and ever-so charismatic (and lived a life of barely controlled chaos, just the way I like them). It was nice, in a sad and grown up sort of way, to indulge my attraction without drawing her into my life at all. A sweet and pointless flirtation.