Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Express Yourself...

25 years ago I had a couple of hook-ups with a guy. We met in Heaven and went back to my place first and then the following week we met at his place in Meard Street in Soho. He made me dinner. We had a fun time together. At his place he kept playing and dancing around to Express Yourself from Madonna's Like A Prayer album while he cooked me pasta. "I love this record", he said putting it on again. "You're not kidding!" He was almost obsessed with it. He made me laugh. He was a Portuguese banker and had more than one bottle of champagne in his fridge. Fancy, I thought! I was impressed. He was well-read too. A nice guy. Had a nice smile. His name was Antonio.

We talked about meeting for a third time. He had people staying that weekend though. How about in Comptons? His birthday was coming up and that Saturday night his mate was throwing him a party on a boat on the river. He said that I couldn't come as there were already too many people coming but we should meet the following day on the Sunday. Late though because it was going to be a late one on the boat. OK, Comptons it was. See you then. Look forward to it.

I went to Heaven that Saturday night with my mate Kit feeling a bit miffed I couldn't go to what looked to be a wild party on the river. I enjoyed myself though dancing the night away.

At about 2:30am or so the music cut out on the main dance floor and there was a bit of kerfuffle by the stairs near the door. A couple of people were hugging each other and crying. And people looked horrified. Rumours started to spread. I asked around but no one seemed to know what was going on. Then someone told me they had come from Cannon Street bridge along the river and there had been an accident. Apparently a boat had collided with another and sank. And some people had died. There were lots of gay people on board too. And they were still pulling bodies out of the water.

Oh God. Dreadful I thought. Dreadful. I told Kit it was time to go. And we queued for our coats. It took ages to leave.

But to my shame it was only after I had got on the N19 night bus on the way home it suddenly dawned on me, "Fuck! Antonio! Antonio was on the river tonight!" I got off the bus at New Oxford Street and dashed back to Meard Street. The lights were on on the second floor and I rang the buzzer but no one answered the door. I rang again. I pressed the buzzer for a full minute. No one was there. Oh shit. I started to cry.

In the following days I couldn't read any of the coverage of the Marchioness disaster or watch the news. It was just too upsetting.

RIP Antonio de Vasconcellos - you great shag with your Express Yourself obsession.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jonathan, I hope you don't mind but I have quoted this post quite extensively in my blog:
    http://thelondondead.blogspot.com/2018/07/death-by-water-antonio-pedro-da-gama.html. I should have asked permission before posting and apologies for not doing so. I will, of course, remove your words and any reference to you if you have any objections. The quote is linked back to your blog. I really hope that you don't mind because I wanted to give as rounded a picture of Antonio Vasconcellos as I could and of all the information relating to him that I've trawled through I found your words the most vivid and most moving. And one of the few that acknowledge he was gay. Hopefully you will see this message - I know Blogger isn't great at notifying users of comments. Best wishes. David


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