I hope you don’t mind me sharing an interesting, but potentially worrying, development regarding some fall-out on the marriage proposal front. I have started to have a recurring dream. For the sake of complete accuracy I think you could call it a nightmare. It is always the same and it always follows an identical pattern.
In the dream I am making my way to Marylebone Registry Office to marry Guido. I do not own a white linen suit but in the dream I am definitely wearing one. It is in pristine condition. This could only happen in a dream because if you were wearing a suit like that in the waking world it would be hideously crushed at the crotch. I am on my own. Guido is not with me but I know he is near me because I keep getting the distinct whiff of Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men. I can feel he is somewhere near waiting for me (because I can smell him and if I was just able to blink my eyes open I’d find him in bed next to me snoring), but in the dream I am unable to find him.
I am also lost. Each time I ask a complete stranger for directions to the registry office I get pointed in the opposite direction from which the last complete stranger just directed me to go in. This means I am going round and round a warren of narrow cobbled streets. I have never been there before but in the dream I think I may possibly be in Dubrovnik. This would be a big logistical problem given that I am expecting to get married at Marylebone Registry Office which is on the Marylebone Road and not, obviously, in Croatia. I look down at my feet and I notice small grains of paella rice. Stick with me, you have to remember that this is a dream. I begin to follow them like a trail. I am frightened the rice will blow away and I will remain lost. Eventually the trail leads me to a large white church like building with a solid rustic wooden door with a big brass knocker on it. I stand before it and the door slowly creaks open. Behind the door is a room packed full of smiling people who I do not recognise but they all seemed to have a very good idea who I am. I notice Guido standing right at the very front. He has his back to me but I would recognise that blonde ponytail hanging anywhere. As I walk down the aisle towards him he turns and I see he has a small box in his hand. He opens the box and there was a shiny ring inside. He takes the ring out of the box and I hear him ask me to marry him.
“Will you marry me?” he asks solemnly.
Just as I open my mouth to say yes, I discover that my vocal chords seem to have been cut. They are no longer in fully functioning or operating mode. I am not able to articulate a thing. My lips are moving but there is no audible sound coming out. Right at the crucial moment someone appears to have inconveniently pressed my mute button. I gag in the choking kind of way you always do in a dream. But no matter how hard I try, over and over, to mouth the words to say something, there is only complete silence. I am like a character in a silent movie but Guido cannot see the subtitles.
“Well?” he asks impatiently, “What’s the answer? Is it yes or is it no?” Before I am able to reply he snaps shut the box with the ring in it and begins to turn away. Naturally I am absolutely horrified. This is the moment I have been waiting for all my life and it appears to be slipping slowly away. Let’s just say my inappropriate silence isn’t much of a crowd pleaser either because all of the invited guests start booing and pelting me with rose petals. It all gets very undignified. What the vicar ends up doing to the wedding cake, well frankly, he should be absolutely ashamed of himself. I’d de-frock him.
All of a sudden the next thing I am aware of is opening my eyes and it is four o’clock in the morning. I am laying next to Guido and I am frantically tossing my head about from side to side on my pillow. I am stuttering the words, “I do, I do, I said I am telling you I definitely do” over and over like some sort of mad person. Guido at this point is fully awake and usually sitting bolt upright in bed. His hair is standing on end and he as a startled expression on his face. It’s happened a few times so reckon he has just about kind of got used to it by now but on the first occasion he asked me what I was dreaming about. Well, he sort of shouted that at me.
“What on earth were you dreaming about you fruit loop?” he shouted at me.
Call me an old fashioned control freak but I hated being caught so nakedly off guard like that in a totally out of control way. Though I have to say being habitually likened to a breakfast cereal by the man I love isn’t becoming much fun either. I had to think quickly on my feet. Or, on that particular occasion, on my back. I didn’t want to unnecessarily worry Guido or make him wonder if I was freaking out about the marriage proposal or heaven forbid be getting cold feet about being married. I just said the first thing which naturally sprang instantly into my head in the same way it would any red blooded gay man. So of course said blankly –