Our first dinner in Toronto, at a steakhouse. The horse in the painting above Alex's head also happened to be our dinner as cows were considered to be disciples of Lucifer and driven out of Canada by angry, crucifix-brandishing mobs.
Prison camp, death of a housepet, that Naomi Watts movie "21 Grams" ... Few things in life are more painfully depressing than getting up at fucking 5 AM, particularly if you couldn't fall asleep 'til 3. LAX at 6 AM is not much more cheerful.
Hours later I was in Toronto, checking into our hotel. When I walked into the suite, Alex was already there. Although he only lived a mile away, he chose to crash with us for bonding purposes ... and somehow he had the largest suitcase.
"It looked a lot bigger on the Web site," was the first thing he said to me. He wasn't referring to his YellowFever.com profile photo, he meant our room. The suite only had one king-size bed. The couch in the living room didn't even have a foldout bed. A couple of weeks earlier I'd suggested getting two suites but was shot down. Now I realized what Alex's true intentions were ... no way I was accepting any drinks from that guy.
Rain showed up next. Since Paul wasn't going to be in for a couple of hours, we walked around downtown Toronto, trying to find my first Timmy Horton's. We were unsuccessful (Turns out there was one right across the street from our hotel), but we did find hot sausages in front of City Hall. (Damn, there are going to be so many gay references in these trip entries. So, so, so many.) You see, Toronto's got lots of sidewalk sausage vendors, which is great for me, because I'm ...errr, a big fan of sausages.
After grabbing coffee at the Second Cup on Queen Street, we headed back to the hotel and met up with Paul. Paul's the only one of the guys I hadn't met before, but they'd all met and hung out several times in previous trips. Fags.
The amazing thing about every person I've met from the online world is that they've all looked like their pictures. Paul was no different; and he even more-or-less sounded like what I'd expected. Like when I first met Rain, he talked a lot faster and more New Yorkish than I thought he would - like a radio announcer from the Forties. But that's because I was thrown off by his photos and expected him to sound like Kwai Chang Kane from "Kung Fu." I expected Alex to be louder and more slurred. As for me, Rain had expected me to speak a lot quicker. Paul said my voice was deeper than he expected. And Alex thought I'd have an accent. So essentially they all expected me to be a hyper prepubscent immigrant.
And so our trip began.
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