‘Why do you have that rucksack?’ I asked Tex, taking a sip of my beer.
‘Oh, this is my hobo bag!’ he responded excitedly.
He removed it from his shoulders, which put me a bit more at ease as he no longer looked like he was about to do a runner at any moment, and unzipped the bag. ‘I brought my own beer!’ he said, beaming at me.
I don’t know why, but I found this infinitely endearing and adorable. I was like,
‘You do know that they’ve provided food and beverages, right? I mean, that is what people do when they throw parties.’
‘My momma always told me never to go to a party empty-handed,’ he said in his Texas drawl.
‘Alright, Forrest Gump.’ He laughed loudly as I added, ‘So you decided to bring a personal supply of beer in a rucksack?’
‘In a hobo bag,’ he corrected me. ‘And it’s ‘MERICAN beer!’
‘Eugh,’ I grimaced. ‘You are like school on Sunday – no class!’
He laughed loudly again before saying, ‘Heyyyy.’
‘Aw, I’m just kidding.’
‘No, the damage is done. You can’t have any of my beer.’
‘Oh. Oh, no,’ I said, flatly. ‘Please. Anything but that,’ I continued in a bored tone. ‘Please let me have some of your piss water.’
‘King of beers!’ I said.
(If you didn’t think of this:
We’re not friends.)
‘You sound like the guy from Love Actually,’ Tex said, proving immediately that he is my friend.
My eyes widened. ‘I LOVE that film!’
‘Is there actually a dodgy end of Wandsworth?’
‘No! I live in Wandsworth. It’s very un-dodgy.’
‘I love movies,’ he said. And sounded exactly like this:
I mean, exactly like this guy. They have a very similar voice which I found weirdly attractive.
‘So do I! I could talk almost exclusively in film quotes,’ I said, getting excited that I had potentially found someone as enthusiastic about quoting films as myself.
‘What’s your favourite movie?’ he asked.
‘Oh Lord, I have so many. Love Actually is definitely up there.’
‘Classic,’ he said, nodding in agreement.
‘Wedding Crashers,’ I continued.
‘Yes!’ he agreed, and I swear that it looked as if he jumped in the air a bit with enthusiasm when he said it.
‘I have a friend who refers to me as Seamus and I call him Bobby, and every time that we walk into a room we say, “Let’s get DRunk.”‘
And I’m not sorry.)
Tex laughed. ‘I almost hit you with my nunchucks!’
‘You don’t even know!’ we said at the same time and erupted into hysterics.
‘Oh! Anchorman, obviously,’ I added.
‘Obviously,’ he said, rolling his eyes.
‘”Imma come at you like a spider monkey!”‘
‘”I’m all hopped up on Mountain Dew!”‘ I added. ‘Basically, anything with Will Ferrell.’
Tex paused for a moment before saying, ‘Favourite dinosaur on the count of three. One, two thr-’
‘VELOCIRAPTOR!’ we said in unison before proceeding to quote the next part of the movie to each other.
‘Alright, you passed the friendship test,’ I said. ‘But barely. You know what you got? F+. Click.‘
He threw his head back laughing. ‘Tenacious D is the best!’
‘Love them! “This is not the greatest song in the wor-rld,”‘ I said, bursting into song.
‘”This is just a tribute!”‘ he sang back.
‘What do you think about How I Met Your Mother?’ I asked, posing the ultimate test.
‘Um,’ he said, raising his eyebrows and looking up, ‘LOVE it,’ he shouted. ‘Wait, what was the worst part about the finale in your opinion?’
‘UGH. Robin and Barney splitting up!’
He threw his hands up in the air and then slapped his legs, turning as if he was about to walk around before making a 360 and saying, ‘THANK YOU!’
‘We knew the mother for like five minutes, I didn’t really care about what happened to her. But Barney and Robin?!’
‘I know! So unnecessary,’ he agreed.
‘That entire last season was unnecessary.’
‘Right?!’ he said.
‘You are literally my personality dopplegänger,’ I said.
‘Freaky, right?’ he said, raising his eyebrows.
It was at this point that I began to question whether or not Tex was gay. I was really hoping that he wasn’t, which was my first acknowledgement to myself of the fact that I liked him. If he was gay, I’d definitely settle for a new gay best friend instead. At first glance he looked like he had stepped out of an American high school film as the stereotypical nerd with his glasses and general dweebiness. However, that impression quickly wore off as I stared into his blue eyes, magnified so tremendously by the thickness of his glasses that you couldn’t help but wonder, how blind is this guy? It was also only once I felt the strain in my neck after an hour of conversation that I noticed how tall he was – at least 6’2. Like the stereotypical nerd that he was, if you took off the glasses, messed the hair up a bit, and took off the rucksack he was actually devastatingly handsome. I ended my inner dialogue with, Hope he’s not gay. But if he is wonder if he’d settle for a gay man in a woman’s body. Which is essentially what I am.
He talked more about what he was doing in England. It turns out he’d moved here when he was nine because of his father’s job, moved back to Texas when he was nineteen, and then back to England after uni for a masters degree in psychology.
‘Fascinating,’ I said, slowly as he finished his mini-biography.
‘It really isn’t,’ he said matter-of-factly. ‘I’m pretty boring.’ The way he said it sounded like it should’ve been followed by a Charlie Brown-like “wah wahhhhhh.”
‘You’re not boring. I don’t talk to boring people.’
‘Alright, Miss Fancy Pants!’ he said, throwing his hands up in the air.
I laughed, but there was an underlying sadness to my chuckle since I was then convinced that he must be gay. He excused himself to go use the toilet. ‘Will you watch my hobo bag?’
‘Sure,’ I said.
‘Don’t steal it now!’
I couldn’t help but find everything he said infinitely more entertaining by his comedically-heavy American accent and the insanely loud volume of his voice. ‘Don’t worry, I have no interest in your terrible beer.’
‘It’s DELICIOUS!’ he shouted. ‘Be right back! I really have to pee!’
‘Don’t leave!’ he shouted over his shoulder as he ran off.
‘I won’t,’ I laughed. Then continued laughing to myself that the thought that I’d just leave the party as soon as Tex was out of my sight had just crossed his mind.
‘Wow.’ I heard behind me. I turned to see David standing where I’d left him by the fire. There were other people around as well, but I’m pretty sure he had just been watching Tex and I. ‘That was probably one of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen. You guys are actually the same person.’
Definitely sure he’d been watching the whole time. And mildly weirded out by it, I replied, ‘I know, right? Oh Lord, now I’m starting to talk like him.’
David feigned amusement. ‘You’re really funny. I can’t believe how easily you can quote films.’
‘I meant it when I said that I could probably speak in almost exclusively film quotes.’
‘Do you like The Big Lebowski?’
‘”I can’t be worried about that shit,”‘ I said, in my best attempt at impersonating The Dude.
David laughed and then said some more quotes from the film that I didn’t recognise in the slightest.
‘I’m afraid I don’t know it verbatim. I’ve only seen it once or twice,’ I apologised. He proceeded to explain which scene it was from, but I was distracted by the return of Tex. He was smiling like a fool for no apparent reason, but after less than a minute I realised that I was mirroring his expression like a fool as well.
‘Do you like Superbad?’ Tex asked me loudly once David had stopped speaking.
‘I don’t like Superbad,’ I said and Tex’s face dropped, until I added, ‘I LOVE Superbad! I love it SO much. I just want to shout it from the roof.’
‘Let’s go up on my roof,’ Tex added without missing a beat.
I imagined our evening going in one direction and one direction only:
I caught David with a, Here we go again, look on his face before directing my attention immediately back to Tex. In fairness, I did try to incorporate David into the conversation, but most of what we were saying went completely over his head.
Our conversation gravitated back to one of my favourite subjects - How I Met Your Mother.
‘Barney is my favourite,’ Tex stated. ‘I want to be him.’
‘You want to be Barney?’ I said, unimpressed, raising my eyebrow.
‘Of course! He’s rich and a total ladies man. And he’s hilarious,’ he said, exaggerating “hilarious.” I raised my eyebrows confused by the conflicting polarity between wanting to be a ladies man and his effeminate pronunciation of ‘hilarious.’ I shrugged it off.
‘Marshall is hands down my favourite,’ I said.
He shouted it with the same enthusiasm as Marshall, startling both myself and probably everyone else within a mile-radius, which is approximately how far his voice travelled.
‘I want to be Marshall,’ I said.
‘Marshmallow,’ Tex said, affectionately.
‘You can be my Lilypad!’ I said.
(For you heathens that don’t watch How I Met Your Mother, this:
is Marshall and Lily. Aka Marshamallow and Lilypad. The best couple in recent television history.)
Tex laughed. ‘If I have to.’
‘You don’t want to be my Lilypad?!’ I asked, pretending to be insulted.
‘Of course I do! I just don’t wanna be the gurl,’ he said, his accent becoming more pronounced with each word.
‘We’re totally Marshall and Lily,’ I said, nodding my head until he was mirroring my movements like a bobble-head.
‘We should date!’ I said, only sort-of joking.
‘Yeah!’ he said with an endearingly large amount of Yankee enthusiasm.
David had wandered off at least ten minutes earlier and before I could say anything else on the matter of Tex and I being MFEO, he leaned down and kissed me.
Not gay then. Got it.
To Be Continued…And it’s going to be…