The Rhinoceros

There was the invitation to view his favourite exhibit at the Hunterian Museum.  It was another scorching afternoon and I had walked around the chilling displays in formaldehyde and peered at the instruments employed in the myriad surgical procedures which gave us  among other things, this Royal College of Surgeons.

The text message from Tomas alerted me to his presence before a Stubbs.  It was the one that had got away.  Many years ago he had requested for it to be a part of an exhibition he was putting together at the Institute of Contemporary Art.  But the then curator was no fan of modern day art and was suspicious of Tomas’ motive and turned his request down.  It had been awhile since he last viewed it and it had magnified in his head.  It was a magnificent creature I agreed with him – with greater complexity than its African counterpart.  We wandered about for a bit and eventually went down to the cafe in the square opposite.

We sat at a sunny table across from each other with two glasses of chilled Vioignier.  I liked the gradual pace of our flirtation, exchanging views on art and film, and debauchery.  He told me how he was currently seeing a woman who wanted him to whip her soundly with a paddle and riding crop.  In return she sat for him for the before and after pictures.     He claimed not to find her rotundity sexually appealing and I myself am determined that he would not see me in my flawed nudity until I was sure of a positive response.  The second date was not the time for this intimacy.

Eventually the sky got darker and we promised to meet again, when he might take me to his studio.  We said our goodbyes outside Lincoln’s Inn Fields and I went home just before the rush hour.  Later in the evening he told me that he had been quite aroused during our tete a tete, but the wine had gone to my head and I couldn’t remember everything that we might have talked about.  He was planning a trip abroad at the end of the month which would last two months and so I’m not sure if we would ever get round to consummating this dalliance before the end of the year.  All the sameI am enjoying being chatted up and it gives me more time to improve my physique!

Stubbs’ Rhinoceros


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