Paolo is an Italian athlete who arrived in a cloud of recrimination on Monday. He'd just smashed up his lover's flat at the end of a year-long cocaine binge, and his normal daily intake of dope is 20 joints.
I wasn't altogether surprised, therefore, when he told me that in a previous life he'd been King Tutankhamen.
Paolo is the third person to tell me this. I've got nothing against reincarnation, and it makes sense that Hitler, for example, would return as toilet paper.
But even on the wilder shores of reincarnation theory, why would Tutankhamen return as a gay Italian athlete with a drug problem?
Paolo is stunning, with beautiful eyes, and he's been a kept toyboy to some rich queen for years. Now he's in a place where there are no other gay men and his relationship with the women is consequently a godsend, reducing the sexual tension on both sides.
The women love his beautiful eyes, his incessant sexual innuendo, and his childlike humour - and they get all this grope-free.
"I am Paolo," he proclaims in his extra-virgine Italian accent, "and now I look after Paolo."
But then he goes and does what he's always done - enters into a completely subservient relationship, only this time with a bunch of surrogate mothers. So the treatment director has put him on this Woman Ban.
"I am Paolo and now I look after Paolo," he says, agreeing with the decision. The women all want to hug him for this, but they're not allowed to any more.
Afterwards, his spark's gone and he has nothing to say except, "Now I look after Paolo." He looks after himself for about five minutes before his resolve cracks and he telephones his lover, whom he'd sworn never to speak to again. Now he has once again become the simpering victim he's described himself as being before.
"Are you OK?" I enquire.
He's coating his naked body with moisturising cream as though he were concealing the bloodstains at a crime scene.
"Once I met Jesus Christ!" he asserts, then explains how he was someone or other during the Middle Ages too. It occurs to me that his drug binge has been going on for 4,000 years.
I've got nothing against reincarnation that I haven't got against Prozac, psychiatry or alcohol. In certain circumstances, they may all work well.
But they are also excellent ways to conceal "what's really going on for you", as we say in here.
And, as far as relationship addiction is concerned, having a relationship with past lives is perhaps the ultimate avoidance of the present one.Reuse content