Ten years ago I took a bus tour through Europe. Friends of mine were supposed to join me, but they all backed out. I flew to Europe alone to meet the people I would spend the next two weeks traveling with. The tour started in Amsterdam. Which meant bad news for making a first impression on my fellow travelers.
The first day in Amsterdam we all met at our hotel. We were introduced to our tour guide and our roommates. The tour guide explained the trip and the ground rules. The main rule we had to know was the bus would leave each city at a certain time and place. If you were not there on time they would leave without you. It actually happened to several people. It almost happened to me.
Most people had roommates they knew because they booked the trip with them. I on the other hand was roomed up with a shy, awkward, creepy Canadian who I called “The Dungeon Master.” I don’t recall his real name, but the moniker I gave him seemed to fit. I pictured him living in his parents basement, dressing up, playing Dungeons and Dragons, while hurting small animals. Eventually, everyone on the trip referred to him as The Dungeon Master.
He never said a whole lot. I tried to be friendly, but I can be a bit overwhelming. Minutes after meeting me for the first time, I started a conversation about drinking, smoking weed at the coffee houses and having sex with hookers in the Red Light District. I was 25 at the time and in Amsterdam so It seemed like pretty normal conversation for the circumstances. I guess I didn’t gauge his personality quite right.
The Dungeon Master wasn’t a huge fan of mine. As a matter of fact, he expressed his hatred for me and my antics to anyone who would listen. He even went as far as to proposition several people about trying to trade me as a roommate. Unfortunately for him, no one else wanted to deal with me either.
On the last night of the trip the Dungeon Master let loose and got hammer-time drunk. Two girls we were traveling with thought his behavior was so funny they filmed him. They started up a conversation by asking him questions about his experience on the trip . He went off on a tirade ripping into me and telling the girls how horrible it was to be my roommate. He said having to room with me felt like torture.
Then out of nowhere he switched tracks and dropped a bomb on them. He went into intimate detail discussing how he had gotten double teamed by a couple of dudes in Amsterdam. It turned out The Dungeon Master was gay. He came out of the closet, on film, for the first time. His hatred for me combined with too much alcohol, allowed him to share his biggest secret with the world.