After I returned home in January 1990, we kept in touch and made plans for you to come to Australia.
It is appropriate, that as I write this letter, I am listening to Bruce’s “High Hopes” album. We were to meet again In Hawaii at Easter and the plan was for you to come here for six months.
High hopes were dashed when you arrived in Oahu and told me you would not be coming any further at this time.
To say I was shattered is to put it mildly, I was crushed.
I had never loved another man before you and my whole gay romantic experience was limited to a couple of ill-fated flings.
Never has the experience of retail therapy been tested more than it was on that trip, I spent an unbelievable amount buying a pure silk, black, Italian suit. The price even today, would be considered outlandish.
I still have the suit, I just checked the closet and whilst it may now be a bit worse for wear, fraying softly around the edges, it has fared much better than almost any of my romantic entanglements.
If I lose some weight between now and the end, it may serve as a fitting burial suit. My love and life going up in flames LOL.
The grown man came home and buried himself in work, the love lorn teenager cried over many bottles of red, with those unfortunate enough to know what had happened.
Luckily this was a short list at the time, my big coming out was a work in slow progress.
We started talking again after a month or so and by spring 1990 you had taken the plunge; sharing the unit in Armadale with me and charming the pants off Myffy and the mad theatrical crowd she and Sue entertained regularly at Spring Street.
The first few months were a mix of good friends and wonderful intimacy; those times are what I treasure.
We ventured occasionally into the gay life of Commercial Road, more your scene than mine.
I was the newly minted gay business man looking for the companion to replace Sas.
You were the exotic creature thrust into a world where you thrived.
Our one trip to Sydney together was a disaster, I wanted to spend time with the kids and you were required to be a “friend”. I know now, this was unfair, but I was torn between the roles of father and lover.
I didn’t handle it well.
Love faded as reconciliation between obligations to family, work and you became too hard to achieve.
I was away a lot and you were a bored man with a “lending library” of new men just up the road.
Inevitably perhaps, the cracks became chasms and, for the last few months of your stay in Melbourne, I had a house guest in the spare room, while you finished your commitments to the theatre.
I retreated to work and family, as always; they were the bastions of my life.
There was no road map to follow at the time for somebody charting a path through the rocky pinnacles of a burgeoning gay identity, children, family responsibility and a demanding business career.
We tried and we failed, there is sadness but no regrets.
Hope you are well