A special Man

Thanks Billy

This is the last letter to you before I close the chapters of my life, you have been an integral part of that life for the past 13 years though good times and bad .

We have used “The Plateau” to share several trips overseas since 2013, we have cried together and we have laughed together.

There have also been times when we have erupted into open warfare; your frustration and anger has boiled over and frankly you have been bloody difficult, I have no doubt you would level the same charge against me.

All that is nothing when compared to the times we have shared; the coffee and early dinners with friends, The movies, the simple times when we have stolen out to share time together, the wonderful times like the two most recent Springsteen concerts and the close times, when we have rested together on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

We are both uneasy and frustrated by the future, the lack of money has hopefully, been mitigated to some extent by the likely consultancy which should see us through another 12 months, but I know you share my concerns as to whether I am up to this.

I am weak and tired, everything takes longer and seems to draw the last remaining vestiges of energy. I am hoping I can hide this to get us through this job and I am pleased you will be by my side, without you; I doubt I would have attempted to take it on.

You have looked on, with poorly disguised disdain as I have spent the last 12 months trying to put this Journal together, but how else was to spend my time, there is not much call for a Real Estate Agent who fades into oblivion by lunchtime?

I can only hope, that when you ever read this, you will truly understand how important you have been.

You didn’t come to Melbourne for Christmas in 2016, you made the excuse of work but I think you really wanted me to have this special time with Jassie and Kayla, Horrie and Esty.

I think we both know the Plateau is coming to a close, it is unspoken but the reality is inescapable.

You never tell me your honest reasons for the things you do, but after all this time, I can read you like a cheap novel, sorry darling!

Everyone was delighted to see you at Terry’s after Christmas and I really appreciated the effort you made, especially as I know, how much you hate Freeway driving.

For one night in Mid-February we could forget everything as we listened and watched The Boss in session, you held my hand and we could believe we would be back again in two years’ time.

The next day was a write off but it was worth it.

My birthday in late February was an extended series of coffees and dinners with old friends, they have all learned the shutters come down, a bit after eight and if they are in danger of forgetting, you are watching me like a hawk.

My special treat was the dinner with just you and I at Quay, it was wonderful darling. On the way home, I held your hand and thanked you, I think there were tears in my eyes.

“Well, I thought I should do something special this year, you may not be able to enjoy it next year”

As John said, when I told him about this “romance will never be dead, while that man is still alive”

Love you so much, thank you for the Journey!

Bruce

 

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The Billy Team

 

Justine, Britt, Krystie, Kath, Julie, Marian, Kath and Jeannine

You are all friends of Billy’s who have become great friends and supporters to both of us.

I know how the last eight years have taken their toll on Billy and I know how important it has been for him, to have you guys in his camp.

Krystie; the madcap sexy, human being who I once said; would be the only person I know that could “Turn” me. We have loved having you in our lives.

When I get frustrated with Billy cos he is texting when we are out, he silences me by saying he is chatting to Krystie, I am damn sure, sometimes at least; he is lying!

Your George may have stolen you away to the other side of Australia but he can’t steal you from Billy and his phone.

Justine and Britt; you guys were a big part of Billy’s life in his charity days and your friendship has endured far beyond that.

Britt, you are now the earth mother to two gorgeous kids while Justine, you are still beavering away in PNG, doing do your bit to make the world a better place.

He is a very lucky man to have you guys for support.

Your faith has never been more sorely tested than it has been recently as, the full enormity of the Catholic Church’s guilt and complicity has been exposed at the Royal Commission into Child Abuse.

Justine answered this so beautifully when I asked her about it.

“I love my faith but I am ashamed of my church”

Kath and Julie

You had both moved on to greener pastures by the time I met Billy, but he would often talk about one or the other of you.

I am so sad that, I only got to know you as Kath was dying from her second and final bout of lung cancer, so cruel for a lady that had never smoked.

Kath’s death hit Billy hard and now, in the cruellest twist of fate, Julie you are now racked by cancer yourself.

You have both been a wonderful exemplar to us, in some ways especially to me; as I am not a person of faith.

To have retained your faith in the face of these monstrous events is to demonstrate the bravery of you both, and I admire that enormously.

I thank you for the love you both have shown for Billy, even in the times when you have been suffering terribly yourselves.

Maryanne, Kath and Jeannine

I don’t know any of you that well, Jeannine and Maryanne don’t live in Sydney and Kath lives on the rural outskirts of Sydney with her own family.

That is my loss, but I do thank you all for the laughter, humanity and fun you have forced on Billy over these last few years.

We can be down and angry and he will get a text about your latest exploits; that will force him to laugh and share it with me.

The times I have met you have been enough to show me what wonderful, warm people you truly are.

Thanks for making him happy.

All of you come from a religion that could have hardened your souls against Billy and I, all of you have shown me, the vast difference between faith and religion.

Billy and I love your faith and treasure your friendship.

Love

Bruce

Big Philou

 

Dear Phillip

Big Philou was a very famous racehorse so he really does not have much in common with you, plus; from memory he was a gelding, which you certainly are not!

The women in your life have always provided a certain amount of drama, most of it all your own doing!

We have been friends for almost twenty years, I have got used to unlisted calls from all parts of the world and that booming Chicago accent, asking how “Brucie, how the Fuck are you?”

Other friends of mine, you have met over the years, often ask “Have you seen Phil lately?” my stock standard answer is usually, “No, but he will turn up soon, bad smells always do!”

Sure enough, you will shortly be back in Sydney, we will have a couple of weeks of frenetic catch ups, before you head off again only to reappear like the Scarlet Pimpernel and regale me with a whole new set of experiences.

A loud giant of a man with endless optimism, but underneath, one of the most decent and caring people I know.

Thanks Philly, any thoughts of self-pity I may have, are in your parlance; “hit out of the ballpark” whenever we are together, and for a straight man; you give the best bear hugs in the business.

All good, Old mate.

Love Ya

Bruce

Phil and the Princess

 

Dear Di and Phillip

Di ,we first met through Kearns in Melbourne many years ago, Billy and I nursed you through a few broken romances, before Phil arrived and the perfect middle age romance bloomed.

I know you would both argue that statement but you guys argue most things, so what the heck?

We are in different cities so we don’t see that much of Phil nowadays, but when we do it is always fun.

Di’s almost monthly visits to Sydney for work, are times of laughter as we sneak at least one dinner while she is here.

Laughter and old friends are incredibly important to Billy and I, your “mad moments” are the perfect tonic for us both.

The ability to forget for two hours and just have fun is such a treat and I thank you both for these mad light hearted moments.

Love Ya

Bruce

Another Greek!

 

Hello Arthur.

You are the decent, kind and at times; outrageously camp, Greek man I have known and loved for many years.

How can someone be so loud and so gentle at the same time?

A product of a difficult childhood, you have overcome hurdles to become successful as well as being a friend and confidant to many.

I admire and love the man you are.

There is probably not a week goes by, without me thinking of you and the thought will always bring a smile to my face.

Your heart is even bigger than your flamboyant personality.

Even my, in some ways conservative daughters; who love the gay men in their life, but would prefer their Father’s friends to at least attempt to maintain some façade, are smitten by your outrageousness, your kindness and your wonderful generosity of spirit that knows no bounds.

I will sometimes call one of the girls after one of our (now much soberer) lunches and there is no mistaking, the warmth as they ask about you.

Thanks, old friend

Bruce.

 

The Country or Greece

 

The two Georges

George H, you and I met through Stephen and we have since become warm and close gay friends.

You, Billy and I have shared many meals together, we have solved all the problems of the world, but; I must admit, not had quite the same success with your tangled love life or, lack thereof.

You are a sensitive, caring muso full of heart and compassion, both Willy and I look forward to the times when we can get together.

George D, you are my own private indulgence.

The rampantly heterosexual, Greek Tradie whose solicitous phone calls “How you doing Brucie?” are always a welcome addition to my day.

Our coffees together are a mad run through of your latest sexual conquests laced with real care and compassion.

You are a tough man George D, but your heart is as good as any man’s I have ever known.

About the only thing, you guy’s share is a name, but each of you has been a wonderful addition to my support network and my world would be darker without either of you in it.

Be Good

Bruce