Green Room II
The night with Graham? Pretty damn special, and it came as a surprise to me--probably to him as well. He basically wanted an ear to chew, so I gave him something else instead. Hahahaha! Oops! I mustn't start my crap and lose the bloody plot.
He needed to talk because he wants to do the big number with his girlfriend but he's not hundreds that it's the right thing. So he comes to me for the best advice? Kyle obviously didn't reveal the sinister secrets of my life at Graham's age.
He arrived at my house quite late, after he and his girl saw a movie and had a good graunch. I'm guessing about the graunch but I think it's a good guess. He was very polite at the door and asked if it was too late to talk. I invited him to sleep over, so he phoned his folks who gave him the okay. I was busy working on the PC while the grommet lay on my bed and paged through a Mens Health mag. "What was it like the first time?" he asked. "I mean with a girl."
"You mean fucking?"
"Not so gross, Stuart. Jacky wants to go the whole hog; talking and foreplay and then ... yadda, yadda, yadda."
"You guys talk all the time. Talking is not like some serious mission. Besides, you've got it pretty well sussed."
"Yeah, but when it's time to pull on the raincoat, Mr. Stiffy becomes Mr. Floppy."
I cracked totally at the seriousness with which he delivered that sentence. "Crap. You've worn a rubber before. What's the problem?"
"Because this is for real. Don't laugh. You're the only person I can talk to about this, so don't be a prick. What about guys who don't have a mate to talk to?"
"They handle it, just like you will. I don't know what to tell you. Anyway, you've got a bone just talking about it. Check." There was no need to check--he was already aware of his skin-splitter.
Next morning, we showered together. I knew it was a night to be cherished, one that might never happen again. Kyle did a great job with Graham--he's as straight as any guy I've met. The fact that we got our rocks off together had nothing to do with his sexuality, but everything to do with expressing the friendship he feels toward me. At least, that's what I want to believe, and I think I'm right.
We spent the day surfing. Not a word was mentioned about the previous night. In fact, we've not spoken about it since. And, no, he doesn't hang around my place as often as he used to, which makes that night even more special. Not seeing each other as often is not a problem. He knows he's welcome to rock over here any time he wants.
Several months elapsed before I wrote G again, the day before his birthday. It was time for a catch-up on the goss.
A few guys from varsity organized a trip up the coast for a surfing safari. When I returned, I'd lost interest in the PC and the internet. I didn't mean to worry you, G.
You're probably wondering about everyone--Melanie and I are madly in love, and see each other at least once every day. I sometimes call in to her place for a chat. Weekends are ours, and she's back into surfing, which is totally hot because it means we see more of each other. I still haven't bonked her on the back line yet. Hahahaha!
Graham spends a lot of time with us and has slept over at my house a couple of times. If he's telling the truth, it means he and Tracy are `doing it' on a regular basis. Now that he dates a chick that's totally into his bod it's become a license to screw. She's a sexy little thing as well. She wears low riders that expose her flat stomach. Graham is into those too, which show off his package. However, when he visits me, he wears baggy cargos that try like hell to grip his narrow hips. He says they're to give my hand room to maneuver--if I become desperate. Cheeky brat.
Brett phoned a few weeks back to say he might move north to work for a while, and hopes to go to Florida for a few months. He's well qualified to crew yachts anywhere in the world to gain further experience. His relationship with his girl is still full steam ahead--and steamy to boot. I think that worries him a little in terms of travel. She says he should travel anyway, otherwise he'll always wonder `what if?'.
I visited the Ts the other night. It was like a family dinner with Melanie, Graham and me. The Ts asked Graham if he'd like to take Kyle's `Endless Summer' poster home with him because he's not spending as much time in Kyle's room nowadays, and they want him to have it. I think the T's are getting ready to pack a lot of Kyle's things away. That's not exactly what they said but I read between the lines.
Yes, Stuart is fine. I've not been near drugs except for a joint occasionally. Bob and I are still tight mates--sometimes tighter than tight. Hahahaha! And I'm no longer dependent on the PC. We've ceased being joined at the hip.
I bet you thought I'd forget your birthday. No chance. I made some birthday graphics but I'm not hundreds about any of them, so I'll send the bloody lot. They're just to let you know that I spend time thinking about you and wondering how you're doing. Anyway, G, I wish you a good one. All the best.
I wrote G again in six weeks: I'll keep this fairly short--just a note to let you know that I'm okay, and that everything is fine. No drugs for ages now, and I'm pretty sure I'm absolutely clean.
My whole life has changed and I'm trying to find my own direction. I've been in Kyle's shadow too long. I expect an email from you lecturing me about my responsibility to Kyle. I hope not. I'm not likely to forget the best friend I ever had but I also need to move forward with my own life now.
This first year at varsity hasn't been easy; it takes loads of work but I'm diligent with my studies. I just wish my grades would reflect that. Oh! I'm now a part time waiter. Yeah, I can hear you guffawing at that news. It's a nice restaurant out in the burbs.
Brett stays in touch and now works north of Perth. He plans to sail in a few months time to the Caribbean or Florida on some special working student visa thingy. Melanie and I split up but we are still good friends. We agreed that we continued dating for the wrong reasons. I love her very much and I'm sure it's mutual but I think we need to test the waters a little more and give each other more space. I date a few girls who just want a casual relationship.
This note was sparked by the fact that I get a lot of email I don't answer. I'm rarely in front of the PC now. Some of the correspondents have become nasty about my so-called snub.
Graham is well and has his life pretty much sorted now. He phones occasionally to check on me, and we surf together quite often. He's a young adult these days and quite mature compared to his mates. He also has a job waiting tables during the summer holidays. The Ts are fine and I suspect they're thinking of emigrating.
On November 3, Brett was in town. He's useless on a surfboard but paddled out with Melanie, Graham and me to the backline where we placed a wreath that Melanie made. Brett doesn't have a wettie so we all dressed in boardies. None of us said much--we all knew what thoughts occupied the other's minds.
I've learned to deal with Kyle's passing and I'm more comfortable with it now. I thank Kyle every single day for being my friend and for the positive influences he gave my life. It's only now that I'm experiencing the real benefits. I can't even tell you the last time I smoked a spiff, let alone anything else.
My relationship with my folks has improved out of sight. My dad and I have regular workouts in the gym--another of Kyle's influences.
First year of varsity went okay but I'll work harder next year. I passed all my papers but the results could have been better. Meantime, waiting tables is not my scene but my dad capped my allowance so I need the cash. The restaurant rocks, though, and the tips are generous.
The Ts have put the emigration idea on hold; they say there are still too many memories. Brett is away at sea somewhere--out of touch.
NEW YEAR: Christmas at Kyle's was awesome. The Ts are fine, and seem to have their lives in order. Kyle's room is now a reading room. Additions include a couple of huge comfortable easy chairs and creative lighting. It has a relaxed and pleasant feel to it. His stereo remains, and the walls still feature all Kyle's posters and stuff. His surfboard stands in one corner. The bed is gone in order to make room for the chairs.
The Endless Summer poster still adorns the wall, and I quizzed Graham about it. He says he'll probably never remove it--that's where it belongs, and he continues to spend a lot of time there, taping and listening to music. Yeah, well, all get a little choked up when our thoughts drift to the history of that room but that will forever remain the case.
No, Brett wasn't present. I know how your mind works, G, and that you hoped he would be. He phoned Christmas morning, and plans to be back in Byron next Easter. He promised to connect with us all. He also phoned me which was cool.
THE FOLLOWING AUGUST: I'm still on the planet and still off the drugs. My life is very different now to the way it was at the beginning of the year. Varsity is going well but I'm not sure if I'll continue with psych. My dad suggested a gap year to consider my direction. Our relationship is brilliant. I might take his advice and get into graphic design.
Graham is well--still has his ups and downs--God knows with which chick. Hahahaha! We often surf together and he visits occasionally. The whole sexual thing between us has dissipated, which is great for our friendship.
I often visit the Ts. They're doing okay but I don't think they'll ever be same again. The possibility of moving overseas remains a consideration. Mr. T is not sure if the move will be permanent or temporary. He says the change will do them good. They'll keep the house.
Brett is somewhere in the Caribbean. He phoned last July on Kyle's birthday. He's doing great, and still with his girl. Melanie and I are tight, but it's a strange relationship: one minute we're madly in love and the next we fight like cats and dogs.
Have a great birthday, G, and give my best wishes to everyone. And did you notice? I didn't say `fuck' once.
DECEMBER/JANUARY: Got pissed off with psych and haven't studied for a while. Instead, I've worked around a bit and traveled to Europe and the States. I met with Brett in Fort Lauderdale, and stayed in his garden apartment. It belongs to a yachtie friend of his who lets him use it whenever he visits Florida. He's doing really well, working on charters and crewing.
Last time I spoke to him he was headed for Hong Kong to deliver a newly-built yacht, then on to Perth and over to South Africa. The guy sure gets around! I can't wait to see him again in Byron. Brett and I have the same kind of relationship he had with Kyle, and that rocks. It's Kyle's legacy.
Guess what? Melanie and Graham are now an item. He and I had a helluva fight when I discovered he was sleeping with her. Melanie doesn't speak to me any more so I guess he's poisoned her mind. Brett admitted that he tolerated Graham because of Kyle, and thought the grommet was too big for his boots even back then. I suppose the positive is that Melanie keeps Graham off drugs. I believe Graham and I are beyond ever being friends again. It's hard to believe he's 18 already with a serious testosterone problem--he's always looking for trouble. He planted me on my butt at a club a while back. Why? Because I asked Melanie why she was ignoring me. Graham is not the same kid Kyle knew.
The Ts still live in the old house. I visit them every now and then. They appear to be doing well. Their thoughts of moving overseas remain on hold. They're not in any hurry and Mr. T says there are still too many precious memories of Kyle to abandon.
I grab a job when and where I can, and managed to get work on a film set on the Gold Coast, working with the grips. It's cool but the hours are shocking.
Brett has mellowed since his involvement with the yachtie thing. He still parties--hell, he proved that in Florida. But Kyle left him with a sensitive side that makes Brett fantastic. The garden flat is in a `hood called Mission Bay which is damn cool. We had dinner in a restaurant near Hollywood Beach, then he showed me around. We spoke about Kyle and Byron and laughed the whole damn night. He was really stoked to see me.
You need to picture how Brett has developed, G. He used to be tight, sinewy bulging muscle, but now he's rounded off to a smooth model's build with all the right stuff in all the right places. His attitude, however, has mellowed since the days he beat the crud out of me. He wears hipster jeans while I wear low riders. Just don't get a hardon in low riders or you'll die. Brett's hipsters show off just how finely tuned his body is, from his broad shoulders and developed arms to his narrow waist and butt. Oh! His butt! The jeans also show off his ample package. His hair is kinda styled but still spiky, and jet black to collar length.
Brett was invited to join an intercoastal cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Miami and organized an invite for me. What can I say? We provided the eye candy for the chicks on board, as well as some of their boyfriends. I ogled one bloke, a blond from heaven with a body to match, but he was surrounded by twice as many chicks as I was.
JULY: G'day, G. Attached is a graphic I did for you. The background is Wollumbin, Kyle's mountain. He was there watching me--incredibly beautiful. I walked and climbed the mountain for most of the anniversary of his birthday and was reticent to leave. I cried a lot just remembering how it used to be and where it might be now if he were alive. I tried to picture him in his early 20s. He sends his love, G. How do I know that? There was a single blue flower blooming at his special place.
The printed version of this book is available at http://www.lulu.com/content/653501 Comments to the author are welcome at email@example.com