My sister of course. A week of drinking, catching up and being a foreigner, what more could you ask for.
Chasing the sun and wet weather, though of course I will quickly learn to regret this decision, in my sun burnt water logged agony.
Long drives, hot weather, serial killers and dust, dust and more dust. hopefully somewhere a large red rock.
After far too long travelling, I am now somewhere that I want to be, and more importantly wants me to be here too.
In the end there have been over 300 contacts from RSVP, I drank myself silly for a week and then spent the next three hidden under the table here in the flat in Newtown, terrified that some of these women would find me.
It seems that adulation is not an emotion I can cope with, after firmly existing in the shadows for so long. However it has to be said straight off that as an honest, open and witty man who knows something of the world, it's depths and the wider nature of what lies beyond these shores I was rightly in demand - I know, lets just have a moment, this is not an ego trip, go and have a look at how some of these men sell themselves, this is the world out there. I conversed with quite a few women, mostly over email; one young lady, as cute as she was got in early with the "ring me" comment, but that just stopped things dead in their tracks. Another, though quite wonderful, had just the slightest whiff of desperation and a Saturday date nearly derailed the whole bloody fragile escapade. I have a history of being a tad sensitive to inappropriate transactions, so when I was invited out for an evening of stories and conversation I naively went along, not expecting to be asked for a kiss moments after finishing a very in depth conversation about our relative bereavements. "Umm no" was the very obvious answer as I squirmed in my seat. I had nightmares, terrible dreams of being pursued, over that incident for the rest of the week.
These dates followed a similar path; a few drinks in which we both make sure neither of us has picked a serial killer, unexpected dwarf or general nut job and then in my case many hours of witty banter and alcohol consumption then ensued (laughably refereed to as being "a social drinker" on the RSVP profiles). It needs to be pointed out that had I been more of an adventurer, at some time in the first act, a kiss may have been possible, but I am not that man. I am English for all its glorious high points and lowly pathetic wretchedness and a funnier drunk with an intimacy issue.
Things progressed quickly with the small handful of ladies I actually met, the ninja kisser not withstanding, and by the time I got to meet a lovely Kiwi conservationist who I had been conversing with for the entire tenure of my time on RSVP, my constitution was in a poor, poor state. The two espresso's that had been consumed that morning in an attempt to perk my weary self into waking consciousness had ignored their prime directive and instead had focused on working on as a diarrhoeic on my system, a "feature" that many of you that know me have previously witnessed. So our meeting got off to a less than impressive start as I nipped into the toilet, a repetitive action that occurred every 10 minutes for the next 90 minutes we were together.
It was on the last embarrassed trip to the little boy's room that the tell tale buzz of my phone in silent mode indicated that I had a voice mail. Rhonda my mother in law had left a message and it was not what she said that concerned me, but the tone of her voice. The tone that you know requires an immediate call back, no matter what the circumstances, the sort of tone I recognised that I had used when I called the world from the hospital last year.
What happened next could easily have been seen, I realised soon after, whilst slipping back into a position and a thought process I hoped I had long since left behind, as the worst attempt to exit from a date in the history of RSVP. A history that should also recall that my horticultural date was very sweet and supportive as odd as our meeting had just become.
I am very sorry to have to write the following, but the phone call was to tell me that my father in law, Ken had passed away.
We did not have a relationship past Tash's death, he was never a complex emotional man and distanced me only a couple of days after she died in a very brutal way, the manner of which is not for discussion, other than to say that I forgave him for what he said and did in London, but could not find a way past his later comments about the state of our marriage, which were utterly ground less and just fucking mean. He had been in hospital for the previous five weeks with complications arising from pancreatitis before finally having a heart attack, or so I have been able to understand. Rhonda and I only found out three days after he died and now to be honest, the manner of his passing is less important. He was cared for and not alone when he died.
There were some definite sides to the man; at the funeral we all saw how loved he was by the people, mainly women, he was always a charmer, that he worked with. He had a partner, Christina, that neither Tash nor I knew much about, such was the relationship between father and daughter, who I am content to know put love and happiness into the old man's life and then there is the rest of us, many of whom were finding their view of the man challenged in the last year.
I can see that my words are painting a harder picture than I intend, there is unbearable sadness in his passing. I found myself quickly commenting that at least now, for once in a very long time he is happy and not carrying the pain he so obviously wore for such a long time. He is an example to us that death is a very hard thing to live with, but we must. The view for me in Australia now is very greatly changed, we will make good come from this.
If any of you want to send cards or messages to either Christina or the Hayes family then use my contact form and I will give you their address. They should be supported and loved in the same way we loved Tash.
A week later and the dust of life has settled again after such a seismic shift; we, as in all crazy rock and roll elements from my previous life that I regularly see here have all reported being ill, or other such variations of dealing with extreme stress. Personally my back has seized completely and I have been walking around for days like Douglas Bader. However life is to be lived and must continue. My inbox and conscience however no longer groans under the daily tsunami of internet interest because as of merely hours ago my profile is deactivated. I have met some wonderful people during my RSVP time, one of who is on the way to becoming a very good friend of mine and others who I will see again but without the pregnant anticipation of an imminent relationship in the hope that we can have marvelous (mis)adventures without the fear of kissing, I am after all the worlds best (heterosexual) former of platonic female relationships. In the midst of this activity I was found by a bright light who stirred both a physical and mental attraction in me, made connections to my past life and also knew how to respond to an English widower. She is the reason why I am no longer internetting, but does not wish to be included in this incredibly open and honest life I write about (more her words than mine, but a fair comment) and I do not want to share her with you, I have reached my time for a private relationship.
However, because you know nothing with me is plain sailing; this was what happened this morning:
I was supposed to be out with a very nice young girl, who I have met a couple of times recently, this evening, but of course this is not now really going to be happening under the banner by which we started. Behaving like a child, a petulant teenager, an emotionally stunted adult, or even an ignorant moron who is unable to find the answer button on the telephone was not going to be allowed in my world this morning, so I called her.
Voice mail; I hate answer machines, even though it is a living breathing persons voice simply recorded, the digital mechanics of the operation confuse my mind to such an extent that I rarely leave a coherent message.
"blah blah rummage rummage rhubarb I'll call you back at eleven"
I got her voice mail again at eleven and had to entertain the prospect that I may be being ignored. This I now realise was just me being a dick, she was in a meeting, but I was starting to Hugh Grant the situation. Email would have been too impersonal for this Lillyfield lovely and as calling was proving to be unproductive I went with the uncomfortable SMS text approach and typed the following;
Ciao XXXX, text is far from my preferred method of contact in these matters. You could be in a meeting, but I am not sure. I am no longer in RSVP AND WE SHOULD TAL...
At this point my phone slipped into CAPITALS, as it has want to do on text messages and I engaged in a bit of a skirmish with the keypad to try and reset the caps lock whilst typing the rest of the message. The phone won and I looked on in increasing horror as the screen changed to the familiar SENDING icon and my general Hugh Grant demeanour erupted into full blown panic. I have never missent a text before and of ALL THE BLOODY TIMES TO DO IT!!!!!!
My hastily typed follow up started with the immortal phrase
Oh for fucks sake my nervousness has sent you half a text, timing is awful...
and explained what needed to be explained. Fortunately I received a call from her mere moments after and we laughed about .....well, me of course.