Tuesday, January 09, 2007

35Up

The other night I caught a repeat of the documentary 42Up on tv, the sixth instalment of the series that revisited a group of children every 7 years to document their lives. Maybe it's because I'm 42, but it got me thinking about my own 42Up. I've probably documented my own version of being 42 here (or big chunks of it at least), but it got me thinking about where I was 7 years ago, who I was 7 years ago, and what I was doing. Here's the potted version:

35Up. 1999 - 2000
  • Having moved back there for love, I was living back in my old home town of Adelaide.
  • I was no longer in love with that man, in fact that relationship had turned out to be quite toxic, with big spoonfulls of the crazy thrown in. We broke up about 6 months after I moved back, about 18 months previously.
  • I had started the year feeling depressed and lonely, living on my own and finding Adelaide not as the lively and fun place full of good friends that it had been in my youth.
  • The later parts of the previous year and very early parts of this year saw me channeling some of that loneliness into sex, into a string of anonymous encounters and a few guys I saw casually every now and then.
  • I had a nice, neat, cheap little 2 bedroom flat to myself but it turned out to be hard to get to by public transport (a regular Adelaide problem) and my upstairs neighbours were noisy and inconsiderate.
  • I was working as a registry officer in a Familial Cancer Registry, collecting family medical history information to build genetic family trees of clients with certain types of cancer. It was a job that turned out to be emotionally stressful for me (with my family history of cancer) and a lack of training and management support for what was a new service meant that my two workmates and I were floundering somewhat.
  • The whole time I was scraping by financially, trying to save enough money to make my return to Sydney.
  • Things started to look up when on a business trip to Sydney for a cancer conference I visited friends who lived with a recently un-closeted Mikey. They didn't know many other gay people and suggested I come over and meet Mikey, and maybe give him another 'mo to talk to. I stayed for dinner and Mikey and I talked until the small hours of the morning.
  • Returning to Adelaide (boo!) Mikey and I corresponded by email and telephone, gradually moving past being flirty to being more romantic, until towards the end of the year when I fled Adelaide back to Sydney and Mikey and I started up our relationship. A long distance courtship you could say, one that consisted of hundreds of pages of emails.

Most of it was pretty bleak I have to say, until the promise of a return to Sydney and a new relationship. New beginnings.

I'm not sure how different I was back then. I do remember how incredibly neat and tidy my flat was, partly on account of having so much more space, but I think I also channeled lots of my energy into making a little sanctuary for myself. I also remember affectionately David the recently un-closeted and divorced young dad I was shagging at the start of the year, who was light years away from wanting to start a relationship with me, but was fun to spend time with every now and then. Except when he would be drunk and horny and ring me in the small hours of the morning.

So, an interesting year.

16 comments:

Ur-spo said...

thank you for this.
and what a great idea too.
it is worth pinching and repeating; I hope others do so.

The Other Andrew said...

Go for it! I'd be interested to see what your visit on the Wayback Machine looks like.

Anyone else who wants to play?

Mikey (The Lovely Ex) said...

Wow. Seven years go eh? I guess that's right.

I'd play 31 up (in my case) but you've spilled the beans on a major part of it. Well one of three, really. Coming out, getting a great new job at a big fascist law firm (think of the bad guys in "Erin Brokovitch" and you're there) and of course starting my healthiest and longest relationship. One which (happily) continues to this day, albeit in a different form. All in all a great year.

The Other Andrew said...

Ain't you sweet. And yup, 7 years!

Mikey (The Lovely Ex) said...

Yes, yes I am...

BTW, you should seriously go to the Herald's website right now. Brett Lee (of Australian Cricket fame...look, just cause we're gay, doesn't mean we have to hate sport...) has just done a Bollywood song with Asha, Bollywood Legend. The story (on the "breaking stories" section which scrolls through on the right) has a Youtube link to the clip and everything. Hilarious! And I know you're affection for all things Bollywood.

The Other Andrew said...

That's Asha Bosle. Veteran of thousands of Bollywood soundtracks. One of the biggest reording artists of all time, and now really quite old. She's the lady mentioned on the "Brimful of Asha" song by Cornershop. Instantly recognisable for the really *bright* and sparkly tone in her voice. Mr Lee's contribution leaves a bit to be desired, but then he's a sportsmann not a singer...

The Other Andrew said...

BTW Mikey - we saw New Year's Eve 2000 together, as a couple. So there was a certain nice symmetry to seeing in 2007 together this year, in the context of this post.

Mikey (The Lovely Ex) said...

I hadn't thought about that, but yes, you are right. It was at Bernard and Steve's place in Bondi Junction. No, that was the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics. Were we on the harbour with John and Brendon? Speaking of B. Larry Barry, I saw him at the Green Park on Saturday afternoon/evening. I was having a beer with Dave and was then off to dinner with the Gay Porn Star, so I didn't get a chance to say hi.

The Other Andrew said...

You've switched them, the fireworks on the water was the opening of the Olympics and Bernard & Steve's was NYE 2000. We went to that other party nearby beforehand, remember? The guy you knew from the SCA. We were THE ONLY GUESTS WHO SHOWED UP (until just before we left that is).

Sunshine said...

It's always great to hear people's stories, especially how they met their partners and ex-partners. Thanks! :)

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks Sunshine! I guess I've got quite a few 'meeting' stories about the guys I've dated over the years. I could probably fill a whole blog... :)

Only a few really special ones though.

(Remember - I've been dating guys for 27 years. OHMYGOD, I'm ancient!)

Anonymous said...

that SCA friend was MrChen/Etienne/Stephen - he was in town from Darwin recently with his wife Maryann. they're off around the world in a day or two, the lucky buggers! and playing lots of bridge. takes all kinds!

but yeah, that wasn't the bestest party...

Anonymous said...

that SCA friend was MrChen/Etienne/Stephen - he was in town from Darwin recently with his wife Maryann. they're off around the world in a day or two, the lucky buggers! and playing lots of bridge. takes all kinds!

but yeah, that wasn't the bestest party...

Anonymous said...

crap. I hate beta. sorry...

The Other Andrew said...

...but I'm not using beta. :)

Anonymous said...

touche!

yes, but I am. Finn accidently swapped ForRattle! over to beta, which is no biggie at all, except to be on the members list (as I am) you have to swap over to beta and sign in to google as well as blogger and is a bit stupid.

and not always terribly consistent.

I am always signed in to blogger but for some reason to post here I also have to be signed in to google. do not ask me why or I'll chuck a wee tanty.

door bitch: smenita!