I did something yesterday that I hadn't ever done before, I Googled an ex-boyfriend.
It was partly prompted by a discussion I had at the pub on Wednesday night, about the early days of AIDS education in Australia. Way back in the latter half of the '80s I dated a lovely man called Simon who was an AIDS researcher. Specifically researching the safer sex activities of men, those who identify as 'gay' or 'bi' and those who have sex with men but don't include themselves in those categories. The success or failure of education campaigns was extremely topical then, and is still now. Through Simon I got to attend an international AIDS conference and meet an amazing group of people. I still treasure the signed cassette (cassette!, remember those?) given to me by the late singer/songwriter/actor Michael Callen who I made friends with at that conference (He's perhaps best known for singing cameos in the movies "Philadelphia" and "Zero Patience", the latter in which he played Miss HIV in drag).
Anyhoo, all this train of thought had me thinking about Simon. So I Googled him and there he was. Older, greyer, but still just as tall and strikingly handsome. And I'm glad to see, still fighting the good fight against HIV but now from his base at a University in the US.
It was funny looking at him on a computer screen, across a gap of around 20 years. Simon was a great guy to be with, funny and a bit goofy (and just between you and me, dynamite in the sack!) and if I had been a bit older and wiser I wouldn't have made some of the silly mistakes I did in our relationship. I also dated him around the time I took off backpacking around Europe and then relocated to Sydney, so the timing was bad.
It's funny the things you remember about people. The parties, the times spent lying in bed watching tapes of the US cable tv show Brothers (about a trio of brothers, one of whom is gay), the sex (oh man, the sex!) and Simon introducing me to the camp music of duo Romanovsky & Phillips. Ah, good times.
Interestingly, he's listed himself on a social networking website so that people from his past can contact him. I wonder if I should?... I'd like to thank him for the good times we had, and tell him how even though we dated for less than a year that he had a big impact on me both then and still.
Maybe I will.