Friday, July 06, 2007

Past Love

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.


Sherri said...

Do it! there's nothing more regrettable than the things you could have said.

The Other Andrew said...

True Sherri! We parted ways amicably, so there would be no reason for any sort of discomfort for that reason.

thombeau said...

Go for it! For we know not what the morrow brings!

Most of my friends from "back then" are long dead now. I lost about 30 good friends and acquaintances to the plague. Roommates. Inspirations. I have now lived longer than all of them. It's strange.

The younger generations just don't know what it was see so many bright young things wiped out. Back then nobody knew any better. Now we do, but methinks the new kids are too quick to think that medication will take care of everything. It won't. In many ways it makes one's life worse. I have observed this in my friends who are poz. It's no picnic.

I'm not sad, though. Everyone has their own path to tread, and no one can say what that is except the one walking it. And often they don't know, either!

The Other Andrew said...

Nicely put Thom. I've lost a few friends, but there are sadly probably other club kids that I hung around with then that aren't with us anymore. I lost contact with many of them decades ago.

The rise of 'barebacking' and unsafe behaviour is scary and sadly fascinating. Partly a reaction against decades of being told how to behave, the failure (or non existance) of education campaigns and an over-confidence in the drug therapies all contribute I think.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

do it TOA - how flattering for him and how satisfying for you :-)

Mikey (TLE) said...

I agree with Sherri. People regret the things they didn't do so much more than the things they did.

As a latecomer to an out and active gay existence, I never really experienced the early years other than as a (mostly) outsider. The optimism of youth is to be cherished and celebrated, but the lessons of the past (elegantly put by Thom) ought not be forgotten either.

Michael said...

Interestingly, he's listed himself on a social networking website so that people from his past can contact him. I wonder if I should?...


Report back.

mrpeenee said...

Did you ever contact him? I just found this old post and I'm dying to know.

Please post a new report so we can all know. Pleeeease.