We haven’t spoken in years. Between my health ups and downs and you with your family in Sydney, it’s been a while since we caught up. But you are always with my thoughts.
We first met in kindergarten. So our Mothers both say, because my memories from around that time are unsurprisingly few. Then the same primary school and the same high school. We were true locals. You lived up the road from me. I think it was 4 blocks away.
You were into so many things different to me, but we still played together and had fun. Gemstones, CB radio, flavours of electronic music that I hadn’t heard before, hobbies that were foreign to me. But we always had a good time. Just playing in your back yard, climbing the tree, or being secret agents. In the warmer weather your mum would offer us watermelon for refreshment.
Playing in your room, you always had some gadget or new thing to share and catch my imagination. As we got older, there were computer games on your Amiga, a synthesiser that you played that riff from Nik Kershaw’s “Wouldn’t it be good” on and I couldn’t identify it, 35mm cameras with electronic controls. And later on that Datsun car, it was so cool, even if it did get expensive to keep running. You were up with the current times and dragged naïve me along willingly.
There was that gorgeous girl who liked you, flirted with you, but was insecure about the photographs you took of her. Wanting to see them straight out of the envelope and confiscating the bad shots before anyone else could see them. But you weren’t that into her. I remember sitting at a cafe with another of your friends, feeling slightly embarrassed by his comments about passing females. He wasn’t being crude, it was just a new experience to me. How we laughed!
Then you travelled and told me about a girl you met overseas. And a year or two later you travelled again and brought her back. You got married by a celebrant at your parent’s house and asked me to play my keyboard at the ceremony. What an honour. House is she now anyway? Say hello and pass on a big hug from me.
You were a groomsman at my own wedding. Remember when we all camped together in the Flinders Ranges National Park, hiked all day at Wilpena pound and climbed to the top of St Mary Peak? Didn’t I carry my bicycle wheel on my backpack all the way up – just because my whole bike was too heavy. I remember so much mountain biking together, I was fearless on two wheels in those days.
Even when you moved interstate for better work, I managed to catch up with you every few years or so. Sleeping on your couch, or just visiting and cooking dinner for you all.
This morning, before I even got out of bed, I thought of you again, and it brought a smile to my face. All those years, all those adventures. Thanks for being you and thanks for the memories.