South Africa
Part 36

> Hi Gary. Tried it your way this weekend and who knows maybe you could be on track.

G'day Steve. Whoa! That was some email! Thanks for writing it. I've gotta say that when I read about your being nervous as hell when you and Wingnut got into bed, I was very moved. That kinda nervousness is such a gift! Brought back all kinds of memories for me - desperately wanting to befriend someone and being as nervous as a kitten. I haven't changed, and I don't want to. I never want to lose that feeling of being scared shitless while I'm floating on air.

Yes, I am proud of you, Steve. You accomplished a great deal on Friday night - probably more than you realize. You've elevated yourself in Wingnut's eyes, and given him something important to cling to when he remembers the bad times. And I think the convo you had about Code - the BJs and the fucking - was cool cos it brought a lot of things into the open without being threatening to either of you. It's all part of the bonding process.

I'm glad you complimented him about his swimming. Don't overdo it, though, or it'll begin to sound false. Basically, just tell him what you really think. Cody didn't compliment me all that often, but when he did I was on a major high. I remember the first time he signed off, "luvya". Then he added, "i wont sign off like that all the time cos then itll lose its meanin." I think he was right. When he did occasionally tell me how he felt about me it was very very special. And me? Well, I'm fucking hopeless hehehe. I lavished so much praise on him it was sickening. Sometimes I would read one of my old replies to his mail. PUKE! How the hell he put up with my excesses I'll never know.

Meantime, I was totally riveted to every word you wrote. That is right up there with the most incredible emails I've ever received from anybody. From what I know of you and your past, writing me has no doubt been the best thing you've ever done in terms of therapy. There's still a lot of ground to cover, but you've come a helluva long way in just a few months.

Eggs? Practise. Are you gonna let an egg beat you? Practise, practise, practise. I'm not being facetious here. It's the same with everything in life. So many people keep telling themselves that they can't do this or that they can't do that. Until I met Cody, I'd convinced myself that I couldn't write stories. Hello?

Your dad? I'm feeling a bit inadequate here cos I don't know him. Obviously there's a lot of hate there that's been simmering for years. Whose fault is that? In any confrontation, each side blames the other. I'm hopeful that the fight in the gym leads to something positive. Stranger things have happened before. Could it be that the two of you mirror aspects of yourselves that you don't like? It wasn't long ago that you searched your mind and couldn't find anything you'd ever done for anybody that wasn't motivated by selfishness. Do you have that in common with your dad? I'm asking questions here cos you know your situation far better than I. But if questions can lead to answers then it's not a bad idea. Meantime, your mom is the meat in the sandwich, and probably doesn't want to be seen to be taking sides. However, I think it might be an idea to have a chat with her one day about the relationship between you and your dad. Maybe she can help to unravel the mystery. Both you and your dad need to sort this thing out. And the sooner the better. Hate is the most destructive thing known to mankind.

Calling your dad a cunt and a fucking prick is not exactly the most subtle way to get him to say that he loves you. And there's no way he's gonna take what you said other than at face value. You called me all kinds of names not so long ago, but I read between the lines hehehe. I guess I know you better than your dad does. Don't expect him to read your mind, Steve. You're giving him all the wrong signals.

Good things can come out of hate, though. As I write this, I'm downloading HUGE pics of old warplanes. :)

Wingnut amazes me by the way he can be so matter of fact at such a young age. He not only outboxes you in the gym, but he also outboxes you verbally hehehe. I'm surprised that you went on a downer after he left, though. I thought you would have been on a high. But maybe you've been training your brain to think negatively for too long, and the habit has become compulsive. Or maybe your depression is more complex than that - some kinda medical or psychological condition. I see the sleepover on Friday night as one of the most postive things you've done. We're talking a fucking milestone here. You've shown Wingnut that you have great respect for him as well as affection. Affection is cool, but respect is top shelf. Respect is also what's missing between you and your dad. You've often said that you want/need his love, so love is there even if it's buried deep down. Respect is the missing ingredient. But that's fixable. Respect was also missing between you and Wingnut not too long ago. :) How did you fix that? Go figure.

You once told me that I would like Bruce if I knew him. The more you tell me about him, the more I like him.

One of the things I absolutely adore about Wingnut is that he can be a tough little bugger, but as soon as you mention sex between him and his gf he gets embarrassed and goes bright red hehe. So there's a chink in the grommet's armor. He can be as tough as nails one minute, and bawling his eyes out the next. My kinda hero. I have a soft spot for peeps who wear their hearts on their sleeves. Cody did. You do. Mark does. Mark fascinates me. They don't come any tougher than him, but he can be soooo gentle and sweet, even though it embarrasses him. I love it! Contrast, contrast, contrast. That's what makes life - as well as people - interesting and enjoyable.

So there you were - Bruce, Steve, and Wingnut surfing at Long Beach. Three awesome hunks. Where's the contrast? The contrast is in Taree, Oz hehehe. A fossil going ballistic at the mental image of you guys. I'm totally hopeless. And I just melted when you told me about Wingnut wanting to cuddle up to you in bed. He's such a sweetheart! There's another chink in the armor. He would die in the ass if his grommet buddies knew about that side of his character, little realizing that they probably have the same chinks in their armor.

Why does Wingnut like you? You have certain things in common, such as surfing and being Code's close friends. But there's gotta be more to it than that. Do you get the feeling that Wingnut sees what Cody saw in you? I do. Hopefully, he'll tell you what it is one day, then maybe you'll see it too. I can now see in me what Cody saw in me. I didn't know it existed before he came along. I owe him big time.

Yep, I remember Just Jinger and "Shallow Waters". That was the song he asked Mark to play on the bus when he left Cape Town for Joburg. A MrB reader sent me the file, and I was a mess when I listened to it.

I think Mark hit the nail on the head when he suggested that you've been beaten up so many times you're getting a major complex about it. And now your dad's joined the ranks of the Steve bashers. If there's one guy who can toughen you up, it's Mark. Mind you, I think you're tougher than Mark realizes. You've shown remarkable courage and resilience lately that no amount of muscle could handle. You've been to hell and back. Could guys like Craig handle that kind of challenge? Give yourself credit, Steve. You're probably tougher than a busload of Craigs. And one day your dad will understand how wrong he was to hit you like he did.

You have to accept part of the blame, though. Everytime he saw you trashed, he interpreted that as contempt for him and your mom. He's a dad not a professional counselor. When you were born, you didn't come with instructions on how to raise Steve. I wish your dad could take a leaf out of Cody's dad's book. I suspect your dad thinks that material things are more important than love and affection. Maybe he's incapable of expressing love and affection. I can imagine him saying to your mom, "I don't understand him! I've given him everything! A good education at the best school, a home with everything that opens and shuts, travel to Europe and Brazil... he's well clothed and fed, and he's got the housekeeper and staff to take care of him. But he doesn't appreciate any of it! What's the matter with him? What more can I do?" Of course, the answer to that last question is obvious to you and me, but not to him. He needs to be enlightened.

I can't wait for you to visit Mark and Fingers again. Mark is another guy who's been to hell and back. Different challenges, but challenges nevertheless. I doubt whether there's anything he couldn't handle now. He's both mentally and physically tough, and wise beyond his years. And we all know who helped to elevate him to the pedestal upon which he now proudly stands. Of all your friends, Steve, Mark is probably the one who will be the greatest pillar of strength. We're all important - Wingnut, Bruce, Steph, Cody, the MrB readers who write you, me - but Mark relates to you in a special way - his way. I'm so proud of him for offering to help you. Like Mr T said, Cody chose his friends well.

As for rebuilding Cody's web site, don't let the enormity of it hassle you. Do it the same way he did it - a little at a time. If I had to create a site the size of MrB again, I'd be overwhelmed by the prospect. The only reason it exists is because I did it one day at a time without visualizing the end result. End result? There won't be one until I fall off the perch. It's gonna set some kinda record for the most stuff ever written by an individual.

Thanks for telling me about the new cool way to wank. That's all I needed. :-/ How am I supposed to concentrate on anything if you're gonna tell me about that stuff? I'm glad Wingnut noticed that you're looking more cut since you've been working out and hitting the bag. Jeez. Here I go again. Visualizing those hot bods. For the past five minutes I've been staring unfocused into middle distance trying to figure out why I'm so obsessed with the sight of fit youthful bods. They totally blow me away.

Thanks again for an awesome email. Like I said, I was riveted to every word. I wish there was more I could say about your dad. His attitude during his sparring session with you reminds me of Mark in his moody days when he would take out his aggro on Cody while they were sparring in the school gym. If I look in my crystal ball, I see your dad thinking pretty hard about what happened and doing a bit of soul searching. Surely any dad can't do what he did and not question it. But we'll have to wait and see. Meantime, I'd recommend a heart to heart with your mom.

Your friend and the Codeman's

Gary

PS: Here's a paste of some of the stuff Dale wrote me yesterday:

I also read 18-30 of Steve yesterday - last time I was there I did 1-17 over 2 days; pretty sordid stuff. Not like this wasn't, of course. Is it just me or does there seem to be light at the end of the tunnel for Steve? I'm not ashamed to say that when Wingnut and Steve met again and seemed to make up at Cody's place there was not a dry eye in the house. I'm not usually a soppy kind of guy (except when I watch Terminator 2 by myself - that end scene where Arnie melts himself is just too tragic), but it really hit home, and hit hard. I think it is all the more poignant that it is pretty much Steve's own words verbatim from his diary to you - it's not hard to see that there is a lot of anger there, a lot of sadness as well; I wish him all the best in getting to a point where he is happy with himself. I know a kid - one of my karate classmates/students, in fact - who is also on the proverbial emotional rollercoaster with his parents - separated, divorced and remarried to each other on several occasions. He loves them both a lot, but they hate each other. His mom is engaged now to some other guy who he doesn't get on with - the guy is always yelling at the kids, even slightly violent (the occasional twisted ear or push and shove) and this kid is absolutley torn, man. His dad is an alcoholic - recovering, I think, not sure - and... there is just too much hate there. He's a good kid; even with all this shit around him and hanging with a rough crowd and even with the mischief he gets up to, he's honest, respectable, polite, courteous, generous, and every other wonderful thing you could say about any guy, all rolled into one, just struggling to find his place in the world. I don't know why I feel compelled to tell you all this, by the way, but I have to.

Okay, just shot back to read 30-33 - kudos for pointing me out as a "not stereotypical" guy. I'm much like Steve is, I think, the same small circle of friends (of whom only 2 know I am bi, and they are now in New York and Nottingham, anyway) and also, surprisingly, a Virgo! I am also not into the gay scene - probably the consequences of being closeted, in fact. Anyway, also saw the link to the stuff I sent you about the beaches and that - have to point out that I am in fact not a native Capetonian - moved here with my mom and sister from Zimbabwe shortly after my 9th birthday - and also that I am trying very hard to sort out the red button so that the bloody thing actually works. Will keep you posted...

see ya

Dale

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 Steve Part 37