I'd written 'Howzit China' in the subject line of my last email to Gary, and was surprised to discover that he actually knew the origin of the expression:
Based on emails from August, 2002.
Where did you hear that expression? China plate = mate. Rhyming slang. You hear it often in Oz. Anyway, thanks again for letting me know about the Cody News update. Like I said, it made my day. But I didn't have a wank... at least not yet. :)
Yeah, well 'china' was quite a common thing here in Cape Town with some dudes, probably around Gary's age I reckoned. You would often hear that expression from some of the 'bergies' [beggars] in the streets. "Hey, China, got a buck for me? I need to feed my sick mother and my ten kids." The bergies would normally reek of booze. But I didn't know about the china plate/mate rhyming slang story, so I thanked Gary for enlightening me cos it would make me look like a total brainer with my buds. :)
Last night, I went with Steph again to the drugs counselling session. The first thing she said to me was, "Behave!" It was more like an order than a suggestion. I had to laugh, though, and asked her if she was Austin Powers now or something.
OK. So I behaved. But I still couldn't wait for the session to end. I wasn't sure if it was actually the session doing me any good or just being with Steph... and suddenly having some focus like being cosy with her and Winger.
Gary remarked on the blonde guy pic I used in the latest Cody News. "That pic of the guy with the long blonde hair and pecs..."
"Long blonde pecs?"
"Quit being a fucking smartass. Anyway, he's got Winger's bod."
Winger came skateboarding over to my place yesterday arvie with his top tied around his waist. Bare chested. Whoa! I was knocked out by his fucking body, as usual. His cargoes were being held up by his dick cos his hips seemed too narrow.
Wingnut wanted to know if I was interested in visiting the Ts, but I had a date with the counsellors already. Pity. I hadn't been around to visit Cody's folks for a while, and I knew that I needed to see them sometime soon. Even just to say hi. I always enjoyed myself when I was with them. And I guessed they enjoyed seeing me as well.
Wingnut was still just about living at Cody's house, which was good for Mr and Mrs T. Cody's room was still a shrine to Winger. That was cool cos it meant that it wasn't an empty room full of fading memories. It remained alive with the grommet's presence. And that's the way Cody would have wanted it to be.
Got an email from Francois to say that the home page of Cody's World was screwed, so I was gonna have to go in there and fix it. Cody had such a weird way of working with his site folder. Last night, after I'd downloaded one of the index pages, I got this cold feeling after I'd pressed 'enter'. But when I checked the home page it was OK. It had obviously been stored in my PC cache.
"Hey, Gary, I got an email from a girl called Roxy in Texas. What the fuck have you been telling her about me being good looking and shit like that?"
Anyway, it was cool getting an email from Roxy, and I replied. But I really didn't wanna get into a whole email thing. Cody used to manage his time so damn well. He had time to write to people, and blow me, and surf, and hike up the mountain, and blow me, and go camping, and blow me, and study, and let me blow him. The more I thought about it, the less I understood about how the fuck he managed his time. I figured he did most of his email stuff at school... and most of his computer stuff at school. He always had a box of disks in his school bag.
Fuck! I was losing the plot. I'd been telling Gary about how Winger had visited me yesterday. OK, so he hung around for a while, and we talked. Hey, I never even touched the grommet. Why? Cos he came around to see me without his shirt on, and that was something I wanted him to do a lot. I wanted him to be able to feel comfortable around me, and not to think that I was gonna try to touch him and shit like that. I didn't wanna give him the jitters about visiting me.
Wingnut said that he wanted to grow his hair long after he leaves school, and put it in a pony tail. It would suit him, I reckoned, cos he had such thick black hair. Actually, his hair was taking on a brownish tint, probably from the sun and the surf.
After counselling yesterday, I went into FunTB chat for a while, and chatted. Hey, that's what you do in there, right? It was quite fun cos I was trying to register with Yahoo so that I could get into FunTB groups. But every damn nick I tried had been taken already. So the guys in chat were coming up with names, and had me in fucking hysterics. Hahahahaha!
"Hey, Gary, I'm chuffed that you liked the news page on Cody's World. I think it helps me to remember him when I'm working on that. Oh, my fuck! We would argue over that damn thing. That, and the Cody TJ stories."
"A couple of weeks ago, when I was working on that page, I became aware that I was grinning to myself, and couldn't figure it. Then I realized that it was cos I was remembering the two of us with our fingers pointing at the comp screen, and working out changes to graphics or whatever. And Cody would say something like, "Let's shrink the dude's dick, and then ask for a ransom for him to get his length back." Hahahahaha! Real stupid fucking shit, but we would be hosing ourselves."
"Other times, I get this lump in my throat knowing that those times are gone forever. I can still remember the familiar smell of him when we sat close like that. It was a warm friendly smell. And it was his."
"Hey, Gary, I really enjoyed doing the graphic of Cody's room with the Cody glass on the chest of drawers. By the way, I sent you a card. Posted it to the same PO box in Taree that you've got on your site. But I forgot to put the postal code on the envelope, so I hope it gets to you. That Cody Glass graphic is printed on the front of the card."
"Why am I telling you this? COS I POSTED THE FUCKING CARD ON THURSDAY AUGUST 8 AND YOU SHOULD'VE RECEIVED IT ALREADY! It was supposed to be a surprise, but now I'm worried that you're not gonna get the fucking thing. So the surprise is screwed. So check your mail. OK?"
Your friend and the Codeman's,
There was no way that I was planning another email to Gary that day. One a week was stretching me to the limit. Three times a week was totally hectic. But this new email was like the 4th one that week! On the other hand, it needed to be written cos Gary had told me that the package for his birthday had arrived safely. I'd been panicking about its not arriving. He'd mentioned nothing about it in his emails to me for weeks, and that worried the shit outta me. I didn't wanna tell Gary what the package contained, so I just said that it was a birthday card. I figured if the damn thing did arrive, at least it would still be a surprise cos the package was a helluva lot bigger than an envelope with a card in it.
I dropped a few tears while I was putting that package together. I remembered seeing Cody wearing those togs.
I'd been planning this email from the day after I'd posted the package cos it was about that time that the shit was hitting the fan with the Luke fuckup. The thought had occurred to me that if, for whatever reason, the cops visited Gary's room there could have been questions about why he had teen clothing there. Then I began to think that I shouldn't have sent that stuff cos even something so innocent could have gotten Gary into more shit than he could handle.
"So I just want to say don't go advertising the togs to the screw crew cos they'll find something to fuck you over with."
Anyway, after a few days, I figured that sending those things to Gary would have been what Cody wanted. Hopefully, the package would arrive without any tampering. If it had been tampered with, then my fears about the cops would have been relevant.
I slept last night cuddling Code's T. :) It was a bit sad in a way, but I'll be OK. Even after all this time it's still difficult to accept his death. There is still so much of him that's alive. The clothes, the emails, the stories, his buds, his folks, Cody's World, the pics, the bead necklace that he made.
I was surprised to find such a large package at the post office. You're right. I was expecting a card. I was totally confused when I opened the package. At first I thought they were clothes for me. Then I noticed that they weren't new. Then I thought maybe they were yours. I totally went to pieces when I read your letter. Took me forever - one sentence or maybe just a few words at a time - in between having to grab handfuls of tissues. I was handling the clothing trying to come to terms with the reality of having a part of Code in my hands.
And no, the package wasn't tampered with. You're allowing your paranoia to take charge again, Steve. The cops have been in my office, and seen the Cody pics on the mantle. I told them that he was the one who inspired me to write stories, and that he'd been killed in an accident. I've got nothing to hide. Hell, my stories have been on the net for five years, and three years on the current site. I've registered the mrbstories domain together with mrbstories as a business name with a bank account in that name. It's all there for anyone and everyone to see. It's all completely transparent. People who have anything to fear from the law don't behave like I do.
Cody must've been planning various gifts for people last Christmas. But the only one he got to finish was the bead necklace for me. To take that away from his pad that day was the hardest thing cos it was like taking a bit of Cody away from his folks.
His fingers threaded those beads, and his teeth would've pulled the knots tight on the line. His face would've been all serious as he worked on it to get it right.
"I know Cody would've wanted you to have that necklace, Gary, because of everything you did for him. I've got a necklace that he used to wear. I was gonna send that to you but I couldn't bring myself to do that. So now you know who the other bead wristy was for. :) One was for Winger and the other for you."
"Oh, just ignore the return address on the package cos it's a fake. Else the poor bugger who owns it is gonna get your used condoms hahahahahahaha!"
"One of the things you might be thinking now is to send me something in return. Don't. I know that you'll respect my privacy as much as you respected Cody's wishes about that stuff. You've given me so much in the last 8 months that I'm not sure how to thank you."
Meantime, I'd spoken to a few people about drug withdrawls. Most of them agreed that after a month or so of being clean I was gonna maybe go through some serious pain, and that that was the dangerous part, which could cause some attitude reversal or some shit like that.
So I was taking it a day at a time, and hoping that they were wrong. Cos I was a wussy when it came to pain.
"I hope that you like the card, Gary. If I get my act together, then the graphic on the card will also be attached to this email. I'll also do a thumbnail that you can use on your site. The wording on the card is a little different to the wording on the graphic, but the pic is the same."
"The shark in the wine glass was Cody's idea. He reckons you might cut down on a bit on the wine when you see the pic hahahahahaha!"
"Separate ways one day. But you'll have something there from Cody that I know you'll treasure and respect, because they belonged to the most awesome awesome friend that anybody could ever have had."
"So is this gonna make your birthday better? Nah, I don't think so. But I think it might make it a bit more bearable even though he's not here at the end of this email.
Peace, Love, Respect.
Your friend and the Codeman's,
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