South Africa
Part 93

[August 28, 2003] Hi Gary,

Sorry. I didnít mean to make you guys worry at all. I am sitting [here] with email up to my eyeballs that need attention but I really donít have the will to get into them right now. A lot of them are like the one you sent about being worried, and whatís happening with the [Cody] news pages and so on. Iíve decided that when Iím in the mood Iíll update the news page and then Ė cos Iím in the mood Ė it will be good.

I started one for July but never finished it. A few buds from varsity organized a trip up to Jeffreys Bay for the Billabong [surf comp], and then when I got back I wasnít into sitting at the PC for ages.

Youíre probably wondering about everyone else. Well, Steph and I are mad [crazy] about each other, and see each other at least once a day. I sometimes stop at her place and we just chat for a little while. Weekends are ours, and sheís back into surfing, which is totally hot cos it means we spend more time together. Still havenít bonked her on the back line yet ÖÖÖÖ.

Wingnut spends a lot of time with us, and heís slept over [at my house] a coupla times. If he can be believed, then heís bonking his girlfriend now as well, and itís like itís a license to screw. Now that heís got a chick who is totally into his bod and everything else. Sheís a sexy little bitch as well, and likes to wear those low riders that have her flat stomach showing. Winger has gotten into those as well, and of course it shows off his package. But whenever he comes over to my place, heís wearing baggy cargoes, trying to grip his hips for dear life. He reckons itís to give my hand space to maneuver Ö if Iím desperate.

I heard from Mark about three weeks ago. He might be moving to Durban to do some work there, and heís hoping to maybe go to Florida for a few months. He can get a job (s)crewing [yachts] over there and get more experience. His relationship with Candy is still going full steam, so I think thatís worrying him a bitÖ although Candy says that he should go or else heíll always be wondering Ďwhat if?í.

I was at the Ts the other night. Actually, it was like a family dinner with them and me and Steph and Winger. Cool vibe, though. They asked Winger to take the [Endless Summer] poster to his place cos he doesnít spend as much time there [at the Ts as he used to], and they want him to have it. I think theyíre getting ready to pack a lot of Codyís stuff away. They never said that [exactly] but you could kinda pick it up between the lines.

And Steve is fine. I have not been near any shit [drugs] except for a joint now and again. Bruce and I are still tight buds. Sometimes tighter than most.  Iím not so dependent on the PC anymore. Hey, I still log on to check out the [rude] dudes.  But Iím not joined to it at the hip.

I still get the odd [occasional] email that I enjoy reading, except like now when I havenít been on [the net] for ages, and I suddenly get swamped with a stack. But then I knew that would happen.

Iíve had a stack of mail from Wizid, and itís really cool to keep up with his adventures. Iíve had mail from Francois, Dave (to tell me about the server changes that heíd made to Codyís World), and Joao, and some people I donít know. Quite a bit of mail asking about the next updates [to Codyís World] so I might just get into gear and try and get something going.

I bet you thought Iíd forget your birthday. No chance. Iíve made up a few birthday graphics and Iím not hundreds about any of them, so Iíll send all of them. Itís really just to let you know that I have spent some time thinking about you and wondering how youíre doing. Suppose Iím going to have to log on to MrB to find out.

Anyway, Gary, I hope that you have a good one. All the best.

Peace, Love, Respect

Your bud and the Codemanís

Steve

G'day Steve,

Let's get the rocket-up-the-ass thing outa the way first. I hadn't heard a peep outa you for the better part of two months. If someone had written me and told me that you were dead, I wouldn't have been surprised. That and other scenarios had crossed my mind many times. But the thing that was puzzling me most was the lack of action at the site with the bi-line 'Where the ACTION is', Cody's World. Almost 12 months ago, when I was away for five days being poked and prodded by doctors and nurses [why aren't there any hunky teen doctors?] you went ballistic and imagined all kinds of dumb reasons for my absence. That was five days, not fifty days!

I've had many emails from MrB members thanking me for the updates and news pages where I keep them informed of my progress or lack thereof. I'm human, too, and not always capable of delivering the goods or living up to people's expectations. But at least I let them know what's going on so that they don't think I've thrown in the towel or fallen off the perch. When people become attached to you or your work or both, you have a responsibility to keep them informed. I would suggest you have a little page or window on Cody's World where you can let peeps know what your schedule is. If you're experiencing a creative block, or are busy or not in "the mood" let them know. It's far preferable to leaving people hanging and not knowing what the hell is happening. Nuff said.

You're right about the build-up of email. The bigger it gets, and the older it gets, the less incentive you have to answer it all. Cody often said that he didn't have the nerve to check his email cos there'd be a stack there after he'd procrastinated for a while. I suggest you create a page on Cody's World where you can answer everybody all at once, rather than replying to each email individually. June wrote this, Wiz wrote that, etc, etc. You could do it maybe once a month and it would only take you about an hour. Nothing fancy; just text. Maybe you could call it Keeping in Touch or something like that.

One of these days, you'll have a full-time job. And you won't always be in the mood for it. When I was a radio announcer, I obviously wasn't in the mood to be jolly on air all the time. I had to psyche myself up. Writing stories is pretty much the same. I can stare at a blank screen for ages wondering what the fuck I'm gonna write. I solve that prob eventually by throwing anything on the screen. If it doesn't inspire me or lead to something else, I delete it and throw something else on the screen. Sooner or later, there'll be something there that will lead to something else and so on. If you're gonna be involved in a career that requires creative and innovative thinking, you're gonna have to learn to control your creative moods rather than allow them to control you. What is it they say about creativity? One percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.

BTW, before I forget. I'm planning on getting back into writing copy for advertising, etc. I could use a graphic artist for special jobs - print, video, web sites. :) I could pay you through PayPal. You open an account with PayPal, and I send money to your email addy. Too simple. I don't expect to be rushed off my feet - in fact, I haven't even put an ad in the local rag yet - but I'll keep you posted. Meantime, you might wanna design something for a page I've put up, and which I'll direct traffic to in the newspaper ad. www.gazzasheroes.com/freelancewriter [Forget it. Iíve since changed my mind. October 03].

Speaking of gazzasheroes, have you read my interview with local surfer Dan Edwards? He's an inspiring young guy. Desperately wants to become a pro surfer, and he's pretty damn good.

Good news about you and Steph. The beast has finally been tamed, or so it seems. I can see a little blonde monkey in my crystal balls - oops! Freudian slip. BALL. And in my vision, I see that little monkey being taken around to the Ts occasionally to be baby-sat while you guys party or whatever. I'm sure Cody's mom would love it. It would be the next best thing to having a grandchild.

Wingnut's changing, but not all that much. Sounds like he's still got the hots for you hehehe. Well, why not. If I hadn't met Cody, I would never have believed that a group of friends could be so liberal in their attitude to sex. Maybe it's unique to Cape Town. Did you get all the way through The Codeman story? I ended it on a positive note. Anyway, it's good to hear that Wingnut's doing well. We all have a soft spot for that guy. Soooooo many memories.

Also great to know that Mark is happy and well. Moving to Durban will upset the local applecart, though. How does Fingers feel about that? Hopefully, he's a realist and understands that Mark has a life to lead, and places to go. As I told Code, if you let it go and it flies away you never owned it. But if it comes back, it's yours. Mark proved that when he visited Code for his 19th birthday, and was planning to visit again for Christmas 2001.

Mark certainly has more than his fair share of MrB fans, and I'm one of them. Big time. June and Jace had a naughty weekend recently at Niagra Falls. Jace saw a bunch of Harleys there and immediately thought of Mark. Mark's had an incredible impact on Jace's life. And I can hardly believe that Mark's thinking of spending some time in Florida. Jace suggested I write the Daniel Meets Mark story, where Mark sails a yacht to Tampa. How's that for coincidence? I wrote the foreword to the DMM story yesterday.

Mark's gf is right to encourage him to seek more experience in places such as Durban and Florida. He's at the perfect age to travel and broaden his range of skills. There's plenty of time to settle down later. The world is his university, and hands-on experience is the very best of teachers. If I were you, I'd also be encouraging him to jump in at the deep end and go for it. He did that anyway when he made the decision to leave Cape Town to work in Joburg. And I'm tickled pink that you guys are remaining in touch. Friends always, I hope. I can only imagine what awesome stories you guys will be swapping in a few years from now.

I think the most heartwarming news, and not just for me, is the "family" dinner you had at the Ts with Wingnut and Steph. I guess I'm a bit disappointed to learn that the Cody "shrine" will soon be dismantled. It seems like only yesterday that you visited it for the first time after Cody's death and remarked on the fresh wax on his board, and how Wingnut said, "It's like he's still here, only invisible". Letting go is not easy, but I suppose we can't hang on to the past. I'm reminded of those cultures, usually primitive, that preserve the bodies of grandpa and grandma and have them sitting around the house like they were still alive. Gross! I'm trying to understand what must be going on in the minds of the Ts. There's no way they're gonna get their son back, so they have no choice but to move on. I felt somewhat like that when I finished The Codeman. It was time to let go. I will never take his pics off my mantle, though. And I will never forget him. Hell, he's in my thoughts every day, especially when I'm writing a story.

It's good that you've managed to stay away from drugs except for the occasional joint. One can only imagine how difficult it is for someone who was addicted for so long, and particularly at such a tender and impressionable age. My recent experiences with Luke, Lindsay and Sue have almost driven me bonkers. Everything has calmed down now, though. It's peaceful and quiet. Bliss! You were correct in your assessment of Luke right from the very beginning. He's an asshole. But you were wrong about me hehehe. I'm tougher than you gave me credit for, and it's Luke who is paying the price for that.

Yep, whenever you wanna know how I'm doing, just log on to MrB. Yesterday's news was mostly about a b'day gift Sean mailed to me... Jace's next door neighbor... the Ohio version of Wingnut. It's a t-shirt with THE FEZ logo on it... the bar in Cape Town. I'm sure you've been there. The decor is a sultan's palace. I can just imagine you and Wingnut lounging around on the huge tassled cushions, naked of course, sipping exotic cocktails. Lemme know when that's gonna happen and I'll arrange to pop in.

The main reason why I don't flood you with email when you're not writing is that it only adds to the pile of paranoia. Also one has to wonder if one is sending a note into the ether to be read by some alien a few thousand years hence.

Thanks a stack for the birthday graphics. They're really clever. I really wasn't expecting anything. BTW, Jace reminded me of Wingnut's birthday. I gather you weren't involved in it this year cos you didn't mention it. Anyway, I'm gonna have a quiet day just babbling away to my mate Cody tomorrow, on the My Best Friend page. My most memorable birthdays were spent with him in one way or another, and I don't see why that should change. Oh, yeah... it's interesting to observe birthday greetings through the years. During your 30s and 40s people have fun telling you that you're getting OLD. The 'old' jokes fly thick and fast. But when you really are old, hehehe, they become much more diplomatic, like you have by referring to 2003 rather than my actual years. So this is the last of the 50+ years. I guess I'm lucky to have made it considering what happened last year. The next one will be the big SIX ZERO! Whoa! But actually it's all a bit ho hum. You get so used to heading for three score that arriving there is a bit of an anti climax. Old Kev next door thinks I'm still a chicken. He's almost 80. So there ya go.

Not sure what I'll do for your big TWO ZERO on Monday, September 1. I'll probably write something, but I don't have a clue what ... yet.

Thanks for coming outa the woodwork and letting me know how y'all are. I'm sure MrB members will be glad to receive the news as well.

Your friend and the Codeman's,

Gary

PS: AND KEEP IN FUCKING TOUCH!

PSS: You didn't cuss once in your email. Now there's a first.

 

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 Steve Part 94