South Africa
Part 94
Based on emails from October, 2003.

Hi Gary,

I am going to keep this kinda short.

I am really just writing to let you know that I am fine and well and everything is going along pretty smoothly. No drugs for absolute ages now and I am hundreds that I am totally clean.

My whole life has changed and I have really stepped back from Cody's World to try and establish my own life. I've had a shit time trying to get out of Cody's shadow and I think that I am finally getting there. Right now I don't know what my plans are with Cody's World. I might very well add something to it when I'm ready, and that is the key.

I'm expecting to get a reply from you about my responsibilities as a webmaster and my duty to Cody but I honestly hope not. I'm not likely to ever forget the best friend I ever had but I also need to move forward with my life now.

This first year at varsity has not been that easy and it's taken loads of work and I've been pretty damn good with my studies. I just wish that my grades would show that. I'm also not sure about continuing along my current direction as far as my studies are going but I'm also not sure what alternatives I can go for. In the meantime I will stay with what I'm doing.

I've got myself a part time job waitering. Yeah I can hear you guffawing away at that thought. Nice restaurant out in the burbs.

Mark and I are still in contact with each other. He is now in Durban and planning to sail out sometime in January and head for the Caribbean or Florida on some special student working visa thingy.

Steph and me have split but we are really good friends. We split because we both felt that we were with each other for the wrong reasons. I love Steph very much and I'm sure she feels the same way, but I think we need to test our feelings by just giving each other some space right now. I'm just going out with any girls who want to share time at movies or clubbing or whatever.

What sparked this mail is that I have been getting mail from quite a few people and I haven't replied. One or two of them have been pretty nasty. Right now I am really not ready to get into an email correspondence with a lot of people. Fact is, outside of my studies, the PC is hardly used now. Hard to think I spent almost a whole year staring at that screen.

Wingnut is doing really well and I think he very much has his life sorted out. He phones every now and again to check on me :) and we've been out surfing quite often. He's a young adult now and very mature, compared to his buds. He's also getting a job waitering during the summer holidays.

The Ts are well and it looks like they are planning to pack up and emigrate. Not sure. Something to do with the possibility of Mr T being retrenched and not being able to find work here, being a white, middle-aged male.

I'm gonna end this now Gary. I'll write again some time and let you know whats happening. I'll also go into Mr B from time to time and see whats up. I haven't been there for ages now so I guess theres a lot of catching up to do. I'm hoping that you can let the Mr B crowd know that I am still alive and kicking and just wish them all well. I'll not forget them in a hurry. Look after yourself and take care.

Peace, Love, Respect
Your friend and the Codeman's
Steve


G'day Steve,

Well, well, well, well, well! So you're going to keep this kinda short, as the Bishop said to the actress. Well, you changed your mind as you wrote cos it wasn't all that short. Thanks for letting me [and all the MrBers] know how things are going over there.

You were always one to get your knickers in a knot about situations as you perceived them. Here you are, trying to sort out your own life by 'trying to get out from Cody's shadow' on the one hand, and feeling guilty about it on the other. I don't see why the two can't go hand in hand. I don't think anyone who knows you would want you to compromise your own future by being under Cody's spell. Cody himself would certainly not want that.

Yes, you did spend a lot of long hours staring at your PC screen, and many of those hours bring back bad memories. You went through a terrible ordeal back then, but I don't think you should be associating those times with Cody. If you're in Cody's shadow, I think it's self-imposed. Check out the title you gave your section of Cody's News. Steve's Drivel. Go figure.

But you've always had a complex about being up to scratch in terms of other people's expectations. 150 pounds of gorgeous tanned muscular blonde surfer on the outside and Mr Paranoid on the inside. My fossil guess is that you can thank your old man's previous attitude for that.

Nope, I'm not going to stick a rocket up your ass about anything. It's your life, not mine. But I do think you owe me and other people who care about you and your friends a note now and then to keep us up to date. You're our only connection. And I think you should place a note on Steve's Drivel to explain that you're taking a break from the site to sort out the direction of your own life. It's not fair to leave people wondering. As for the one or two nasty emails you received, don't let them get to you. You don't need ppl with that kinda attitude. I've been called bitter and a racist recently by one dude. Hehehe.

My psychic powers seem to be working OK. I've been writing Daniel Meets Mark, and what you've told me about Mark's current situation and plans fits in perfectly with the storyline, including the Caribbean. The fossil does it again! June and Jace will be pleased with the news about Mark, as am I. Despite you two following totally different paths, I hope you stay in touch for many years to come, even if only once in a while.

I can understand your current frustration with the uncertainty of your future direction and studies. But I figure that will sort itself out in time. I can think of a stack of peeps who've had the same problem, including myself. The light bulb can switch itself on at the most unexpected moment. Henry Ford said something along the lines of happiness is knowing what your destiny is and working towards it. That was OK for him to say, but would he have given that same advice to his assembly line workers? In your case, I would suggest you keep exposing yourself to as many situations and opportunities as poss. You'll recognize your destiny when it comes along. Meantime, stay cool and have fun.

A waiter, huh? Well, it's a good thing the restaurant ain't around here cos I'd be dining there all the time. I remember telling Cody that I would have been on a permanent pizza diet when Mark was waitering at the local. I imagine you didn't get the job cos of your waitering experience or culinary skills hehehe. So it must've been your looks that got you the job. Sounds logical to me. If I were the restaurateur, I'd follow exactly the same logic. Tart the joint up with a bit of gawk material.

You and Steph were with each other for the wrong reasons. I think I know what you mean... supporting each other during your grieving period. But the phrase 'wrong reasons' is interesting cos it reminds me of the interview I did for gazzasheroes with Jesse Martin, the youngest guy to sail around the world solo. He was 17 at the time. He's about 22 now. Lives in Melbourne, Oz. You should check out the interview. He has some fascinating things to say. I've also interviewed a young local surfer who wants to turn pro. Dan Edwards. He's 16. He wrote me yesterday to say he's picked up a sponsor; a clothing company, as a consequence of his bio on gazzasheroes. Pretty kewl!

Good news about Wingnut. I have a great fondness for that guy... remembering the early chapters of his story, and how he used a pen to give himself pubes hehehe. So much water under the bridge in so few years. And I'm glad he's still in touch with you. So what is he now? 16 going on 17? Fancy that... Wingnut waitering. It's just amazing how quickly things change during the teen years. Going from mid to late 50s is hardly noticeable. BTW, you probably don't know about my new dream. I wanna get me a motor home, satellite internet connection, a better digital camera, a laptop, and travel around Oz for the next 5 to 10 years interviewing various peeps and writing about their adventures. The whole thing will be published on the net, updated on a daily basis [or close to it] as the adventure unfolds. Sound cool to you? Sounds awesome to me!

Sad to hear about the Ts thinking about emigrating to England [I presume it's England], but if there's no choice, there's no choice. Cody told me about the situation in SA with regard to selecting blacks over whites in relation to employment opportunities. Apartheid in reverse. I can sympathise with the SA government's predicament, though... unemployment, shanty town poverty... leftovers from the previous regime. My guess is that the Ts have been in touch with Paul's folks in Manchester. At least they have close friends there.

Thanks for writing and letting everyone know how you are, and how everyone else is. I'll update your page today. You've got a lotta fans/friends out there who will be pleased with the news.

BTW, I've got me a new tiger by the tail, the Bulgarian Boomerang [as Richie calls him]. His name is Elion and he's quite a handful. He'll be totally pissed that I've answered your email before his hehe. He's a possessive little bugger. His page is on MrB as well. He hates math and often says he wishes he had a Steve there to help him with his homework.

'Til next time, stay cool and safe...

Your friend and the Codeman's,

Gary

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 Steve Part 95