A dear friend and reader of this blog teased out of me (very easily) the memories of my seminal heartbreak in 1995. We were discussing why I'm so nervous about being 'wrong' about the boy-genius. 1995 was one of the worst years of my life. My mother agreed I was mightily unhappy and disturbed that year. I was fucked over by a really good, close male friend. He and I had developed a platonic but intimate, hilarious and intellectual friendship during Year 10 at school - 1994. He was good-looking of course, but I got over that very quickly and had no crush-like feelings as I didn't believe a relationship was even within the realm of possibility. We hung out at school everyday and then saw each other during the school holidays between Year 10 and 11. It was the first close male friend I'd ever had. He and I were dark characters. Emos I guess, but without the dark make-up, clothes or trendiness. To my astonishment, early into Year 11 (1995) he declared he had feelings beyond friendship for me, he'd been thinking about me as a girlfriend, someone he romantically and sexually desired. I was flabbergasted. I was flattered. I didn't know what to do. A boyfriend!? The first I'd ever had! I wanted to jump into his arms then and there but I was terrified. I felt so safe as his friend and now I felt I didn't know what to do. After many heavy discussions and inky letters exchanged (I still have them) it seemed we'd nutted out the possible issues. It was worth the risk. We respected and loved each other so much as friends and had now declared there was a mutual attraction. He invited me to his house for a weekend. There was plans made to visit the cinema and beach. My mother would've been horrified that I slept in his room. But nothing happened. It seemed we were so used to being friends and I had no idea how to cross that line, even to hold hands felt monumental. Off to the cinema and the beach the next day. I even remember the dress I wore. I also remember that I was wearing my daggy one-piece black swimsuit, for some reason the bikini wasn't available.
At the beach, in the water, in the lolloping waves, he first held and kissed me. I still wasn't ready and awkwardly kissed back. I was nervous in the company of my best friend. I don't remember much after that, but everything was fine. I'm sure we kissed again and held hands on the way home from the beach.
A day later he declared it didn't feel right. He was wrong and didn't want to be anything more than a friend. Spear through the heart. I'm starting to cry now even writing this! I was so angry and confused. I told him I felt like i'd been auditioned. And failed the audition. Rejection on a Greek tragedy scale. He consoled me and said he valued our friendship more than some silly romance. We were only 15 anyway and that friendship was more important. After more heavy discussions and inky letters I came round and got over the humiliation. We were such close friends we could rationalise the problem and get over this. After a little while I felt better - it was meant to be. Then the school term broke. We were on holidays for a week or two, I can't remember. I think it was the Easter break. He went to Melbourne to visit his father.
Upon his return everything changed. Everything had changed. He was as cold as a stranger who worked for ASIO. He was unfathomable. He was impenetrable. When I finally got through to him, albeit with crushed demeanor, he muttered something vague about his trip to Melbourne changing his whole outlook on life and relationships. We barely spoke ever again.
There were several subject classes we shared and we had many mutual friends. His relationship with everyone else didn't change at all. I couldn't even explain to my close female friends why I no longer made eye contact with this tall boy who'd been my best friend. I spent the ensuing 9 months of 1995 crying in bed, writing depressive scribbles on my bed side chest of drawers, gushing poetry and grappling with something I couldn't understand. Mum didn't understand it and was not really equipped to console me. I think she assumed that I'd had some kind of traumatic sexual experience with this guy that was supposed to be my friend. 14 years later, I still don't understand what happened.
This is easily and clearly my first heartbreak. But I forget how it has fundamentally shaped my approach to relationships and expectations. For the first few years of the soul-mateship with the EX, I fully expected him to change his mind overnight. To wake-up or come home from the shops and declare it over. No warning. No explanation. Take my vulnerability and flush it down the toilet. I confided in him this story of the boy who broke me, who fucked 1995. The man-boy called Aiden. The EX felt my pain and consoled me and said that he wouldn't leave overnight. When he finally did leave in 2007 it didn't feel the same, it felt somewhat justified, we had a library of issues collected in 8 years and he wasn't cold overnight. We're still friends.
But the point is that my friend deduced this 1995 experience might be what's causing me so much fear about the special friendship with the boy-genius. I'm being reeled in and I can't help but follow the lure. But what if I'm caught then gutted? I know it's a risk how deeply invested I am in his affections and yet I can't stop myself revealing my vulnerability. It's just sickening as I do it. I've had a good old cry as I've written this post but it's going to take more than that to shift this auto-emotional response. I fear lying in bed crying my eyes out. I fear misreading someone's intentions. I fear someone changing their mind about me overnight. I fear being loved, then immediately unloved. Aiden looked like a man but he was just a boy.
I could bore you with more tomes of rejection and its offspring. I must return to my work. I am making a music video this weekend and despite feeling in control I got overwhelmed this afternoon. Fear of half-arsed failure. Fear of mediocrity. I know that I can stew in front of this computer and write to-do lists and complete some other overdue documentary work - but my inner doctor and GP Angel are telling me to get down-to-earth in the kitchen. Make pancakes. Clean the house for guest arriving on Wednesday and come back to basics. Attain confidence and comfort through domesticity. Pass on any notions of error or misjudgment of the BG. Feed my tummy, rest my mind and above all - turn off this bloody computer!!