I Came Out in 1970…


I have just watched a wonderful film entitled ‘The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin’ on Netflix.  We share a close number of summers, a once off Twitter exchange, and fathers who did not see us in the first 10 months of our lives…..I have always admired his writing.  Today the film reminded me of my coming out to my mother and father.  The film told of Maupin’s coming out and also that of Sir Ian McKellen, moving stuff.

For me in the Winter of 1970 it was in a beige living/dining room in the outer suburb of Mulgrave, Victoria…I was ‘spending time’ with an older Jewish man, and it was at his apartment that night, in Balaclava, that I rang my mother to tell her all that she had intimated for many years was true, yes I was homosexual.

‘Do you want me to drive over now?’ “Yes , she said”

I asked my friend if I could borrow his car after telling him of the mother son telephone conversation.  He was happy to offer a small sedan which I drove across the South East Suburbs to the second family home I had experienced.  It was a new display home and mum and dad had bought it after our two bedroom brick home in Murrumbeena became to small for the four of us.  It had gold taps, fake, marble basins, fake, colonial windows, fake, I think you get the picture…

Mother was always enthroned, on a green velvet lounge chair…she was not yet 50 years of age, but elegant, coifed, scarved, and with a distinctive bearing.  She was alone, which was somewhat odd at that time of night as my father would usually be home at this time.  The air was filled with the tension of a tight rope.  I was 25 years old, a teacher, and had been living a homosexual life for the past 4 years.  There was only ever innuendo from my mother, not a word from my father, an officer and a gentleman, yet distant and cold.

Words fell from both our mouths, muddled and murky.  ‘Your father is not home yet’ Her response to our face to face coming out was along the lines of ‘ I think I am having a heart attack’.  But it gets better….  My father finally comes through the back door of the three bedroom pseudo colonial Mulgrave house on a small block of land opposite The Village Green Hotel.  ‘Sorry hon, you have got no idea the problem I have had with the car” as he lurched into the kitchen with his two bottles of beer wrapped in the Evening copy of The Herald.  My mother, as was her won’t, responded promptly “You have had a problem with your car, your son has just come home to tell us he is homosexual!’

Most of what ensued is a blur, I don’t recall if I stayed the night in my old room, or where was my 10 years younger brother, or did I drive home to the older man who had kindly offered me his car for this significant Tearto Della Famiglia evening…..

I remember it with a touch of humour, sadness, confusion, maturation, the whole enchilada I guess……My thanks to a writer whom I greatly admire for your film, your books, your life, all of which have prompted me to continue writing……it is where I am happy, and exhausted at the same time

In Memento Mori : Bob Blakeley and Marie Blakeley

 

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Non Self


Night…


It comes with the pulse of the cardiac, regular, beep

Light now for me is preferred …Night. One Night in Bangkok and his name was Samran….

We now share the Night, together, till the morning, when we walk in different directions…the comfort of the Night to hold, one another…..a gift acknowledged..

So often the Teacher becomes the Student, I think it has been a large part of our journey..

Tribute to Writers


I am fortunate to know writers, men and wimmin,  who carve words into the most beautiful forms of prose…there are other writers, men and wimmin, whom I do not know…the Australian Literary Landscape is peppered with these people…as a septuagenerian it is far more accessible for me to name  our Elders…There is a Litany, that for me dates back to the 970’s….I never caught the Frank Morehouse, the David Marr, the David Malouf, the Pat White, and even more recently, the Benny Law, Zeitgeist Wunder Kid, Ominbus…

There is this consistent mantra of writing is private , a solitary pursuit, a self indulgent ooze that calms the troubled cerebellum of all of those creativity crazies who inflict their words upon us, the digital and the non digital…Fuck you, words are not print nor are they digital, they are limited expressions that come not from ink, but from the cardio vessels connected to the outrageous injustice that we see daily…

So glad I was able to cough that emotional/psycholgical/literal/ words/existentiadotcom

UP..

FRONDZZ…YA GOTTA HAVE FRONDZZ TO MAKE THE MORNING LAST..


DISASTRO


He stood tall, those 30 something years ago…blue and white striped shirt, a mop of fair hair fell across his forehead, blue eyes, wide, shut, open..

An artist some twenty summers old…and now a waitress in a cocktail bar.  It was the most swift introduction of my lifetime….then approaching 40 summers..

We drove to the coast along The Great Ocean Road, we booked a trip to Italy…the pace was frantic, doomed to burn out…

We remained friends but was never really comfortable for me, and surprisingly some 30 years later we met in the digital dance of Face Book, his final line when he unfriended me always brings a smile to my face ..

‘Oh ,still Mr Serious’

The Bedroom Journey


For the first 10 years of my life I had my own bedroom, I was an only child in a Melbourne Suburb.  For the next 6 years I shared a bedroom with my new younger brother.  For the next 2 years I lived in a Junior Seminary where 50 of us slept in a dormitory.  The following year I had my own room/cell as a Novice in an Italian Religious Order founded in Australia but Irish Missionaries.  The next two years, almost, I had my own cell in Ballarat, Melbourne, in a 19th Century Bluestone Building. I then returned home to share once again with my younger brother for two years.

Our parents could see that they needed an extra bedroom and decided to sell the house they had bought in suburban Murrumbeena in 1946.  They used spend Sundays inspecting display homes in outer Melbourne suburbs.  They settled on a three bedroom neo colonial modest home on a small block in Mulgrave.  We moved in 1968.  By 1970 I had left home and found a room in the house of a Melbourne Academic from The Conservatorium of Music, Meredith Moon.  It was a brief stay in Hartwell when I found a room for rent with toilet and bathroom in Armadale for ten dollars a week.

It was a few months later that I moved into my first flat alone, it was also in Armadale, and 17 dollars a week in an Art Deco Block of four flats.

As the bedroom journey continued it went from shared houses, apartments and finally alone again in a suburban flat.

The Journey Continues..IMG_1304

Agua Vida


Flora


Face En Face


IMG_1922

Me with Tree

Light falls upon my face draped with scarf and beard.P1000273Saffron robed young men at Chiangmai Buddhist University..Sams Album One 112The food vendor on the streets of BangkokIMG_0365The woman who gave me birth 1945..IMG_0234The young man who changed my life..IMG_0108My friend Rossini…IMG_1428Emeritus Professor Norman Page, BangkokIMG_0505Beryl Baroness of East Malvern, my 92 year old aunt..chiangmai and family 007My Mother In Law, Mer Tui..peter and matt and sribumphen interiors 001My friend Peter Grace at Anantisila Resort, Hua Hin Thailand..On The Chaophraya River Bangkok January 30th 2009 071My friend Tracey from New York on The Chao Phraya River, Bangkok..IMG_0285My friend Anthony Green, Prahran, MelbourneIMG_1473My friends Azzerina and Blotto @ Mali Restaurant Bangkok…P1000006The lil brother on the left avec the older brother Elwood