It’s absorbing. Like travelling to another dimension – to a place that only really exists in the form of chemicals in one’s brain. It’s at once fantasy – an unreal spun into existence by mutual passion – and the only real thing there is. I have been in love. I remain in love – unreciprocated. Pain is not a stranger to me, yet I have met no greater agony than that of unreciprocated love.

It stalks the mind and deadens the heart, unreciprocated love. Though, the love remains, albeit one-sided, and sustains. It is still a reason to be happy. To have purpose. To be optimistic. Because true love is stronger than diamonds. Only death can defeat it and, even then, it will echo into history no matter how short its mutual manifestation.

Love is feeling no greater pleasure at the slightest touch with a lover. It is admiring them as something more perfect than one’s wildest imagination could conjure. It is wanting to die to protect their life. Love is uncompromising, unflinching; eternal. It is the most beautiful, sweet-smelling, long-lived, and, sadly, rare flower in the universe.

It is the only reason to exist. Its absence makes one momentarily, in times of weakness, fantasise self-destruction. But, its permanence and resilience is such that it is the only permanence acceptable or possible. Love is life. Life is love. Neither can truly, honestly exist without the other.

Love is an absence of greed, jealousy, envy, deceit, superficiality. Such things can still exist, to one in love, but not between them and the person they love. Love is truth, which is literally undeniable. Love can be suppressed. Ignored. Abused. But it cannot be killed. It is immortal. All powerful. It does nothing but win, wait to win, or revel in its triumph for eternity.

I fought love, once. Considered myself unworthy. But all deserve love. Even the most evil. Because love is the ultimate force for good. Evil is not defeated by love – it is eradicated. There is evil in this world only where there is an absence of love. But not for long. Because love is patient as evil is earnest. The fickle fuel of evil, no matter how seemingly plentiful, will inevitably burn out – leaving nothing but love – finally, or necessarily urgently – in its wake.


The Root, Trunk, Branch and Leaf of All Evil

(Reading time: 35 seconds.)

The bitter irony is that when they tell you knowledge is power it’s because they’re lying to you, and it’s not. (Although obviously it should be.) Material wealth is.

Conveniently, objectively, hoarding of finite material wealth is evil. And under the ridiculous socio-political-economic system we (still, bizarrely) inhabit, encouraged.

So, literally, in our current reality, power is evil. And evil is power. Which is why it seems like everyone with any power these days is a cruel psychopath.

Because you’re not crazy. They are. But they have the wealth, so they have the power. Their appetite for both is insatiable, so do yourself a favour and stop them the only way they will be stopped:


Seriously. They can’t stop you. They’ve merely convinced you that they can. And besides, if you haven’t noticed that if they aren’t stopped urgently, we’re all fucked, then they’ve done a better job of brainwashing you than I think even they intended.

Paying Dues

The scene was in a shopping mall,
The bloke would miss the game.
He’s slumped dejectedly in a chair,
The femme had heard the call.

His moans of pain would not deter,
They’re firmly in a vice.
Her audible delight confuses him,
As she dotes over the fur.

The ring of the till, drag of the feet;
Non-violent resistance fails.
The only thing he wants to do,
Is head to the food-court and eat.

She’s dropping subtle hints,
With a rubber-mallet.
Cost him hundreds last time ‘round,
His mood’s as black as car tints.

His back’s sore, his feet hurt,
She walks as on a cloud.
Fluorescent lights burn his eyes,
She laments the price of yoghurt.

She peers longingly through the glass,
As if something were amiss.
He places a kiss upon her neck,
She gives him a slap on the ass.

They amble out, hand-in-hand,
“I love you babe,” she says.
He turns to her, and replies:
“Our love’ll outlast the land.”

(August 18, 2009. For the record, I’d gladly spend time with a woman – especially one I love – than watch any form of commercial sport.)

The (artist once formerly known as) Prince is dead.

During my childhood Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U was a favourite of mine.  At least until I discovered she was bald.  Hey, I was a kid.  And us men, we’re all at least a little superficial.  It probably wasn’t an issue of attraction, anyway.  Guess I just thought women should have hair.  But I digress.  Other than the fact that it’s obviously a wonderful song, I hadn’t since known exactly why I liked it – incidentally completely until a significant long-term relationship of mine recently ended.  But that’s another story.

Then Prince died.  Hadn’t known much about him at all.  Didn’t have a particular interest in his (self-performed) music.  Thought he was a bit of a freak.  Like a less mainstream Michael Jackson.  Still kind of think that.  But I was driving to work one day and heard over the radio that he’d died.  And I cried.  It caught me by surprise, that is, until I discovered that Nothing Compares 2 U was written by him.  It’s like I knew subconsciously that one of my favourite songs from childhood (the other one is Old Time Rock and Roll by Bob Seger) was written by this all but unknown man and my inner-child – and me – wept for his passing.

It was a great weekend, nonetheless.  I’d just won a pretty cool portable Bluetooth speaker made out of an old suitcase, from a beer company that will remain unnamed due to their apparent implicit support for religious groups.  And the Double J digital radio service played Prince all weekend.  So I enthusiastically funnelled him through the speaker for two days.  Now I like most if not all of his songs.  He did record a version of Nothing Compares 2 U according to Spotify, but apparently Sinead’s version came before and cast a large shadow over it, to say the least.

Goodbye, Prince.  You’re missed.  But you did what you needed to.  I’m sure an ocean of purple tears was shed for you.

Phil Collins – Part Two of Two

A revelation about that Adele chick’s music came to me recently.  It couldn’t have if I wasn’t in the frame of mind I am now.  See, without providing any specific examples to support the argument, Collins’ music to my mind taps in and relates to people’s emotions.  Adele’s, on the other hand, manipulates and exploits them.  Again, I’m not going to provide evidence.  It’s just the way it is, or at least the way I see and hear it.  And I’m seeing (and hearing/tasting/smelling/feeling) things pretty bloody clearly these days, finally.  It seems to me that an artist of any persuasion should be very careful to relate to instead of exploit people and their emotions.  I can’t blame Adele for doing so.  She does have a wonderful voice.  And she’s also at once the product of a relentlessly capitalistic culture and commercial music machine.  Collins, too, is a part of and a product of that culture and machine.  Yet he I’m sure chose long ago to stick to the path of creative purity and it paid off for him through not creatively bankrupting himself or emotionally cheating his fans or his connection with them.  I, and we all whether we’re creative (in the ironically strict sense of the word) or not are capable of that choice, too.  My choice is to be true to myself, to the people around me, and to the things that I do, creative or otherwise.  And now it’s a deliberate, instead of just instinctive, decision.


Me, camped by the Squamish River, British Colombia, Canada, late 2012

I did end up reading a Wikipedia article about Collins.  (Still not sure if he has a book or books.)  And, incredibly, it contains information which fits almost eerily perfectly with my comparison of him and Adele.  Apparently, in 2014 “Collins announced in an interview with Inside South Florida that he was writing new compositions with the English musician Adele.  Collins said he had no idea who Adele was when he learned she wanted to collaborate with him.  He said ‘I wasn’t actually too aware [of her].  I live in a cave.’  Collins agreed to join her in the studio after hearing her voice.  He said, ‘[She] achieved an incredible (indeed) amount.  I really love her voice (doesn’t everyone).  I love some of the stuff she’s done, too (funny how derivation expertly masquerading as originality can, at first, avoid appearing to even the most savvy sensibilities).’  However, in September 2014, Collins revealed that the collaboration had ended and he said it had been ‘a bit of a non-starter.’” (  I was surprised to find this, but I was not surprised by what I read.  The link to my situation is obvious: not only had I come to finally realise the truth about myself, I had also come to realise (perceivable, based on my limited sensory experiences) truths about the world around me to the point in which I had inadvertently made a coincidentally-timed observation about one musical artist and his dawning distaste for another.  To wit: my interpretation of the above Wikipedia excerpt is that eventually Collins discovered he had creative conflicts with and differences from Adele.  Of course, those who are fans of the latter, but not the former, might infer differently.


Sunset, Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California, New Year’s Eve 2012

The future is bright.  I’m now capable of more consciously effectively operating in reality.  I understand the world better than I ever have, even if I still have many, many problems with it.  And I understand my place in that world better; indeed all but completely accurately.  Though that’s not to say I think I have some special place in the world beyond that which I might make, with others’ help.  Why is the future bright?  Firstly because it always has been, or had the potential to be.  And secondly because I’m now better able to realise why it is, or certainly can be if I play my proverbial cards right.  I’m free.  Not free in the sense that I can do whatever I want.  Not free in the sense that I’m capable of anything.  Free in the sense that I’m capable of what I want to do, as long as I’m conscious of those things – some of which might also be things I want to do, albeit with lesser priority – I must sacrifice in order to do what I want to do.  I certainly want to write, as evidenced by the fact that I am right now and have many times previously.  I certainly want to love, as evidenced by the fact that I am truly in love with the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met (again, besides my mother).  And I want to live.  And I will live not haunted.  Not scared.  Missing nothing.  I am, alive.

Phil Collins – Part One of Two

All my life, I’ve been haunted.  Or scared.  Or missing something I could never quite comprehend, much less expect to discover.  With the sometimes benevolent and other times malevolent benefit/detriment of hindsight, I’ve wondered if it’s been because I was born 10 weeks premature.  Or because I was never truly born, but instead surgically removed from my mother (via caesarean section).  Or because as a result of my prematurity, my first few days and weeks were spent in a humidity crib, when they otherwise would have been spent bonding with the most important woman, at least by virtue of creation, I’d share my (but not all of her) life with. Maybe.  But I’ve since realised it almost certainly (albeit not actually certainly) had nothing to do with missing something I’d had trouble finding.  Or holding on to a never productive pain I probably just imagined from an immediately but progressively (but not always quickly enough) less painful childhood.  It really was about imagination.  Or more particularly paranoia.  But that’s all.  I’d imagined certain horrifying realities about my life and ignored or repressed actual, more pleasant ones.  I could never be as free as I deserved until I accepted that some pains are normal; and others are the product of fantasy and fear and paranoia and, simply, poor influence or advice or treatment.  No more.  No more.  No more.

Melb-Adelaide trip 2011 5

Me, Melbourne to Adelaide and across the Eyre Peninsula to Cactus, south of Penong, and back to Adelaide surf trip, 2011 – photo Ross Dudgeon

Phil Collins has always been an artist I’ve admired and enjoyed, albeit not known a lot about or patronised to any serious degree (I’ve never bought any of his music.  I plan on doing (or downloading) so.  And at least reading a Wikipedia article about him.  I wonder if he has a biography/autobiography?).  An ex-girlfriend of mine used to listen to his music in order to get pumped up for our first few dates.  It worked (arguably to ill-effect, eventually).  I for one, like I said, have always enjoyed his music but, and this relates to the point of this piece, whenever I’ve heard it I’ve had frustrating difficulty figuring out what his name was.  It was always on the tip of my tongue or brain.  And even with time it would never pop into my head.  (Apparently when we experience such “tip of the tongue” moments, our conscious mind might give up but our subconscious usually continues working on the problem and offers the revelation later on.)  I’d just hear his music again at some point later, and experience the same frustration at not being able to figure out who it was by.  Over and over again, kind of like how life feels when you’re not enjoying it.  Or avoiding enjoying it.


Sunrise over San Francisco Bay Bridge

Again, no more.  It fits perfectly with the enormous corner my life has turned, and the not so horrifying or debilitating truth about who I am and my current and potential place in the world.  I used to struggle to bring Collins’ name to my mind and/or lips (perhaps it’s no coincidence that my first name is “Colin”), just as I used to struggle to be honest with myself and avoid engaging in paranoid fear about the almost completely self-invented lies I for some reason perceived as terrifyingly true.  Not long ago, after I turned the corner (unashamedly aided by psychoanalysis and depression/anxiety medication) in my life I was listening to the radio and one of Collins’ songs came on, and I was able to summon his name.  Pretty well straight away.  Finally!  It felt so good.  So symbolic of what I’d been struggling for.  Struggling to be honest with myself.  To love myself, non-narcissistically.  To be unafraid.  And my reward, or one of many, was the ability to put a name to some wonderful music which, it’s now obvious, so tellingly and symbolically happened to be by someone who shared my name (albeit switched with his surname, and an extra L added.  It’s always annoyed me when people add an extra L to my first name).  Fear is useful, sometimes.  But even if I still had rational fear, I had forever, I hope, lost the fear to rationally realise.  I was free, of that.

The Dirt n Dust Girl

THERE’S a girl. Someone special you want to impress, but the problem is she’s easily distracted.


“Stay away from her”, a mutual friend warned while we held each other up, too drunk to stand except with each other. “She’ll hurt you.”

And I said; “My mind agrees with you, but the heart doesn’t care.”

The mind usually wins these battles. And it probably will again this time.

I like writing these stories because somehow women make the best muses. I like to look at them more than I like to touch. I need to gaze at a mascara lined, wide eyed beauty with wild hair and an athletic curvy figure like a Nullarbor Nymph, a woman for one night to change my world with what she does and says, more than I would want a relationship.

Flashy: The Dirt n Dust festival isn't just a triathlon. It also has odd competitions like Australia's Best Butt competition. These are the girl finalists.

Flashy: The Dirt n Dust festival isn’t just a triathlon. It also has odd competitions like Australia’s Best Butt competition. These are the girl finalists.

I hadn’t met many of these for a while, but I finally met one to rival Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

It was the after-party of the Dirt n Dust triathlon in Outback Queensland, April. Hundreds had gathered from the stations, businesses, nearby communities. A great excuse to get pissed listening to a band cover Rolling Stones.

I was there, taking photographs for a newspaper like some awkward Peter Parker. There was a girl I knew there, Jaimee, and I was so relieved to have a friend to talk to. She bought me a drink and while away her friend groped my butt.

The friend’s name was Julie (her name wasn’t really Julie but I’d be a fool to share it). Julie was sitting next to a friend I assumed was her boyfriend. I took their photos and they went dancing in the wind and dust, and I braved the mosh to take more photographs of more drunken people.

“Come back,” Julie said, “and drink with us.” I promised I would, flattered some stranger thought my butt was beautiful enough to grope. I was back once I locked the camera in my car. We drank for ages to The Doors and I Can’t Get No Satisfaction and I accidentally pocket dialed a local mayor even though I had no phone reception.

And it seemed to impress the girl. “Here’s my number,” she said, putting it in my phone.

“Why do I need this?” I said, “I have no reception.”

“You idiot,” the boy she was with said. “This girl is giving you her number.”

“Oh,” I said, “but I might accidentally drunk dial you.”

“I’d love it if you did,” she said and grabbed my arm and led me away.

We left the mosh and walked to the house of a friend of hers. We sat on the patio drinking. I was staying in a small motel room by myself with a spare bed.

I was wondering if I should go back to it when Jaimee arrived – a bit grouchy and tired. I felt a little guilty but I didn’t know why. We sat another half hour and I was having a friendly argument with Julie’s guy friend.

“I’m going to have to find somewhere to sleep,” Jaimee said, just when I was thinking I should offer my spare bed to someone – hoping Julie would be first to accept.

“Have my spare bed,” I said, and she said “really?” and I said “yes you might as well” and we left five minutes later.

“Please,” I said when we were under our blankets in the dark. “Please do me a favour and let Julie know nothing funny happened between us.”

She laughed.

It wasn’t the last time Jaimee and I were to share an enclosed space with each other. Last weekend I woke with a hangover in a tent with Jaimee and Julie lying next to me.

Julie was wearing a hot dog onesie. It’s another story. One I’d tell soon if we get enough blog post likes.

My Top Ten Books

I was nominated by Kristy Muir to list my top 10 books.  Figured I might as well blog it.  Below is the list, and a short justification for each of them (to those that didn’t make it; you’re still awesome):

1. 1984 – George Orwell

It fostered in me a deep disrespect for and suspicion of all authority. And has allowed me with greater clarity to observe quite helplessly the cynical Orwellianisation of Australia through such phenomena as xenophobia, cultural superficiality, permanent war, educational elitism, hyper-surveillance, heavy-handed policing focused on the lower classes (or the proles, if you will) and a concentration of media power in the hands of right-wing elitists.  Of course now I will soon be dead for expressing such a heinous thought crime.

2. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez

In my less cynical moments, I’m a romantic. This book is the pinnacle of romance. It makes Shakespeare look like a self-fellator.

3. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

I tried reading it as a kid but found it too advanced. Such is the genius of Tolkien at creating worlds that seem more real in their complexity than this one. Then I read it several times as an adult until, alas, I left it at an ex-girlfriend’s place. Based on my recollections of her, she’s more likely to have read Twilight (not that there’s anything wrong with that 😉 ) than that gorgeous hardbound limited edition I shall never enjoy again.

4. Welcome to Camp Nightmare – R.L. Stine

The first of the more than 50 from the Goosebumps series I read as an early-teen. (Although it’s actually number 9 in the series.) I read it again within the past couple of years and, if it’s not still as terrifying, it certainly brings back some fearful memories.

5. The Iliad – Homer

It says something staggeringly depressing about Western society, when a book written some 800 years before Christ details a war of staggering barbarism and pointlessness which takes place in ancient Troy – just south across the Dardanelles from Anzac Cove, where thousands of Australians died a little over a hundred years ago in an equally barbaric and pointless feud.

1984, equally quality but very different Marquez book One Hundred Years of Solitude (a mate lost my copy of Love in the Time of Cholera), The Lord of the Rings instead of The Hobbit, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, The Iliad and Odyssey, In Cold Blood, because my copy of On the Road is electronic, For Whom the Bell Tolls, because I borrowed Fear and Loathing and Hemingway was one of Thompson's greatest idols, to Kill a Mockingbird, and The Starlight Crystal

1984; equally quality but very different Marquez book One Hundred Years of Solitude (a mate lost my copy of Love in the Time of Cholera); The Lord of the Rings instead of The Hobbit; Welcome to Camp Nightmare; The Iliad and Odyssey; In Cold Blood, because my copy of On the Road is electronic and Capote apparently didn’t enjoy it; For Whom the Bell Tolls, because I borrowed Fear and Loathing and Hemingway was one of Thompson’s greatest idols; to Kill a Mockingbird; and The Starlight Crystal

6. The Odyssey – Homer

Then things get plain weird.

7. On the Road – Jack Kerouac

There’s freedom on the road. Think I might have inadvertently plagiarised old Jack there. Oh well, he’s gone to the big road in the sky so I doubt he cares. Heavily criticised by both Hunter S. Thompson and Truman Capote, Kerouac’s modern classic nonetheless sucked me gleefully into its pleasurably atavistic and anarchistic ramblings.

8. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S Thompson

I watched the film first. Drunk. Over several occasions in which we’d always pass out before the end. Finally finished watching it at a beach shack a mate of mine once had, at which we one night got so drunk we woke up covered in paint and with vague memories of sitting on the beach good-naturedly screaming abuse at early morning sand joggers and walkers. I read the book in more subdued circumstances.  And only once.  Re-reading it would be both unnecessary and dangerous.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

I despise prejudice. If you’re reading this and you know deep in your heart that you’re prejudiced, please cut yourself off from me as totally as you possibly can. Although, is that prejudiced of me? Human existence sure is complex.

10. The Starlight Crystal – Christopher Pike

Figured I’d end on a romantic note. And the story of a young woman who falls in love, only to then go on a mission far into space where some dubious law of physics means her beau ages much faster than her and inevitably dies (but it doesn’t end there) is certainly an epic romance.

I now nominate the following people: anyone who wants to, and who will be sure that I’m made aware of their list.

The first ‘love letter’ I ever sent

Below is the first love letter I ever sent a girl.  The reason I’ve used inverted commas in the title is because the word “love” is perhaps a bit of a stretch in this context.  It would be more accurate for me to say that it was a romantic letter, and that I’d hoped at least the seeds of love had been planted by the sending of the letter – if not beforehand.  To be clear, I felt I could have loved her but did not at the time and it seems may never actually love her.

Unlike the previous letter I blogged about, in which I came to terms with an abusive friendship, I did actually send this letter.  When I first met this woman I asked her: if she had a band poster on her wall, which band would it be.  I sent her the letter accompanied by a poster of the band she mentioned.  It was simply left it outside her house early in the morning before work, after which I started playing the waiting game.

I won’t publish her response, because that would be disrespectful to her privacy.  It would be fair to sum up her reply in these terms, however: rejection.  She did not share my, or similar, feelings.  I was very disappointed.  Naturally I said to her that I was only “a little” disappointed.  As you’ll read below, I don’t often these days come across women I’m fond of – not to mention women who are fond of me.  And it was disheartening to say the least to be rejected by a girl I thought I was compatible with.

I may post this to Facebook, unlike the previous letter.  It’s risky, because “she” is on my friends list.  However, I tend to remove women from my friends list if I’m romantically interested in them and, through whatever means, I discover that I’ll never enjoy a relationship with them.  Then again, if she bothers to read this, she may save me the trouble of ending our frustratingly superficial online platonic relationship.  On the other hand, her lack of interest in my previous blog posts (not to mention me, myself) was suspected and is now obvious, so it will probably miss her radar either way.

I wrote below that I was not looking to manipulate her emotions.  That was a small lie.  Of course I hoped that the gift of something close to her heart and an emotionally honest and flattering romantic letter might stir something in her heart if it had not already been stirred.  Alas, it seems it was not to be.  I did figure if she liked me already, she would have responded favourably to the manner in which I reached out to her.  And if she didn’t like me, she wouldn’t respond favourably.  Now you know, as do I, the outcome.

Overall, I’ve decided to blog it because it is a significant step in my writing journey – which will hopefully be a journey increasingly closely tied to my life as it progresses inevitably toward the grave.  If through it I could not find happiness in the arms and heart and mind of a beautiful woman, then I’m consoled by its stand-alone passion and rawness and innocence and hope and beauty (if I do say so myself).  You can make up your own mind about it:

(There are actually two letters.  The first one was the 400 word edited version I actually sent.  The second is the almost 2000 word one I’m glad I didn’t.)

Dear _______,

I’ll be as brief as possible: I care for you.  (Perhaps that sounds a little immature.  I like you, I dig you, I care for you; it all means the same thing.)  I care for you a fair bit more than I have for any other woman in the past few years, in fact.  So here’s my number, in case you feel similarly: ______________.  But if you don’t, don’t worry.  It’s been enjoyable simply knowing a girl worthy of affection, for a change, and this is merely a way of finding out for sure how you feel in return.  Far from an attempt to manipulate your emotions, it’s instead an attempt to discover them.  And if there are none to be found, I’ll get over it.  Honestly, I’m not sure whether you like, loathe, or are unmindful of me either way.  You can be difficult to understand.  But I do want to understand you better.

I would have brought this up to your face but didn’t feel like I was going to get the chance, in any other setting than ______________________, any time soon.  And I’ve been at least a little drunk at all previous opportunities.  I’m kind of shy, but also a hopeless romantic.  It hasn’t worked very well for me so far, but it is who I am.  I can change superficial things about myself (such as smoking, of which I’m keenly aware you’re not a fan), but I wouldn’t want to change who I truly am in the depths of my heart and mind if I could.  You are, to me, deeply intelligent, witty, weird and beautiful.  I know I’ve made you smile a couple of times, and it would be my pleasure to spend more time with you in the hope that I can repeat such a miracle.


Stay as you are,




PS: The poster is a gift.  Please keep it and don’t feel you owe me anything in return, except perhaps thanks.  And I have no idea who _________ are.  (They seem ok according to Wikipedia.  I’ll have to give them a listen.)  Their poster came unexpectedly with __________.  Added bonus if you’re a fan of them too, I guess 🙂

PPS: Please note that I’ve never written a letter like this before, to anyone.  I trust you’ll respect its sincerity, whatever your response – assuming you decide to respond.


(The original, far too large and unsent letter.)

Dear _______,

At the conclusion of this letter, I will leave my phone number.  In the event that you contact me (whether by phone or otherwise), I will hope to gain that which I desire most: to spend more time with you.  And, in the event that you don’t contact me (or you do with the sad news that you do not feel similarly) I will gain at least the consolation that I can cease thinking of you in romantic terms.  I trust that you’ll take this correspondence seriously.  I’m an awkward conversationalist, in that I don’t always say exactly what I mean, and nor might I mean exactly what I say.  But when I write, I do so emphatically (though of course the context of what I write can change over time, and even in writing it’s not always possible to express oneself perfectly).  I find it daily sad that we seem to live in a very un-romantic age – an age in which people connect because of politics or superficiality above genuine fondness for each other.  I’m sure as someone interested in floristry (assuming it holds some romantic value for you) that you’ve noticed that sad reality.  So here is my perhaps foolish but certainly genuine attempt to break free of that modern banality.  How such an effort proceeds directly beyond this letter, is up to you.  I mainly want you to know you are the most dorky, witty, intelligent, weird and beautiful woman I’ve ever met, regardless of how you might feel in response.  I want to stress this point: the primary purpose of this letter is for me to convey how I feel about you.  Not to attempt manipulation of your feelings for me.  If you don’t feel similarly, I will be consoled by the fact that I have at least made an attempt to capture your heart.  And I will gracefully retire from seeking your affections, if they are not forthcoming.

I’m a shy man.  It’s always been that way, though I have learned to act otherwise.  You see, I’m an introvert.  Human interaction drains my energy, while if I was an extrovert such interaction would boost my energy.  That said: I am not a coward.  I have consistently during my life put myself in social situations which I’ve known would be more challenging for me than they would be for extroverts, because I’ve known they would strengthen my ability to interact with others.  It does work.  I’m a natural writer, but I was not a natural journalist.  Nevertheless, I managed to become – for however short a time – a journalist, because I forced myself to.  (One of the most important lessons I gained from leaving journalism was realising that the cost of reaching a goal can outweigh the reward of gaining it, no matter how much you wish to.)  Such actions have before, and will again hopefully more consistently until the day I die, prove instrumental in any successes I’ve had.  Unfortunately, putting myself in uncomfortable social situations has not always improved my skills with women I’m fond of.  Firstly, this is because women are much harder to understand than men.  I am a man, which makes it easy – but also sometimes boring and unstimulating – for me to understand other men.  Women on the other hand almost literally seem to exist on another planet (if you’ll forgive the cliché), which in fact makes it more interesting to try to understand them – even if such a prospect is consistently challenging, sometimes to the point of impossibility.  I very much want to understand you better, and am pleased by the extent to which I already do.

I fear that the above admissions might lead you to conclude that I am weak.  Try as I might to convince you otherwise, I know you well enough to be sure yours is a mind not easily changed.  But know this: I believe that when a man is fond of a woman, he should be at least a little awkward around her.  If a man you don’t know very well is entirely comfortable around you, then I’d argue he doesn’t really respect you.  If you’re only looking for a one night stand, then I guess that doesn’t matter.  But anything more than that, and his ease of companionship can mean only one of two things: he’s a consummate ladies’ man (which probably means he’s only interested in a one-night deal), or he lacks respect for you.  Which brings me to this crucial point: I care for you, ______.  I enjoy your company, even though unfortunately I’ve always been slightly or very drunk in such a situation – excluding the single time we visited the beach together.  I find you to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely lacking in pretension compared to many other women I’ve met and sometimes cared for.  And though I don’t meet many women, I have met plenty.  You stand, figuratively, tall among them all.  It’s actually been a long time since a woman has been as dear to me as you are.  And that’s not because I’m picky.  It’s because I’m honest, at least to myself (and you, here) about my emotions.  You are, physically, beautiful.  And I think you know that.  But I wouldn’t give you a second glance if I didn’t feel the same way about you on a deeper level.

As far as your opinion of me, I don’t wish to speculate.  But I’d like to give you a reassurance: I not only can, but will change from the way I am now.  I’m well aware that I smoke, that I drink, that I have little to no work and that I live with my parents.  But these are all superficial parts of the present that have not always been and will not always be.  I’ve always planned on giving up smoking at some point around my 30th birthday (November this year), and am already succeeding most weeks in only smoking during the weekend.  Drinking at least on weekends has been a part of my life since I was about 15, and I feel less pressure to quit or scale it back than I do with smoking.  Though I probably will as I get older.  And obviously I don’t plan on being unemployed or living with my parents for the rest of my life.  I am fit, I am smart, I am well educated and I am a good and happy person.  And I plan on doing big things with my life, or die trying (mainly writing a book or books – and travelling as extensively as possible).  And I also plan, with hopefully not too much more trial and error, while enjoying and achieving in life on having a woman by my side to whom I feel intellectually, emotionally and physically attracted and connected.  Which is how I feel about you, albeit not as deeply as I might if we spent more time with each other.  And, look, I know what happened with _______.  And I don’t really care.  He is sometimes a womaniser.  And I don’t mean that as an insult, because he would agree.  He does it well, and with the respect for women that we both share.  But he is much better at separating sex and emotional attachment than me.  I tend to agree with the Hunter S Thompson quote: “Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.”  If ______ had answered “Yes” when I asked him if he was emotionally interested in you, I would have been less likely to have indulged in thoughts of you in that way.  But he didn’t.  And I have.  And nothing short of a rejection from you will change that.

Until I hear from you one way or the other, in response to this letter, you can expect me to continue pursuing you.  Obviously this might mean an overt question, to your face, about the matter. (Assuming I get the chance, while sober.)  But this pursuit is more likely to be more subtle and indirect.  As long as I am unsure of your feelings for me, I will be attempting to discover them.  But you should know: I am looking for work interstate.  I was initially hurt by what happened between you and ______, though that’s not your fault as you were obviously unaware of my feelings.  I quickly got over it, but it did drive home what I’ve always known: that this city doesn’t suit me and sooner or later I will have to leave.  That said, I have never ruled out meeting a girl here that I might have a connection with.  Which both makes sense and carries a nice irony in this case, as you are neither from here and nor are you – thankfully – anything like the “typical” Gold Coast girl.  Please be aware that I’m not delusional.  I’m not pretending that I know you.  But I know enough to want to know more.  And I’m not assuming that you care for me in romantic terms at all.  I’m instead merely hopeful.

I’d like to leave you with something that in some ways symbolises my feelings for you, and hope that you will relate to it.  Many years ago, I played a Playstation game called Final Fantasy VII (which I still own, though I no longer own a Playstation).  To put it simply, it’s a role-playing game in which a young man joins a band of eco-freedom fighters battling a corrupt company that is sucking the life-force out of the planet and selling it as energy (pretty obvious parallels with the oil industry there).  One person who joins the band, after the young man comes across her, is a young flower-saleswoman who works in the slums.  Type “Cloud meets Aeris” into YouTube if you’re curious.  It’s quite beautiful.  I’m not going to over-analyze the significance of that when it comes to my feelings for you.  You just reminded me of it, is all.  I think that’s important. That people you care about, in whatever context, can remind you of the good things in, and good memories of, life.  I’ve been naive and arguably stupid enough to have written poetry for women I’ve cared for before, _______.  (It’s kind of funny when I think back on some of my bumbling romanticism.)  But I’ve never written anything quite like this for any one of them.  With that in mind I trust that, whatever your response, it will be genuine.  I might hope that my feelings are returned but, failing that, I at least expect them to be respected.  I will obviously see you at ________ at some point after you’ve received this letter, but I’m happy to pretend it was never written or talk about it openly, or whatever in-between, as you wish.  I could give you a lot, a little, or no love.  And of course I would be grateful for any you might give me.  The choice is yours, and all I can do in return is respect your feelings.  In fact your feelings are just about all I really care about right now.




It’s so tragically typical: I wouldn’t have blogged this if it wasn’t for her rejection.  Or in the event of reciprocation, I wouldn’t have without her permission.  It’s somewhat symbolic, almost to the point of cliché, not that my writing keeps me alone but that I’m so predictably kept alone by virtue of being a writer.  It’s almost a test.  A test to see if I can become successful even in the absence of comfort from female affection.  (Though I do believe writing success would bring me female affection.)  It just seems that now, when I’m under-employed and living with my parents, that now is the best time for me to find a girl who loves me for who I am and not what I’m capable of achieving.  My life is more basic, simple, stripped-back than it’s ever likely to be again.  If I was to be loved by a woman whose affections I return, it would be certain that she loves me for who I am and not superficial qualities.  I hope for this to happen.  It probably won’t, if the above is anything to go by.  But I remain perhaps deliriously optimistic.