Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Remembrance of things past—and later

Today I got the news that a former partner of mine died of an apparent heart attack. He and I went our separate ways 35 years ago, yet we kept in touch, more or less, since then, and I remained connected with his family, too. Fact is, if someone becomes part of my life, I don’t ever give up on them. I should probably carry a warning label.

He and I had a complicated and sometimes tumultuous relationship in our brief time, but it mattered. It all happened from my mid 20s to my late 20s, a time of my life that was a critical period for making me who I am today. Those were the years in which I did most of my LGBT+ activism, learned who I was, and moved into the printing and publishing industries, and that was especially important: It later enabled the sponsored visa that allowed me to move to New Zealand to be with Nigel.

One birthday, my former partner bought me a new-fangled electronic typewriter. It used daisy wheel type like the best printers of the era, and it had a memory that would record an ENTIRE LINE of type! It’s funny now, but back then it was a big deal—and so was the reason he bought it for me: He’d noticed how important writing was to me.

He and I both moved on, found new partners for whom we were better suited, but, for a time, we mattered to each other. It was all a very long time ago, but I never forgot it, and I know he didn’t either. I hope he was as happy as I was, and that he was at peace. None of us knows when our last breath will leave us, but I hope he was as ready for his as one can be.

I am who I am today in part because of my time with him and my connection to his family. It was certainly no rose garden, but neither of us promised that. In the end, it was plainly obvious that we were never meant to be, and we grew apart until we parted. I wish more people could part on good terms and with good will, but that can’t always be the case.

Still, it was all a very long ago time ago, and the one thing I know for certain is that it was part of what helped me build the foundation for the life and happiness I’d find later, and far away. And all of that’s worth remembering, however many years ago it was.


Roger Owen Green said...

As I noted on FB, I was going out - actually living with - my old GF, who died last month, when I had a Sears typewriter that would store a line or two before typing. I LOVED THAT FEATURE since I was (and am) a horrid typist.

Arthur Schenck said...

Before the fancy new-fangled typewriter, I had one I bought before I went to university, so by 1977 at the latest. It was a Smith-Corona machine that had the ribbons in cartridges that could be popped out and another one (including a correction one) insterted. In its day, I thought it was an awesome typewriter, but it was NOISY!