[photo courtesy of tbb, 2005]
I forgot to say Happy Birthday to this fellow last week. I feel awfully bad considering it was his thirtieth. It wasn’t actually that I forgot. It was just that I forgot his birthday was so close to mine [four days later] and besides, he was in Amsterdam enjoying the nightlife with my Baby Brother.
I knew him a long long time before he became the lover of my Baby Brother.
I first met him the summer when I was sixteen. He was a year younger, fifteen. He wore a stripey t-shirt [of sorts] and a grey blazer. We spent a week together at a mock-tudor Christian conference centre on the Suffolk coast, by the sea where you turn a glowing green as your body becomes radioactive. We were two of many fourteen to eighteen year olds, who came mainly from the Gip area. I had issues with religion. So did he. I went because I liked the emotional aspects, plus I had alternative adorations and I knew that they upset some religious folk. I don’t know why he went. I fancied him. Just a smidgeon. We shared cigarettes and stayed up all night talking.
That was 1990. I started sixth form, began studying for my A’Levels. I made some amazing friends who had been at the same school as him. They told me terrible stories that involved churchyards. Malicious gossip. I gazed at my photos sadly.
The Baby Brother introduced me to Yahoo! chat and messenger in the summer of 2000. That was the summer my aunt passed away, and the very weekend that I did good and dumped the alcoholic bully. Over the course of the next year I would chat to TBB via messenger, nattering about this, that and the price of tuna.
In the April of 2001 he told me that he’d met someone I once knew. He’d met him via a gay chat-room. Gay chat-room? But I didn’t even know anyone who would use gay chat-rooms. I never even paused to contemplate what TBB was doing in a gay chat-room. Later on that summer he picked me up. We drove to meet his new friend, someone who [apparently] I already knew.
I hadn’t seen him for eleven years. And yet he hadn’t changed at all.
And he was flirting with my Baby Brother.
We left him working and as we drove towards the village of our conception I turned to TBB and simply asked if their relationship was something more.
And that was it. That was how I learnt my Baby Brother was gay. It wasn’t a shock. I didn’t feel any different towards him. It didn’t change my opinion of him. The best way of describing it is that I felt nothing. Nothing had changed. Nothing. Maybe I knew before he did. Maybe it was just sisterly intuition. Maybe it just didn’t matter to me because he was still my Baby Brother.
He just happened to be doing the fandangly business with someone I once had a crush on.
There is just one little thing that niggles at me. And perhaps I’ll discuss that with him one day.
But not now.
Because this post is all about wishing Tony the most joyous of belated birthdays and the happiest of decades.
And to thank him for making my Baby Brother happy. And for being a pain in the arse sometimes. And for being so lovely to Mumsy. And for being a part of my family. And for those memories of being sixteen.
I love you both …
please God bless the people we ceased to be xxx Elsabeth