A Room With A View

I’m not a stranger to spending time by myself. In fact I believe I thrive on it. That, and introspection. The two go together well, I guess.
(As an aside, I often look at other people’s journals and it hasn’t escaped my attention that almost without fail, the writers tend to be a lot more outward focussed than me. Allowing their voice to be heard through the subtleties of the slant they take on that which they report or repeat – or allowing it to simply arise from their editorial choices. Whereas my journal entries are flooded with personal pronouns – they’re clearly simply an outpouring of my self-reflection. This must make them almost entirely unreadable. I honour you hardy souls who patiently, doggedly read my stuff.)
In this time alone, it’s not going to surprise you to know I have little routines that I follow. Things I do in the quiet of my own solitude. One of these things that I do is watch the film “A Room With A View”. I was 15 when it was released in New Zealand. As a teenager I was totally obsessed with the film. I wanted to be George Emmerson (played by Julian Sands) and I wanted to live by the themes of the story. I have E. M. Forster to thank for encoding into my unconscious the ideas that love is the most important thing in life and that it is our one duty to simply be who we are. I have probably watched this film 100 times. It was about as far as I could go in the english speaking literary world from the values and ideas of my school and from the alienation of my contemporary society.
Obviously, the job of being true to myself wasn’t one that I found easy in those days (nor do I do so now) but the reward promised for the trouble was to be loved for nothing but who you were. I passionately wanted that as a boy. I passionately want it now. I want it more than anything and I don’t seem to be able to settle for less.
I talked (on skype, my one concession to the dreaded world of telephony) to my most wonderful friend Julia today. She and I have maintained our friendship over the greatest of distances and times. In fact, though we lived in the same city, Christchurch, for a number of years, the vast bulk of our contact has been via the phone and email. Julia is going to be married in 3 weeks. She is going to marry a man who she was loved since she was in her teenage years. They haven’t been together all this time, in fact Julia spent 7 long years alone, sometimes not even knowing where on the planet the man she loved was. She never gave up hope that they would someday be reconciled. For years she defended her faith. She just knew that somehow, she and he would be reconciled.
It did happen, about 5 years ago now, and they’ve worked hard and built a relationship worthy of the brand ‘marriage’. I’m proud of her.
I need her to be this way too. I, too, carry my own hope. Sometimes I think that I am a fool. What hope can I have, living in Wanaka, almost as disconnected from the world of gay men as I could be – not even seeing another gay guy from one month to another – of meeting the man for whom I would give everything? But, just like Julia did, somewhere inside, I know it will happen. It’s a level certainty. One that makes the solitude and the loneliness that I surely do feel somehow worth it. I don’t know when, or how, or with whom. But I do know that one day it will happen.
My job is to make the best of it. And when I can’t. When I’ve spent too much time alone. I can watch “A Room With A View”. And I can write here. To you. Whoever you are.

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