South Africa
Part 89
Based on emails from November, 2002.

Hi, Gary.

Turn my back on Cody? How the fuck do you dare say anything like that to me? Cos I missed a day that some other fucker decided it was Cody's time? Huh? I don't need a fucking November 3 to remind me of Cody. There isn't a fucking day goes by that I don't think of him, and my fucking heart tears apart each time. So you can take November 3 and stick it up your ass.

I didn't want to do a November 3 thing for Cody's news page either. I don't see the fucking point of celebrating the death of someone who was so fucking alive. I did that more out of respect for all of Cody's friends out there on the net.

And, yeah. I'm self-absorbed. I spent my whole life thinking of ways to screw Cody over so that I would benefit from it.

So you're disappointed but not surprised? Yeah, well join the fucking crowd.

"> By the time November 3 rolls around again, hopefully you will have had enough practice to show it the respect it deserves."

Hey, just for your fucking info, I don't need to wait for November 3 to roll around again. I honor Cody every single fucking day by thinking about him for a second or a minute or an hour. If I decide to leave the planet every year on November 3 then that will be in his honor too. Cos I'll celebrate his life.

Maybe you and Steph and Mark and Wingnut will disagree with me along with all the MrB folks. Tough! I'm kinda getting the real drift from your mail as well. You've gone through Cody's mail, and it looks like I spent my fucking life treating him like a prick. Yeah, well it's not true. I fucking loved him more than if I had a brother.

I just read your mail over again for about the third time and I'm trying to fathom it. I can't believe some of that stuff you wrote. It's like you've had an excuse to say everything you've been bottling up about me for the whole fucking year.

How's this for an idea? You and my dad can get together and compare fucking notes cos he doesn't know half the shit that you know. Actually, I don't give a fuck about that anyway.

Just one last thing, Gary. Don't assume that you know about how much respect I show Cody. Don't assume that you know about how I feel about Cody. Just keep on assuming that I am self-absorbed and manipulative and that'll be like a kinda safe ground.

I have a very vivid fucking memory of November 3. Actually, it was a few hours earlier on November 2. "C'mon, Steve! It's gonna be a total blast! Then you can stay stay over at my place." But I was too fucking self-absorbed and had other plans that night.



G'day Steve,

You seem to be forgetting where I got my information from. I didn't get it second hand and it wasn't an educated guess. It was direct from you.

And now you're having a busy time misinterpreting what I wrote. I didn't say that you needed a November 3 to remind you of Cody. In fact, I said that it was a Cody day 365 days a year. I also didn't say anything about "celebrating the death of someone who was so fucking alive". I used the words honor and respect in relation to November 3.

Of course I was angry when I read what you'd written about getting trashed. Of course I was disappointed. What did you expect?

So I've gone through Cody's mail looking for reasons to criticize you? How do you spell paranoia? I chose to read some of Cody's mail on the morning of November 3 cos I wanted to feel and hear his presence. I read it all at random. One of them happened to be about the fight you guys had back in 1999. It's not a conspiracy, Steve, despite your predilection for believing that the entire world is against you.

My mail sounds like an excuse for me to say everything I've been bottling up for the whole year? Where do you get that idea from? Since when don't I say what I think at the time I'm thinking it? I'm always getting myself in shit for saying what I think. I don't bottle anything.

It's interesting you should mention your dad and me getting together to compare notes. When I wrote that last mail I figured you'd say something like, "You sound just like my fucking dad". Well, I don't think your dad is your worst critic. How many times have you referred to yourself as "fucked up Steve"? Steve's worst critic is Steve himself. But let anyone else criticize Steve and all hell breaks loose.

Don't assume that I know how you feel about Cody? I'll go back to the beginning of this mail. I don't assume anything. I get all my info straight from the horse's mouth. Let me quote you:

"WHOA. FUCK! THE WEEKEND HAS GONE WHOOSH!!!!! And so did I. But I guess you knew that I would take the fucking easy way out huh? Oh my fuck what a total RUSHHHHHHHHHHH.............. Like the inside of a fucking tube except more radical maybe. Like you dont see the end of it. Saw him there. Yeah so hows that. He was there. Didnt say anything to me. Just stared the whole fucking time. Yeah well Im sorry Cody. Im sooooo fucking sorry for taking the easy way out bud but I couldnt see myself doing the homage thing and not having a total fucking breakdown. So that was the way out for me."

So maybe you should spend time trying to fathom your words instead of trying to fathom mine. On the one hand you're trying to justify your behaviour on November 3, but on the other [see above] you're apologizing for it. So if I'm a little confused here, whose fault is that?

I don't think you're angry at me. I think we both know who you're angry at. You're also not too thrilled about a reader calling you self-absorbed and manipulative. So where did he get that idea from? From reading your story, right? And who wrote your story? Hello?

This is the second time you've told me that if you'd accepted Cody's invitation to join him on that fateful night, he might be alive today. Therefore his death is your fault. When you saw that MrB hadn't been updated for some days, you concluded that it was your fault cos you'd stuck a rocket up my ass. Then you heard that I'd suffered a heart attack. That was your fault too cos you'd caused me a lotta stress. Hehehehe. Hey, Steve, you should be in jail.

You're a drama queen, Steve. A six foot, blonde, muscle-bound, tanned drama queen. You can take a mole hill and turn it into a mountain, no problem. However, I suspect that by now you've settled down again. :)

Your friend and the Codeman's,


Hi Gary.

If what I wrote means that I feel nothing for Cody, or that I have no respect for Cody, then I'm not sure what to write any more and maybe it's best that I don't.

This has not been a great time for me... sweating over exams and studying has also been hard. Not much longer to go now, and it will be over. Then it's a case of waiting until Christmas/New Years for our results.

I'm feeling totally drained at the moment and really exhausted. Steph and I are going through a patch as well because of what happened at Craig's house. But she is also sweating over finals [exams] so maybe it's just a lot of pressure that's putting us [both] through the mill.

Wingnut starts his exams next week and that will go to the end of November. He's gonna be out of commission for a while, I guess.

I'm not too sure about what happens now. I was planning on going up to see Mark for a while and maybe working for some cash. But they take a break [from work] around Christmas/New Years. I thought about hitching [a ride] up to Jeffrey's Bay but this is not a good time for surf up there.

I guess the year is ending a bit like a movie with an anticlimax. I'd have liked it to end a little better but, hey, can't have everything. Right?

Roll up the end titles.


G'day Steve,

I probably shouldn't have answered your last email so quickly [last night]. It was the end of the day when I received it and I was a bit buggered. I was also pissed off about four cushions having been nicked from the outdoor chairs on the front verandah. It was probably the two Aboriginal girls who'd been here the night before trying to sell a picture frame - no doubt stolen. They said they needed food, so I gave them some stuff from the kitchen. Then one of them dropped a 10 dollar bill. Hello? They had $10 but needed food? After that I had nightmares about being harassed by female versions of Luke.

> If what I wrote means that I feel nothing for Cody, or that I have no
> respect for cody, then Im not sure what to write any more and maybe
> its best that I dont.

Well, that's the biggest load of codswallop I've ever read. Feel nothing for Cody? No respect for Cody? There's not a single MrB reader who would agree with that assessment, which by the way is your assessment, not mine. I was talking about one day in particular, not every day.

There's no doubt that you have a drug-related problem that causes you to lose the plot sometimes. But you're not Robinson Crusoe in that department. None of us is the same person when we're under the influence of a drug, but it's a matter of degree. The reason I rejected pot after I'd smoked it a few times was because it did scary things to my brain. For me, that time warp thing was frightening, and caused me to become totally paranoid. I've had people tell me that they can handle pot but not alcohol. I'm the opposite. So I guess it's like the old adage, one man's meat is another man's poison. The trick is to figure out what represents meat and what represents poison in our own individual cases.

I'm with you in the totally drained and exhausted department. It's been one helluva year for both of us. After your exams, you definitely need a break. I would suggest Joburg, but obviously that will depend on Mark's availability. Hey, he might even be planning on visiting Cape Town. If he did, I know what room he'd be staying in. Hint... there's an Endless Summer poster on the wall.

I'm not sure what I'll do. I need time out, but the last time I took time out I was still here at the comp every day, so it wasn't a break at all.

Steph? She knows both Steves but she only wants one. If the Steve she doesn't want keeps surfacing unexpectedly, what is she to believe? The paradox here is that when the 'other' Steve is rejected by Steph or me or whoever, the 'real' Steve takes umbridge. Hehehe. So who is the real Steve? Or is there only one Steve with two sides to his character? Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Is an alter ego an inseparable side of oneself, or can the two sides be distinct and separate? More importantly, can one side be subdued and even permanently conquered?

I have a feeling that part of your problem is psychological. November 3, 2001, and its aftermath had an enormous impact on your life... much worse than on Steph's or Wingnut's or Mark's or even the Ts. You have a history of over-reacting to certain situations; often blowing them way out of proportion. The drama queen syndrome hehehe. I think you'd convinced yourself that November 3, 2002, was gonna be just too difficult to handle. "I feel like I'm on a race track and 3 November is rushing up to meet me and everything is too fucking fast and out of control. I dont want to get to that day." That's why you found it so easy to turn to drugs that day. You'd already programmed your thoughts and set your course for that destination. It wasn't because of a lack of feeling for Cody, or a lack of respect. It was because of fear.

Well, mate, you've conquered fear quite a number of times since you and I have been writing each other. I figure if you can conquer those fears [including some biggies] you can conquer any fear, such as your fear of November 3. Despite your reaction to it in 2001, it ain't gonna resurface and bite you. It was a once-only event. I stood in salt water at the beach for about half an hour and baptized the beads you gave me, João watched the sunrise in Brazil and threw hibiscus flowers into the water, Brian burned a candle all day [and claimed it as a tax-deductible item on his tax return], Clint sang a song, and other people sent messages to say that you and I were in their thoughts. So it wasn't a day when we nailed ourselves to crosses and carried on with all the drama of Good Friday. Cody was a simple person who believed in simple values. He would appreciate his memory being honored in a simple way.

Cody introduced me - and subsequently all MrB readers - to his friends. Now the only link I have to those people is you. If you decide to stop writing me, that is something up with which I will simply have to put. I don't want your writing me to become a chore for you, and I often said the same thing to Cody. It's either done willingly or it ain't done at all. I always knew that Cody wasn't gonna be an inexhaustible source of material for MrB stories, and the same thing applies to you. I've been Johnny on the spot for about five years now and I think I'm a pretty lucky guy to have been there. I've told stories that are unique as well as worthwhile.

So let's all take a break for a while. We deserve it.

Roll up the end titles? Nah. Hehehehe. Jeez you can be such a drama queen, Steve. The show ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, and she ain't sung yet. But I do sense a new direction for myself. Not sure what it is yet. Whatever it is it'll involve writing so MrB is still a long way from finished. I'm not gonna stress about it. I'll let things happen. Stress is enemy numero uno.

I noticed you didn't sign off, "Your friend and the Codeman's". Get back into the habit. Nothing's changed here. I'm still wearing your wristie. Hasn't been off my wrist since it arrived last August.

Your friend and the Codeman's,


I've had very little mail from MrB readers about November 3, so I'll post some of what I've received to date:

Gary & Steve,

I gathered from the email you (Gary) sent me in response to my song that you didn’t see how I could consider it to be positive. “Wish You Were Here” is my way of saying that he is missed…that he made a mark on a lot of people’s lives in the short (way too short) time he was with us. I’m trying to say that those whose paths we cross in our lives that make us better people or give us better understanding… well, they’re worth remembering. And missing those people is the best way that we can keep them in our memory. Hell, I never had the luxury of being able to communicate regularly with Cody as either of you did. But I hope against hope that when we die that there is a place where we will all see each other again (or for the first time). I know neither of your egos allow you to admit to this, but just as Cody is irreplaceable in our lives, so are the two of you.

On November 3rd I had planned to go out to Lake Erie and watch the tide roll in… and think about Cody—what he stood for, how he lived his life. I didn’t end up doing that. What I actually did was just that much better. I told a few friends and my family that I loved them. THAT is what Cody would have done. Has he left his mark on me? I think the answer is clear. So I’ll end this note in classic Cody style …

All my love to you both,


g'day gary...

Great mail for Steve! [Chapter 88] I hope he takes it very much in the spirit of love in which it was written.

I think that you made a very astute observation that could, quite honestly, apply to all of us who have been touched by Cody's life. We're all arrogant and fragile at the same time. Maybe that's why Cody chose the people he loved.

None of us are Cody, but Cody is in all of us...what a wonderful way to remember him....

And You......stay strong against the're doing great!!!

Take Care
david S...

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 Steve Part 90