South Africa
Part 91

[After sticking a rocket up Steveís ass for not having written me in six weeks, this arrived on May 1, 2003. MrB]

Hi Gary.

Yep, Iím still around and Iím still clean. Amazing, huh?

Sorry for letting you worry like that. Iíve not really been near email but I check it every now and then. Codyís News was hassling my brain and I had to get something out [for April 2003]. At first I was just gonna put up a page of pics but the people who followed Codyís News were more into his words so I had to do something more. But Iím not happy with it. Cody was so fucking subtle with everything he wrote in the news and Iím about as subtle as a pork chop in a synagogue. Iím hoping to get something a bit better up next time around.

Iíve been getting regular email from Wizid and regular e-cards from June and Jace. I really enjoy them but Iíve been so fucking bad. I have not replied at all. I really canít understand how Cody found the time to keep it up. All the emails and pages, constantly keeping them up to date.

I need to catch up on the Codeman story as well. Iím really out of it.

I havenít heard from [names not for publication] in absolute months. They still pissed off about the whole war thing? Iíd rather not talk about it. My way of following it was to go to CNN and have a look at the pages of casualties and see how many 18 or 19 year olds were killed on that particular day, and then go into depressions. The main talk now is about the validity of the UN as an organization. GWB has shown them the finger, along with Blair. Itíll be up to my generation to try and clean up the mess. Enough of that.

Varsity is going well. Getting reasonable results on my assignments but I could probably do better if I did less partying. Steph and I are pretty fucking tight. I even stood up to a guy who tried to feel her up on the dance floor. He backed off so I mustíve had fire in my eyes or something.

The Winger and I are still good friends but, fucking hell, his testosterone levels are as bad as Markís. On a percentage scale I would say that he is aggro and ready for a fight about 70% of the time. He is still with that bitch [of a girlfriend] and she still pisses off all of his buds. Jason [Wingnutís friend] speaks to me a bit, and tells me about how Wingnut pisses them off when he gets totally aggro. Oh, talking about Jason, Craig [his older bro] and I were at it again but I backed out before he could damage me. He was just being loud and arrogant at the pub, and one of the guys that I was with shouted for him to shut the fuck up. So, no prob. He walked right over to me and asks me if Iím gonna accept responsibility for my bud. The guy who did the shouting mustíve shat himself cos heís a bit of a physical microbe, and Craig is a hardcore jock. And when heís mad you tend to kinda shit yourself.

I started talking about Wingnut. He stayed over at my place a couple of weeks ago. We spent the weekend surfing so he spent the Saturday night [with me] and it turned out totally fucking awesome. Of course, I couldnít keep my hands off of him but he reciprocated and it was cool. I was gonna write you like the very next day but thought that wouldíve been really lame [for me] to have to wait for something like that to happen before writing [you]. Iíll write to you about it one day cos it was really fucking special. But then I didnít write at all, which was a lot worse, anyway. So go figure.

Mark was down [here in Cape Town] over Easter for a couple of days but he stayed at his momís. He was alone cos Candy couldnít get time off [work]. We went to the Tís for dinner the one night and it was really special. Talking about Cody at their place is like so totally normal and there arenít any downers or anything. Youíd think that they would get all miserable when his name came up but it just kinda livens things up, cos then we talk about some of the things we all did together.

Mark explained about the night he carried a very drunk Cody home, and how Cody was puking all down his back, and he [Mark] was getting so fucking angry. But how could he be angry when he saw how miserable and sick the Codeman was? Just the way he was telling the story had us in stitches. He was asking Cody if he was okay and the only response he would get was this gagging sound and this warm feeling on his back [from the puke].

The two of us went out to a club together. Just us. Got hung up with a couple of chicks, and Mark disappeared for a while. And you think Iím bad! Our friendship is going well. Mark is quite a serious dude, though. He would often lighten up but he could also get into some really deep convos. He mustíve thought [twice] about staying at his momís cos he said that he was thinking about staying over at my place. But he owed his mom.

I know that if he had stayed at my pad nothing [sexual] wouldíve happened. I think that getting that close is gone between the two of us. Weíre both pretty much going down the hetero path. But as for me, well, if the opportunity comes up then Iíd go for it.

Bruce and I still get down together but itís more as fun and just getting it on than lovemaking. I do dig Bruce a stack, though, and it doesnít take too much for him to turn my lights on.

Varsity has really opened up a very different world for both of us. How different, Iím not too sure on the details but itís very different to school. Bruceís other bud, Krish, also hangs around a bit. Our Indian god. Oh, fuck! Put a loincloth on him and he can be Mowgli and make a million bucks.

Iím getting carried away here now. Hey, Gary, next time you write to Cody tell him I said hi. But he will know that already. Heís reading over my shoulder. Iíll write about the stayover with me and Wingnut. Me and Codyís little bro Ö it was really cool.

Peace, Love, Respect
Your friend and the Codemanís

Hi Gary. Yep I'm still around and Im still clean. Amazing huh?

G'day Steve,

Amazing? If you say so. I'm not sure I fully understand addiction, let alone doing anything self-destructive. It's a bit like trying to understand why whales beach themselves. Francois couldn't understand what all the fuss was about when I quit smoking cigarettes. He said smoking was a foolish thing to do in the first place, so therefore quitting was just plain common sense. But nothing in life is simply black and white. If everything was simple, shrinks would be out of a job. And so would writers. :)

Anyway, I'm glad you're still around and doing well. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. You have your fair share of fans out there y'know.

I know what you mean about being hassled by the responsibility you've accepted regarding Cody's news. You began by wanting to keep Cody's tradition alive, and now you've created a monster. You've created a following that has expectations hehe. And if you miss a month or whatever, all hell breaks loose and people stress about your well-being. I'm in the same boat. You and I are part of people's lives now and they expect us to be there for them. I remember one time when my email wasn't getting through to Cody. He freaked. Maybe that's the reason Paul was anti internet relationships. If you don't form attachments you can't get hurt. Same with drugs. If you don't take them you don't suffer withdrawals.

Not being happy with your work is cool. Jeez, I sometimes read my earlier stuff and shudder. I feel like deleting it but it's all part of the evolutionary process. Imagine the Beatles recalling all their early stuff cos it wasn't as good as their later stuff.

Yeah, Cody was amazing in that he found the time to do so much. He must've had boundless energy, both physical and mental. But he was also inspired. I was the same when I first started writing Daniel's Diary. I was churning out stuff at an incredible rate. It was effortless. After a few months, it was becoming increasingly difficult to top what I'd done previously, and I was becoming increasingly critical of my own stuff. If it hadn't been for Cody's support and encouragement, I don't think I would've made it over that creative hurdle. So don't be too hard on yourself. Every today is a chance to improve on what you did yesterday.

Actually, I enjoy the text on Steve's Drivel. Maturity is creeping in hehe. You're getting older and maybe even a bit wiser. So I'm not surprised that you're finding university much different to school. For one thing, you're not being treated like a kid anymore. You're an adult. No more prefects, detention, or assembly. Makes me wonder what Cody's email would be like now that he would be approaching 21. Like you, varsity would have opened up a whole new social life for him.

Yep, you should catch up with the Codeman story. There's a lot there that's not in the emails you managed to rescue from Eudora, but that still exists in my Mark and Wingnut notes. I'm still amazed by the fact that he recorded so much of his teen life in such great detail, writing everything while it was still fresh in his mind. He would have to be one of a handful of people who have done that, and I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end.

Your interest in how many 18 or 19 year olds being killed in the war seems a bit morbid. Maybe you feel vulnerable. I can remember reading the paper in the train on the way to work as a teen, and feeling the same way about teens being killed in road or other accidents. It seemed such a tragic waste of life. It was ANZAC day in Oz last week, a day when we remember the Aussies killed in war. You see a lotta old guys marching, and it's easy to forget that they weren't much more than kids when they were in the military, seeing their mates being killed every day. Lots of teens lied about their age during WW1 so they could enlist. Some were only 16. They saw it as a big adventure, but changed their minds when they got there. Despite that, I still hold the view that ridding Iraq of Saddam and his regime was necessary. The only mistake was not doing it back in 1991. Meantime, the anti war protesters seem to have done the convenient disappearing trick, just like Saddam's military.

As for the validity of the UN, the organization is its own worst enemy cos it can't make up its collective mind. I'm reminded of the old adage: 'too many cooks spoil the broth'. Saddam would have been giggling his tits off during all that indecision. There are many lessons to be learned after Gulf War 2, so hopefully your generation's job of 'cleaning up the mess' will be pretty easy. :) One of the good things to come out of GW2 is that rogue states like North Korea and Cuba will think twice before they get too cocky.

About your depressions: you really do need to cultivate that 'shoosh' voice in your brain. Mine's automatic now. The moment a negative thought tries to take root, particularly just after waking up, the shoosh voice pisses it off. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's SUPER SHOOSH!

Glad to hear that you and Steph are tight, and that the friendships between you and Mark and you and Wingnut are still going strong. But I'm pissed off about all the head turners being OVER THERE instead of over here. Jeez, I could do with a bit of gawk material in Taree. It's a drought. Zilch. Not a hunk in sight.

Maybe Wingnut's testosterone levels aren't the only reason he's aggro. He was robbed of an awesome friend when Cody was killed, and I don't doubt for a second that he was utterly devestated. There could be all kinds of long-term psychological damage that even he is not aware of. And the girlfriend? Some girls (possessive ones) have a way of turning guys against their mates, and even their parents sometimes. It's their way of isolating the guy from everyone else so that they can own him. They sew seeds in the dude's mind so that he thinks he's making his own decisions hehehe. Guys are pretty dumb, y'know. I don't think there's much point in arguing with him, or criticizing him or her. That would only reinforce his stubborness. Be subtle. Make a pertinent comment occasionally and let him figure it out for himself. In other words, defeat the bitch by using her technique. Plant seeds. But don't make it obvious to Wingnut that you're anti her.

Craig? The dude's obviously got something to prove. Just goes to show that what one sees in a mirror is not necessarily what others see hehe. So he's a hardcore jock. Probably gets off on the power aphrodesiac, and admiration from his sycophants. He believes his own publicity. So he continues to demonstrate that it's possible to be happy being a jerk. Hey, that's not a bad line. :) That situation reminds me of the old westerns where a gunslinger would arrive in town to take on the local hotshot. That kinda rivalry is just sooooooo lamo! Not to mention juvenile.

Great to hear about Mark visiting for Easter, and you two joining the Ts for dinner. It's fantastic that all of you can talk about Cody and enjoy the convo. I feel the same about writing the Codeman. I get a little teary now and then, but overall it brings him closer to me. And I get plenty of laughs. He was such a scallywag. But I'm a huge fan of Mark, and I'm not alone. He demonstrated remarkable strength of character as a boy who rose above the abuse dished out by his father, then his mom's boyfriend. In a recent chapter of Codeman he actually told Cody that he knew that one day they would go their separate ways, and that he wasn't sure how he would deal with that eventuality. So it gladdens my heart to know that he stays in touch with the Ts and you.

As for you two getting together for a night of shameless debauchery hehe, hey, if it happens it happens. AND I WANNA KNOW ABOUT IT! I still think about Mark telling you that you looked like you'd been in a fight with a meringue pie hehehehe. But I can understand you two 'going down the hetero path'. It's a much easier path from what I gather, and the rewards are usually greater. At least they can be if your kids don't turn out to be monsters. :) The more I learn about life, the more I think it's important to experience lots of different things, and that includes people Ė exchanging thoughts and ideas - opening up your mind to new or alternative ways of looking at life. I really do think that meeting new people [which doesn't mean discarding your current friends] is fertilizer for the mind. Keeps it fresh and interesting. As you say, varsity has opened up a whole new world for you.

Well, I can't wait to hear all about your night with Wingnut's sleepover. I can't think of a single friend of Cody's who wasn't/isn't fascinating. I'm here to tell you that I've met more than my fair share of lamos in my time, and I guess that's why I became so interested in Cody's life and friends. He must have realized that I was addicted to everything he told me, and that would explain why he couldn't wait to tell me what was going on, even several times a day. Into the comp lab to bash out another report hehe. What an incredible dude. He loved his friends, that's for sure. And he loved telling me all about his life.

Anyway, seems like your life is going along pretty smoothly. Congrats on getting good grades at varsity. But don't forget the evolutionary factor. Today is your chance to do better than yesterday.

I'm going along OK. I've refined my betting system on the puppies. I'm actually winning! Not a lot, but it's better than losing. And it's entertaining.

June and Jace keep telling me all about their lives. June is actually kissing and telling hehehe. I know all about what she and Jace did as 16 year olds in a field in BROAD DAYLIGHT. And what June didn't tell me, Jace did. :) Wiz is enjoying the Codeman. Actually, everyone is. Now they all know why I thought the sun shone outta that scallywag's ring.

Richie sent me a package. I've now got a Safrican coin collection and more pics from his Safrican tour - a couple of awesome shots of Cody's mountain. And a piece of zebra paper. He also sent an Easter card addressed to Sue and Lindsay as well as me, so S&L are pretty chuffed about that.

Keep your stick wet. :)

Your friend and the Codeman's,


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 Steve Part 92