I was crazy about him.
He was about ten years older than me. I’m not sure I knew that at the time. How much older I mean.
He came to work on a contract for my father. Came in his Kombi with the surfboards on top. With his impish smile and gorgeous everything.
Hey he liked me too and we’re not talking big brother style.
Before driving up our driveway he’d been working at the hospital in the bigger town, on the coast. He told me that he did nightshift in ER. He’d surf all day then sleep in one of the cubicles and ask the nurse to wake him when the waiting room was full. I’m sure my dad didn’t know that. Not the sort of work ethic he’d have liked. But I was crazy about him. Still am I guess – that’s a 35 year crush!
It was school holidays the first time he drove my hormones wild. After his working day we would talk long into the night. He introduced me to Buddhism. We’d sit out the back, warm night air full of jasmine, and glide around the pool on one of his boards. On weekends we’d take off in the Kombi for the day, to beaches I had no way of getting to otherwise. He tried teaching me to surf. I remember driving up the driveway to my dad’s concerned frown many times. I’m sure the age gap worried him but it was all innocent at that stage.
Unpacking on return to boarding school I found his hospital coat, infused with suntan lotion, as a parting gift. Kudos in the dorm halls for that..and a nickname in the yearbook!
He wrote great letters, he travelled alot. And I had other crushes. Then a couple of years later he returned to work for dad again.
This time I was older and he allowed his interest.
The Kombi still had life in it and we took off again. Surfing, eating, talking, meditating. Great memories of the local drive in. My father’s frown was very stern those nights as we padded up the hall, like naughty children, to our separate bedrooms.
Must all good things come to an end? His next contract was up north, coastal of course, and the Kombi rattled away down the drive with no plans made to meet again. I was working reception in the surgery, an open room of patients’ eyes and ears, every seat taken, when he rang from half way there.
‘Come up here, come live with me?’ Him in a public phone box, me in a public space the conversation was awkward. Unexpected and totally thrilling, but also hesitant and rushed. I wanted to go. Why didn’t I go?
We lost touch for a long time after that. He travelled to many places, studied more, spent some time in a monastery, and eventually met the mother of his children. Settled down back where he came from and is a respectable specialist. An old man even. The age my father was way back when probably!
A few years ago we found each other again. We live in different cities but meet once or twice a year. I haven’t met his wife and I don’t want to – we don’t even discuss the possibility. We drink coffee or tea. He eats something. It’s all very innocent again. I’m still crazy about him though and he’s still completely gorgeous. He knows it.