My first ever kiss tasted of sour cherry Bubbilicious, smelt of waffles and bacon, sounded of Cindy Lauper and felt of a state champion gymnast in greasy gingham. It happened in the alley behind the 24/7 diner, Toni’s, where we both worked after school. It was 1983, we were both sixteen. Her name was Debbie di Marco. It was the single most amazing moment of my adolescent life, strike that, life.
Ever since Coronavirus, Covid-19, the Rona, or whatever you want to call it, came into our lives, things have been different – drastically different. Every day has become a collection of disconnected socially awkward moments with once simple tasks becoming a massive ball ache to achieve.
"Yeah, but you know what? This one, this one right here, this was my dream, my wish. And it didn't come true. So, I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back."
When we each consider our lives as a whole, our existence, what we have achieved, where we have failed, it can be measured, or rather scaled, against a spectrum of our happiness. At one end we can put our happiest moment, our greatest triumph, and at the other end, we can place our darkest moment - the lowest to which we have ever been. To quote the most unlikely of sources, Richard Nixon analogised this idea in another way when leaving the Whitehouse when he said, "only when you have been in the deepest valley can you understand the magnificence of standing on the highest mountain."
I have watched you cry. I've seen the tears slowly roll down your face. Looked upon you as transparent pearls of empathy pool in your blue eyes and drop from your long eyelashes down on to your golden skin. Every story you've heard on the news, every tale of another hero, every life lost, I've seen you shed a tear. It's moved you. It's moved us both. It's moved the nation, the world.
It is my mother’s greatest disappointment in life, and she might even say her most significant failure, that I, her one and only son – indeed child, is not gay.