15 – New People, Places and Experiences

Leaving a town that had only some good memories is not hard. The unknowing of what it will be like, or if you you will finally make it away somewhere else is daunting but at the same time exciting. New people, new experiences, and only a little guilt for leaving behind the ones that you love.

Leaving That One Person

Once I finally got out of Port Augusta, I knew that this time was my last attempt. If I couldn’t make it this time, my destiny was to be in Port Augusta for the rest of my life. Sherri and I both had planned for a while that we both would leave Port and move to Adelaide to start a new life. However when Sherri met someone, she feel pregnant, this left our plans in the wings of fate. The day I left, I sat on the porch with Sherri saying our goodbyes, It broke my heart to leave her there. I mean it was our plan not just mine. However I was so excited that she was going to be a Mum. I was a little jealous of that, as being gay, I couldn’t see any kids in my future.

As I said my last goodbyes, I drove away with a girl I met through work Alisha. She met a guy online from Tanunda in the Barossa Valley, Ben. We both moved into his house. I know It wasn’t quite Adelaide, but in my head I was getting closer, and I was getting away from Port Augusta. The town I never really had the best time in.

Alisha and I both got jobs at wineries, working in the factories to start with. Later on we then started working in a Aluminium factory. Ben got us the job there, as he was the crane operator and had been working there for quite some years already. It was strange, but was fun in a way.

I remember it was only like a month later, I get a phone call. The phone call informed me that Sherri just had her baby. Without thinking Ben allowed me to take his car and I drove straight back to Port for support. When I arrived at the hospital, Sherri’s room was full of family and friends. Without delay, I sat in the chair and held Sherri’s gorgeous new little daughter. I sat there and cried. Everyone was like ‘awe, you ok, why the tears’. Because I was so happy Sherri had a daughter to look after. From that day on, I knew she would never be alone and that baby was so beautiful, it really melted my heart. I was torn in a way, I was loving the fact that I was away from Port Augusta, however I really wanted to stay to help Sherri. However it then became time for me to say my goodbyes once again and head back to Tanunda.

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From Port Augusta

Feeling Like The Third Wheel

All three of us got along very well. Both Ben and Alisha knew I was gay, and had no problem with it. Ben would always joke around, but I gave it back. I built a strong relationship with Ben, It is not very often you get a straight male friend who actually just treats you like one of the boys. There were times I felt like the third wheel, but they always included me in things they did. Pub meals, trips into Adelaide, and of course drinking nights.

I was no stranger to alcohol, however in Tanunda it started to be the drink of choice. The fridge never had anything in it except alcohol, and I found myself starting to drink every night, and everyday that I was not working. My excuse back then was that; Tanunda had such a small population and there was really nothing else to do. I couldn’t go visit my friends, I asked both Ben and Alisha to keep the fact that I’m gay to themselves out of fear of small-minded country people.

Random Male Bonding

Two or three months went by, and I started to think I was destined to be alone. My longing to get to Adelaide to not be afraid of who I am, was getting deeper and deeper. Alisha would be at work, and Ben and I would just drink beer and smoke dope. Then something started to happen which confused me a little. Ben suggested that we watch porn together. “But I don’t watch straight porn Ben”, I told him. “That’s ok we can watch two guys and a girl”. Drunk and stoned I went along with it. We sat there watching porn almost every night Alisha was not home. I could see through Ben’s pants that he got excited, and I got excited knowing I could see a good-looking man sitting next to me with a bulge in his pants. I started to fantasise that Ben and I would suddenly just stop what we were doing, and do sexual things together, out of a drunken impulse. Or even just finish our excitements on our own in the same room. But nothing came of it. Well, while we were all living in the house.

Times started becoming quite hard. Alisha and I got laid of from our jobs, and not having any money, I said jokingly, “You know what Alisha? I should just sell my body.” While being drunk and laughing, Alisha jokingly agreed with me.

Getting desperate for work, applying for everything online, I was starting to not leave the house, I would always be stoned, or drunk, or both. Ben was paying our way, which he seemed to not mind at the time. I finally got a call to do a couple of shifts a week in a winery, which helped enough to pay rent, and to pay for my dope and alcohol. Alisha then one day came to me and asked, “Phil, I have a job interview tomorrow in Adelaide. Could you take me in?” It was only an hour drive and without hesitation I accepted. Alisha had her driver’s licence but I knew it is always daunting having that first interview. “What’s the job for?” I asked Alisha. “Just some casual sales job” she replied.

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To The Barossa Valley

Going Through With The Joke

The next day came, and while we were driving in the city almost at the place Alisha needed to go, she confessed. “You know how you said that time that you should sell your body?” Looking puzzled I acknowledged what she was saying. “That is where I’m going today, to have a chat with someone about exactly that.” To be honest I was a little shocked, however I still drove her to the place where they did not allow me to enter. I waited out in the car for close to an hour. Alisha came out looking all excited, and stated that she is starting with them within a weeks time. I did not judge her, or try to stop her. The only thing I made her promise was that she was to tell Ben. In the next couple of days when Alisha told Ben, Living in Tanunda became different for everyone. For me, a new-found love of a new drug, and discovering websites to meet men. More of that to come in the next one.

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