Tag Archives: novel

The Truth: Part 6

I lean in closer, unsure if I had heard him correctly, “What?”

“I’ll give you two-hundred dollars to suck your cock. You know, a favour for a favour.” The man says nonchalantly, raising his eyebrows and straightening his back.

I couldn’t believe what he had just said. I sat there with a confused look on my face, trying to mentally process this disgraceful offer. In my deep thought I take a few seconds to reply to the old man.

“No,” I try to say with conviction and finality.

“You stopped to think about it,” the old man believes, “Would you say yes if I offered five-hundred dollars?”

I was mentally stuck. This wasn’t my first (or even second) dabble in being offered money for sexual favours. I was reminded of Canada and how I had once hooked up with a 36 year old hockey player who, after (the admittedly terrible) intercourse, told me that he was a pimp for the National Hockey League and was ‘recruiting’ new escorts to sleep with NHL players. He told me that being gay in hockey could ruin a player’s career, so a lot of the players who had gay or bi tendencies hired male-escorts on the side. The payment would be well and full: $1,200 for an hour or two. The high payment was for discretion and quality. I wasn’t sure if I had fit in the category of quality, so the offer made me take a mental step back. But even still, I seriously considered the offer. Ultimately I declined because I was only 18 and was scared that I’d be ruined mentally because of it, not to mention the horror it would bring upon my family if they found out. Plus I had so little experience with sex, and sex itself was something that scared me.

“I said no!” I say with aggravation, turning away from the old man.

The man walks around my barstool to come face-to-face with me again. I try to turn away once more but he grabs my shoulder, leans in close and says, “This is my final offer. One thousand dollars.”

“One thousand dollars!? To just suck my dick?” I say too loud as I notice some people turn around to look at me, I lower my voice, “How do I know that you’re not playing around with me?”

“I’ll take the money out of the ATM before we hop in a cab so you can see it. I live very close, so you can come back to mine, have a few drinks, I’ll suck you, you blow, you leave with one-thousand dollars. Easiest money you’ll ever make.”

Although I thought the man was crazy for wanting to spend that much money on me, I couldn’t help but ponder his offer: I really did need the money, having only arrived in Sydney with pocket change that I had almost already spent and I was hoping to go apartment-hunting in the next few days, which I knew was an expensive endeavour.

Better judgement took hold of me, “I said no,” I barked, trying to hide the fact I contemplated his offer for a second, “I’m not that kind of person.”

The old man was about to say something when Blaire and Dean walked up.

“We are going to leave,” Dean said, holding Blaire under his arm. Blaire had a huge smile across her face; at least someone was still having a good time. The old man had walked away, scared off by their entrance.

“Where are we going?” I asked while watching the old man leave.

Blaire answered with a giddy smile, “We are gonna go hangout at Dean’s apartment. He lives just around the corner.”

Dean’s apartment was a five minute walk from the club. Blaire and Dean walked beside each other the whole way, giggling and laughing as I straggled behind them. Dean didn’t seem too interested in talking to me, so I strolled a fair distance behind them.

The apartment was a run-down and very small. It was a two bedroom with an open living area and kitchen. Dean’s bedroom was off to the side and connected to the balcony. The other bedroom was down a narrow hallway: beyond that was the bathroom.

I stepped on the 5th story balcony for a cigarette. Dean followed me while Blaire ran off to fix herself up in the bathroom. I sat on one of the white plastic lawn chairs while Dean sat on the other. We sat facing each other in awkward silence for a few seconds, then Dean spoke up,

“So what are you doing for work, Twinky?” He said with a crooked smile.

“Twinky?” I asked, puzzled.

“Yeah, because you’re white and you’re a twink.” He says, letting out a giant roaring laugh.

I let out a fake, courteous giggle, “Oh I see. I am currently looking for work at the moment.”

“Have you done modelling?”

“I have done an outdoor freelance shoot with my sister once, why do you ask?”

“Well because you’re a cute guy. I would do you,” I was taken aback, I’ve never had a straight guy tell me that (seriously) before, Dean continues, “Haha, I’m just kidding. You are a good looking guy though. If I were gay I would totally bang you. You like it up the ass don’t you?”

I was shocked at his vulgarity, “I don’t really know. I haven’t had sex that many times.”

“You don’t need to lie to me; I bet you’re a little slut. A little bottom slut who likes daddies.”

I was even more shocked and didn’t know how to respond. Dean had mentioned earlier that he had a lot of gay friends, so I admired his comfort and openness with homoerotic topics.

Before I was able to respond to him, Dean adds, “You should become an escort. I am one.”

Although this was taken in Thailand, it is a good depiction of what I looked like on this night.

Although this was taken in Thailand, it is a good depiction of what I looked like on this night.

The Truth: Part 5

I quickly pulled my hand off of Ronnie’s member and opened my eyes.

“What the fuck?” I say with disgust. Ronnie grabs my hand and tries to place it back on his penis, “No! Stop that!” I yell.

“What, don’t you like it?” Ronnie says, giving me a mischievous look. He obviously thought this was a fun game.

“No I don’t!”

“Don’t you like me?” He asks.

“No, and especially not after doing that!”

“Oh come on, why don’t we head back to mine?” Ronnie says, grabbing my hand again.

I shake his hand loose, “No, I’m sorry but I can’t.”

I turn and walk out of the club, leaving him standing alone on the dance floor.

*     *     *     *     *     *      *     *     *     *    *    *    *    *

A few days pass and I spend most of them studying (and passing) my RSL (Responsible Service of Liquor) license, hoping it would help me land a job. I apply online to a few places, including a job where I would have to hand out flyers to people on the street.

Blaire had come back to Sydney and needed a couple days to settle down before I could stay at her house. Once she was settled I met her in the city and she took me north to a suburb of Sydney that was across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Her apartment was nice, modern, and in a clean neighbourhood. It was a welcome change from the dirty streets of Kings Cross.

I was to spend 5 days at Blaire’s apartment, mainly while her housemate was out of town. We planned to spend the days at her apartment looking for jobs and the nights discovering the Sydney nightlife. Blaire was excited to show me more of Oxford Street, and I was excited to try the gay street with another person this time, hoping it would end up better than the last.

I didn’t know what I was in for.

Now fellow reader, if you are confused about how any of this has to do with a phone call in Canada a year later, the kick start to this story is coming soon. I know none of this sounds too compelling at the moment, but I promise this is all just the setup for whats about to come.

The first night Blaire and I went out clubbing we decide to go to Stonewall. I was excited to be going out with someone I knew and had partied with before. We immediately got the drinks flowing, started dancing and laughing. I didn’t even observe the other men at the club, I was just so absorbed in the good time I was having with Blaire.

At the bar, getting our fifth or sixth drink, Blaire whispered in my ear, “That hot guy over there is looking at you.”

I look up, and across the bar was a tall, olive skinned, dark haired, muscular, and very handsome man who locked eyes with me. I immediately look away, and I could feel my face getting flushed.

“You should talk to him!” Blaire says, eyes wide with excitement, “He’s fucking hot!”

I quickly glance up at him again, “I actually think he’s looking at you,” I say, trying to mask my disappointment.

“No way, this is a gay club! He’s probably gay. Look at the friends he is with!”

I look up again, I hadn’t noticed that he had a two friends standing around him. A blonde guy stood to his right, and a short muscular guy with dark hair to his left. Although the tall one was wearing a nice t-shirt and pants, the other two were in singlets and shorts. One of the singlets had pink writing across the front of it that I could not make out, and the other was a fluorescent yellow. Now, I hate to be the one to say he’s obviously gay, but those two guys were obviously gay. But something about the tall one made me unsure of his sexuality.

“Yeah I guess,” I reply back to Blaire, keeping my eyes on the group, “But I don’t know, something seems different about the tall one.”

The tall, muscular, handsome guy looks in our direction again, and I quickly avoid his gaze, turning to look up at the ceiling. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him start to make his way over in our direction. I start panicking.

He stops in front of Blaire, “Hello,” he says, “I’m Dean.”

“Nice to meet you Dean, I’m Blaire, and this is my friend Cody,” Blaire nudges me and I reach out and shake Dean’s hand. Dean’s two friends had disappeared from his side, so he was talking to us alone. After the handshake, Dean immediately puts his attention back on Blaire.

“How are you tonight?” He asks Blaire with a slick smirk and deep voice.

“I’m doing well. How are you?” Blaire responds, giving him a smirk in return. Oh god, I think, Blaire is going to hookup with this Adonis. I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. Ok, a lot jealous.

Blaire and Adonis Dean spark up conversations about Sydney and life, completely ignoring me. I stick around for enough of the conversation to learn that Dean is from New Zealand, but his family background is Italian. He was a model, but hadn’t don’t modelling for a few months because he broke his ribs. He lived just around the corner, and he was straight (big surprise there).

Soon I start to get bored of their flirting, and being ignored was no fun, so I go off by myself and sit on a stool with my drink. I watch as they laugh and talk and slowly get closer. I was jealous, but in a way I was very happy for Blaire: after her breakup with her ex she deserved a hot man like this. Deep in thought, I didn’t realise that they had started making out. I quickly look away from feeling awkward. No one wants to be the creepy guy who watches people make out. So alone I sit, avoiding my gaze from their lip-locked position at the far end of the club, when someone taps my shoulder.

“Hey, can I buy you a drink?” It was an old, fat man with glasses.

“No thanks, I have one.” I respond, slightly turning away to show my disinterest, “But that’s nice you would offer.”

He leans in closer, “I’ll pay you two-hundred dollars if I can suck your cock.”

The Truth: Part 4

I got ready for my night out. I came to Sydney with only two pars of pants, two pairs of shorts, sandals and four t-shirts; so I didn’t have much of an outfit. It was so cold that I went out and bought a sweater, a big blue one with the words Australia written across the front with a kangaroo below it. I knew I was going to look like the biggest tourist, but it was the first semi-decent sweater I could find that was cheap and near to my hostel.

I had a mohawk at this point, with spiral plugs in my ears. I knew


plugs and mohawk

In Bangkok with Nicki, plugs and mohawks galore

that I wouldn’t be looking in my best form. But it wasn’t about looking good, was it?

Asia was all about discovering myself. I had been dealing with anxiety and self-esteem issues before travelling to Southeast Asia. At one point in my life I was unable to leave my own house without feeling nauseous and nervous. I’ve had a few panic attacks back before I travelled, but Asia made me a different person. I smiled more, I didn’t care as much what people thought of me. My self-esteem was as high as it’s ever been and I was starting to finally feel comfortable with who I was. I had more confidence than ever before.

So with my giant blue sweater, my dirty pants, and my disgusting sandals, I walked to the club.

Oxford street was buzzing. It was a Sunday night, many people were walking around in groups. It was obviously the gay street. Boys walked by wearing designer clothes, gawking at my abhorrent attire. Drags queens strutted in their high-heels, chins held high, walking proud and with meaning. Muscle men walked around in singlets (wife-beaters) despite the cold temperatures.

I managed to find my way to a club named Stonewall. It looked busy from the outside, and there were a lot of men standing outside smoking. I took a deep breath, and stepped towards the front entrance.

“ID please,” the security guard said sternly.

“Oh here.” I rummaged through my pockets and pulled out my wallet. I flipped my wallet open and showed him my ID.

“From Canada?” Security asks.

“Yeah, here on my Work Holiday.” I say nervously, twiddling my fingers.

“Cool, have a good night.”

I take another deep breath before I step into the club.

The music was loud and people were everywhere. Men keep glancing over with shock or disgust, and I start to think that this is a bad idea. I head straight for the bar.

“What kind of beer do you have here?” I ask the bartender. He gives me a strange look.

“Well it depends what you are looking for,” He replies, sounding impatient.

“I’m not from here. Can you just give the the cheapest beer?” I say, trying to hurry up this interaction.

The bartender rolls his eyes, “A bottle? A schooner? Mate you’ll have to be more specific.”

A bottle and a what-what? I say in my head.

“A bottle of your cheapest beer,” I say unconfidently, wondering if he just insulted me with some weird Aussie lingo… Schooner? What the fuck is that? 

The bartender nods and goes to grab me a bottle of beer. I honestly can’t remember what brand it was. He gives me my beer and I pay him and leave a tip: such a Canadian thing to do.

I sit down on one of the many stools around the bar. Although the music was loud, the ‘downstairs’ part of Stonewall is actually more like a normal bar, off to the side you have the pokies (slot machines) in a separate room, and then down the hall from there is a secluded bar where you can sit and enjoy a chat. Up the stairs is the second and third level, and that’s where you go to dance. I resorted to stay on the non-dancing level, although there was plenty of drunk dancing from other people anyway.

So alone I sat, sipping my beer, looking out to the crowd. People were dancing and shouting, but most of all they were observing. Everyone was checking everyone else out. No one was safe. The minute someone would walk by another person, they would quickly do a ‘face and ass’ check, which is quiet literally, checking out the face (and if it’s good looking) then check out the ass as they walk by. Nobody seemed to actually go up and talk to the people they seemed interested in, they just would hover their eyes over their body again and again and again. And once I noticed that behaviour, I also noticed that no one seemed to be dancing with anyone.

Yes, people were dancing with their friends. But no one seemed to be grinding with anyone, making out, or having any sort of affectionate contact. Everything was cut and dry. I was used to going to straight clubs in Canada where almost half the people were flirting with each other, making out, or grinding. It seemed odd to me that the men here were just undressing people with their eyes, and not attacking with their faces.

“You look sad,” someone said beside me. I jumped in my seat, and turned. A black man stood behind me.

“No I’m not sad, just deep in thought,” I say, trying to blow off the fact I just almost screamed from being startled.

“What are you thinking about?” He asks, his eyes fixated in mine.

“Umm nothing really important.” I say, noticing that he was a little on the short side, but had a fairly handsome face.

“I’m Ronnie,” He says, I shake his hand.

“I’m Cody, nice to meet you.”

We start talking, and I find out that Ronnie is from New York. He has been living in Sydney for a while, but was going back to NYC soon. I told him that it was my first night in Sydney, and he took it upon himself to bring me to all the best clubs, in one night.

First: Is stonewall, and although I actually made my OWN way to stonewall, he is the one who actually showed me around. He brought me upstairs and to the pokies, we drink, we laugh. We meet a guy named Mike who is some big TV Manager, and who obviously was undressing me with his eyes. He wanted to join us on this unofficial club tour, so we all band together and head to…

Second: Arq. One of the biggest gay clubs in Sydney. Massive glass revolving doors at the entrance to two dance floors, one is downstairs and one is upstairs. We choose to go upstairs, and after being hit in the face with the revolving door we make it to the dance floor. Mike says he needs to go to the bathroom, and I follow him.

Now, growing up I was only in the presence of one drug: weed. And besides salvia, the only other drug I had ever done or seen in my lifetime was weed. I wasn’t a drug fan, but if people wanted to do it and it didn’t affect me, then I didn’t really care.

Mike starts doing lines of cocaine off the bathroom counter with some weird chick he just met. Which surprised and fascinated me because I was never in the presence of such blatant drug use before.

After Arq we went to…

Third (and last): Beresford. Beresford is actually a ‘straight-club’, but Sundays are gay-days. Beresford actually makes more money on the gay night than it does for the rest of the week combined. That’s how powerful the gays are in Sydney.

It’s weird that Ronnie brought me to these three clubs (there are many many more gay clubs in Sydney) because these three will soon become my regular hangout spots.

Ronnie and I go upstairs in the Beresford to go dance. Once again, the dance floor is upstairs while the downstairs part of the club is more like a pub, a place to pre-drink before dancing your ass off.

We go to the dance floor and we start dancing. I was pretty drunk at this point, and so was he.

“I wanna show you something,” Ronnie says, “But you have to close your eyes.”

“What? Why?” I say, swaying slightly to the music, trying hard to focus on Ronnie with my blurry vision.

“Just trust me!” Ronnie yells, giving a mischievous smirk.

I close my eyes. The music pounds through my head and I have a hard time standing straight. I feel him grab my hand. He moves my hand a places it right on his boner.

My hand was touching Ronnie’s penis, and I didn’t like it.



The Truth: Part 3

My head was spinning. What did she want to ask me? She seemed so serious, her face was of concern, or nervousness. I couldn’t really tell but it seemed like what she wanted to ask was important. Even Patrick looked taken aback, he didn’t seem to know what she was on about either.

I leaned in closer, ready to receive whatever question this Blaire chick wanted to ask.

“I wanted to ask you if…” She trails off, like she’s about to ask something out-of-line, “… if you were gay.”

I sigh with relief, “Why do you ask that?”

“I don’t know, I just think I have a good gaydar. Don’t take offence if you’re not, I just thought I would ask.”

“Well it’s good that I am, then.” I say, a smile escaping the corner of my mouth.

“Oh my god! Thats wonderful! Sorry for the question, I just love gay people.” She says, a giant smile across her face, “You’ll love Sydney then! It’s like the gayest city in the world. Most of my friends are gay! You’ll really love it there.”

“Yeah that’s part of the reason I chose to travel to Sydney. I was actually supposed to only go to Asia and then I was supposed to go home. But I looked at my bank account and decided I didn’t want to go back, so booked a flight to Sydney and applied for a Work Holiday Visa instead.”

“Well you’ll love it, it will be amazing! And I live there so we can totally hangout once you’re there.”

I look at Patrick, who hadn’t said anything, I cheekily ask, “Are you gay?”

Patrick laughs, “No I’m not, but I don’t think anything wrong if you are.”

My food arrives, and I’m sure I almost scared Patrick and Blaire off when I inhaled the burger and fries at light-speed. They ordered some food as well, and we sat there for an hour chatting about our travels so far.

Blaire had been in South America with her now ex-boyfriend, and after she found out he was cheating on her there, they had split up, abandoning her in the country. She had fled to Southeast Asia, hoping to forget her heartbreak. She had been living in Sydney a few months before traveling.

Patrick was a photographer and a writer. He had spent two years in Australia, the last of which was working with children on Christmas Island, the place the Australian Government detains refugees trying to get to Australia by boat. He had recently won a photography competition in North America where he was going to spend a year being the official photographer for all the best festivals… including Burning Man, Woodstock, etc.

We spent the rest of the day together, and then we spent the whole time in Koh Tao together. We spent our nights partying hard, and our days getting Thai massages and sitting on the beach. Blaire and I grew close. I was supposed to spend 3 days in Koh Tao, but because of meeting Patrick and Blaire, I ended up staying 10 days. It wasn’t all fun and games, as one night Patrick got in a huge fight with a Swedish guy who was hitting on Blaire.

Blaire and Patrick had a complicated relationship. They met in Thailand, and they quickly connected and became friends, after a while they had sex, and then they started traveling together and sharing a bed. But Blaire was using him as a distraction for her own heartbreak, while Patrick grew more and more infatuated with her.

After the fight with the Swedish man, things got awkward. Blaire spent a few days with the Swedish guy while Patrick and I hung out. Patrick got obsessed, he started getting drunk and writing short stories about Blaire, saying that all the best writers write when they are drunk or heartbroken. Blaire and Patrick had lost their connection, so Blaire got her own room.

My last night in Koh Tao Blaire and I went to the outdoor cinema with the Swedish guy. We watched Machine Gun Preacher, and then went out clubbing at a beautiful beachside club.

“You need to make sure you contact me once I’m in Sydney,” Blaire said drunkenly, “You’ll be arriving there a few days before I do, but once I’m there you are welcome to stay at mine for a couple days while you look for a job.”

“That would be great!” I yelled, almost spilling my drink. It was hard to hear over the loud music, “I will message you once I arrive and we can go from there.”

“You’re a really great guy, Cody,” Blaire said, “And you and I will have so much fun!”

*     *     *      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

I had just landed in Sydney. After that last night of heavy drinking with Blaire, her and I said our goodbyes the next morning as I headed off to Bangkok to meet up with my friend from Canada, Nicki. Nicki and I spent the last 10 days of my Asia trip together, and then she left for Turkey while I got a flight to Sydney.

I fought my way through Australian customs, and managed to find my way through the train network to Kings Cross, an area in Sydney known for its nightclubs, strip bars, and brothels (all of which I didn’t know at the time). All I knew was that the hostel I had booked was located there. Miraculously, I managed to find my hostel without any help from a map. The hostel wasn’t on the main street in Kings Cross, so the street was quiet. I had booked a bed in a 6 person dorm. It was autumn, so the leaves were turning and beginning to fall off the trees.

I had grown used to the hot, humid weather of Asia, so the bitter cold of Sydney autumn caught me by surprise.

I had never really had a gay friend previously in my life, and the gay-scene back in my hometown in Canada was very small. When I had lived in Canada I tried to avoid the scene altogether, part of me was still coming to terms with being gay, so hanging out with gay people was awkward. Another part of me was scared, scared of what other gay people thought of me. I had a few relationships in Canada that hung in the awkward space of ‘not dating but more than friends‘, but either than that I was still new to the whole “scene” thing.

But that night, the first night I arrived in Sydney, I decided to do the unimaginable. I had looked at a map of Sydney in the hostel, and I noticed that I was staying close to the gay street in Sydney (called Oxford Street, which I grow to know well) and decided: I am going to go to a gay club. Tonight. By myself. 

The Truth: Part 2

She stood there, tan with blonde hair, on the side of the road. She looked to be about 25, and she was very beautiful. A man stood beside her who looked almost like an alternative-pirate, with a red scarf wrapped around his head, shirtless, and baggy pants. They looked like the biggest contradiction. When my Australian driver got out of the vehicle, the blonde woman said, “How are you, Charlie?”

“I’ve been good! You guys looking to head into town?” The Australian man, Charlie, answered.

“Yes, please. That would be great. We are starving!” The blond woman says, emphasising the word starving.

The Australian turns to me, “My wife will help you with your things.”

Before I knew it a small Thai woman is at my side, leading me up a small hill. The blonde woman and the alternative man had gone with Charlie the Australian and were heading back to the town.

The Thai woman leads me up to her house where we are meant to eat breakfast (if we choose) every morning. I could see the cream coloured apartment complex in the back, stuck between the steep hill and the ocean below.

Another Aussie, this time a woman, takes my bags and starts leading me through the complex. The whole apartment was built out of cement and sandstone. It had an open-air concept, so everything was outside. We duck and turn our way through the maze of halls, and finally she stops at a door and says, “Welcome to Hobbiton,” and ducks inside.

Welcome to Hobbiton

Welcome to Hobbiton

Hobbiton the room was called because the door was very small and hidden. I ducked under the doorframe and came into the room.

The room was small, but cozy. It had three walls, and where the fourth wall should’ve been was replaced with an open balcony with views of the ocean and mountainside. I had to sleep with a bug net, but falling to sleep with the sounds of the ocean crashing every night was worth the trouble. The bed sat in the middle of the room, with a small kitchen opposite the balcony. A small corridor lead to the bathroom, which is where the apartment complex met with the mountain slope, meaning that my bathroom was an oddly-shaped wedge with an uneven floor.

After the woman left I hunkered down for the day, deciding to spend my time reading a book and relaxing after the terror of making my way to this place (That hill, oh god, that terrible hill!).

The next day I make my way, by Australian-chauffeur, to the town. The second time making my way up and down the mountain was worse than the first. This time I sat in the back where there was no seats, just an open area where you tumbled and fell on top of anyone else that was also back there. Alternative man was in the back with me, and the blond girl was sitting in the front passenger seat. Nobody said anything, and I think the blond girl and alternative man were hungover.

“Oh my god, is there a McDonald’s on this island?” I ask out loud, partly to break the awkward silence, partly because I actually just really really wanted McDonalds. I was sick of asian food, I waned greasy burgers and fries.

Everyone laughed, and the the blond girl answered, “No, there is no McDonald’s here, unfortunately.”

I hadn’t noticed before, but the blonde girl had a British accent.

The Australian-chauffeur, Charlie, dropped us off at a gas station in town. He told us to meet him there at 4pm if we wanted to be taken back to the apartment. After he drives away, the blonde woman and the alternative man disappear down a street.

Walking down the narrow streets, trying to find a place to eat that wasn’t asian food, was painful. My stomach growled and moaned for food, but I was stubborn and wanted a burger (all that McDonald’s talk made me excited). I stumbled upon an Australian BBQ restaurant and decided to look at the menu.

My eyes scanned for one word, and with a glorious hallelujah I read it: BURGERS.

I almost skipped inside and sat down and ordered my food, making sure I got the most greasiest burger on the menu.

Suddenly, two people are starting to sit beside me. I look up and see that it’s the blonde girl and the alternative man.

“Do you mind if we sit here?” the blonde girl asks, “We saw you sitting by yourself and thought that maybe you wanted some company.”

“No that’s fine, you can sit here.” I answer.

“I hate how you mentioned McDonald’s this morning, made me want it so bad!” The girl laughs, flicking her blonde hair over her shoulder, “What’s your name?”

“I’m Cody,” I reach out my hand and the blonde girl shakes it.

“I’m Blaire,” The girl says, “And this is my friend, Patrick.” The blonde-girl-Blaire gestures toward the alternative-man-Patrick, and I reach out and shake his hand.

“How you going, buddy?” Patrick says, “If I’m not mistaken, you sound Canadian!”

“Yes, I am.” I reply, noticing that he also sounded Canadian (well, actually, it’s hard to pick Canadian accents and American accents, so I’ll just say that I could tell he was from North America). From up close Patrick looked less pirate-like. He still wore a red scarf around his head, and he was still shirtless, but up close he looked more normal; just like a regular backpacker.

“Awesome,” Patrick says, leaning back in his chair, “I’m from Vancouver.”

“I love Vancouver! I am from Calgary,” I respond, always excited to meet other Canadians on the road. I turn to Blaire, “Where are you from?”

Blaire smiles, “I am from York, England. But I live in Sydney, Australia.”

“Oh cool, I am planning to go to Sydney in a few weeks.” I say, excited by the prospect that she could be the first person I get to know that’s from Sydney. So far I knew no one that lived there, and it was scary thinking I was going to be going there for a year without knowing anyone.

“You’ll love it there! The city is so amazing! And the weather is perfect!” Blaire exclaims, but she suddenly goes quiet and leans in closer to me, “I hope this isn’t awkward, and I hope that you don’t get offended, but I really need to ask you a question.”

My mind races.

The Truth: Part 1

I woke up in the comfort of my parents house. The sun was beaming through the thin curtains, lighting up the room in a cream coloured glow. I lay atop a queen sized bed, blankets and pillows scattered around. A big yawn escapes my mouth as I stretch my arms out above me and lengthen my spine. It felt good to be away from Sydney, to not have to wake up and wonder what was gonna happen that day. It was so peaceful.

I roll over to check my phone, a ritual I’m sure every twenty-something does. You can’t start your day unless you first bombard yourself with Facebook and text messages and weird emails from companies that specialise in erectile-dysfunction. A message from a friend of mine who lived in Syndey was in the Facebook notifications, I tapped on it.  The message contained only one sentence. I mouthed the words as I mentally read the message; Hey man can you please contact me ASAP! 0405**********

Something was terribly wrong.

I message back: I can’t text in Canada. 

He writes back: I was visited by the police this morning. It was about Scott… 

SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT, I repeatedly said in my mind. I told my friend that I can call him over Facebook (technology is so crazy now) and he says that would work for him.

So I call my friend.


“Hello, Cody,” my friend says on the phone. The connection isn’t the best quality so his voice crackles a bit.

“Hi,” I try and make polite conversation like I didn’t already know what he was going to say, “How are you?”

“Well to be honest Cody, not that good. I got visited by the police yesterday.”

“…And what did they want?” I said, stupidly, because I already knew the answer. I’d always known. I knew months before the phone call was made. I even told a friend months before the phone call that I knew what was going to happen at this very moment. It was inevitable.

“They came to tell me that Scott is dead.”

I almost drop my phone.

*      *      *     *      *      *

The truth is always around you, but you can never quite grasp it. It’s because there is no such thing as truth. Everything is what you make it, which means that nothing means anything. Even the memory of you reading that last sentence isn’t truth, because we can never actually recall the full extent of a past event. We can’t remember details and, as time goes on, our brain will put in details that were never there.

Why am I telling you this? Because this story happened, but isn’t the truth. What I am about to tell you, and continually tell you throughout this blog series, is that this is my recollection of events that lead to a death of a friend and my personal descent into one of Australia’s greatest underbellies. So everything I say is the truth, but it also isn’t because its my truth. If that even makes any sense.

So take everything with a grain of salt. I will try and recall to the best of my unbiased ability, but we all know I could never put into your mind’s eye what really went on. But I’ll try my best.

Everything started a lot longer ago than expected. I am not going to start at the very beginning, even though I already began this story close to the end. But I’m using part of the end to hook people in, so don’t be angry: It will all become clear after a while.

Sometimes I write well, and sometimes its utter shit… so bear with me as I try to get the full truth out.

So it all kind of started (but not really) in Southeast Asia. Koh Tao, Thailand to be exact. I had just been traveling nearly two months through northern Vietnam, Laos, and northern Thailand, but grew bored of the rainforest-lifestyle and skipped from north Thailand to south Thailand to spend a few days on the beach.

It was beautiful. Some of the best snorkelling and swimming is in Koh Tao, so I would spend my days swimming through the reefs looking at all sorts of fish, sea turtles, and sting rays.

I had enough of hostels, having already made my way through $1-a-night rooms shared with 18 other people. I wanted some alone time. So once I got to port from the ferry, I was picked up by this lovely older gentleman from Australia who insisted I stay at his apartment complex that he owned on a secluded beach on the island. He drove a beat-up truck, and had some brown/missing teeth. We agreed on a price and he drove me up and over the small mountain on the island to the other side where his apartment complex lay.

The road to the complex was bumpy, and at one point I thought of bailing out the passenger door when he started climbing up the steepest hill I’ve even seen in my entire life. Like, you could imagine the fear when the vehicle is going up such a steep slope that all you can see is blue sky. Then we come to the top and start heading down. This is where I seriously start to question this guys sanity: going down was even worse than going up. At one point I was so disorientated that I blacked out and saw Jesus. Our vehicle was almost vertical going down and even with my seatbelt on I still had to use my arms to hold my body up from smashing down on the windshield. Despite the horrible driving conditions (that I later grow to love) we make it to the complex alive.

And that’s where I get my first glimpse of HER.

(I’m gay and I just wanted to add to the end of Part 1 that this isn’t the beginning of a love story. Without the knowledge of knowing that I’m gay it sounds like I was saying HER as in I found the one. Let me just tell you: no. Stop that.)