We met through a ‘Telephone Friendship Club. The club had found a ‘gap’ in the Auckland city social scene where people who are isolated in the community, can call and talk to other people who had similar problems and/or interests; (ie) mothers with very small children and no transport, new immigrants who knew no one, elderly people who couldn’t get about so easily anymore, people who worked long hours and found themselves with no ‘people contact,’ after work, people in the community who were feeling isolated and alone. David and I had both joined this club. He worked long hours and apart from his ‘sports nights,’ he spoke only to guys. I was a ‘separated woman with 3 teenage children, living out on the edge of a sheep farm with no adults to converse with. To sign up, we had to each, give a first name, our age, a telephone number and a list of interests.
Admittedly, we were both separated from our spouses but I think that the only reason that the club co-ordinators gave me David’s number was because of our fanatical interest in the game of “Cricket,” otherwise, we should not have had much else in common. He was 24 almost 25 – where I was 38 almost 39. He had no kids, I had 3 teenagers! He was young and white, I was middle-aged and brown. This SHOULD not have become a 20 year intimate relationship, 18 years of it in a marriage; but it has, and all because of an interest in Cricket!
(David played Cricket during the summer, but since it was the middle of winter when we finally met, he was playing Indoor Cricket instead- and I have loved the out-door game since I was in High School. ;))
We would have long rambling conversations, interspersed with my listening to the radio speakers, set to MORE FM, beside which he would place the telephone receiver before going outside to have a ciggy. During one such conversation he invited me along to watch him play.
We finally met 6 months after first making telephone contact; at the sports venue where he was playing. We hugged, and chattered, until he went in to bat. Later on he bowled. After the match we went back to his folks place so he could shower and change. I had baked some Cornish Pasties for him earlier that afternoon, and brought them along to the match. He was starving, so he heated a couple of the pasties in the microwave oven, and sat down to eat. I sat across the table and watched him. We didnt really have much to talk about, except the game, but that was OK – because we were not expecting to get into a relationship. We tried to go night-clubbing, but we couldn’t stand the noise so eventually, he took me home. We hugged, then he reminded me about coming to watch the final match, which his team was going to play in, (they had won their game that night,) I said I’d come, so we said goodnight and he went back to his flat in the middle of Auckland.
The following weekend, I called him to say that I would be in the middle of the city, can I can come and visit him. He said he’d be at work in a textile warehouse in Parnell, but yes, I could come and visit him there. My girlfriend had to drop one of her children off in the centre of Auckland, to catch a connecting mode of transport to Taranaki, so I went along with her. Then I found out that she was going someplace else afterwards, and wouldn’t be coming home for a while. I said, “OK – I’ll get David to drive me home.” I visited with David, at his workplace, then at lunch-time, he closed up and was ready to go home.
He said he hadn’t brought the car, he had walked to work, so we had to walk back to his flat, which was in New Market. Parnell is a particularly hilly part of Auckland with fantastic views, if one can survive the walk!
We finally reached his place. I had brought a hot-water bottle to ease his aching back. The back problem came from lifting weights at the warehouse, and quick bowling at cricket, two or three times a week. (He had told me about the back problem when I had called him from home, before coming into town.) I asked him what he had to eat, he wasn’t sure, so I searched his cupboards. He had a bit of flour, some baking powder, and some partially mouldy-cheese. Scraping the mould from the chesse and grating the remainder, I made a batch of cheese scones.
That was what we had for lunch, with coffee. Then we settled down to watch Saturday sport on TV. The day wore on, and as it got darker he suggested we go buy takeaways for tea. I agreed. When we got back, we ate, tidied up then settled down to watch more sport on TV. There was only one bed in the flat/bedsitting room and a 2-seater couch. He said he would sleep on the couch while I had the bed. I knew that that wasn’t going to work, but he would not have allowed me to sleep on the couch instead, so I held my tongue, and settled down in the bed. After an hour or so, I sat up and said, “This is ridiculous, it’s a big bed. We can both fit in here – come to bed!” I turned on my tummy and let myself relax. I felt him climb into bed. We lay quiet for a while, perhaps 10 minutes, but then – some one moved and suddenly, lips on lips, hands on face, hair, pulling clothes, naked. It was All on!
That was the beginning of our love story, and that’s how it’s been ever since.
TBC …… Emmi