Life, Death, Long-Haul Flights & Noise-Cancelling Headphones.
In the past year life & the universe has thrown a fair deal of light and shade my way…
I met the love of my life and her two perfect boys, who along with her, make my life complete.
I said ‘NO MORE’ to the bullshit of a narcissistic & selfish past love and the damage she caused.
I cut ties, stopped defending her, and when people asked, I’d tell the story of how it REALLY was, despite the numerous requests for silence. I went on to rediscover life’s magic, and furthermore, began to properly own my indubitable relationship with music again.
They say, when you meet your “Soul-Mate” or “Twin-Flame” that you come together to deal with much bigger things than you’d previously dealt with before and sometimes things you didn’t have the strength to face alone.
I can now confirm this to be a truth. This year’s been packed with ‘em!
Fast forward one year, one month and a long-haul flight later and I’m sat in a palliative care centre in Melbourne. Meeting my partners Dad for the first time. It is worthwhile mentioning that in this blog I barely scratch the surface of what we experienced in those couple of weeks.
It’s really strange meeting someone for the first time and knowing it’ll be the last too. I found myself bantering pretty freely for a first meeting, and spent time listening intently, soaking up the very essence of the man who is, in my opinion, part responsible for creating the most perfect woman on the face of this earth. He sang a 'Dubliners' song, I listened. She teared up. So did he. Then I did.
I felt blessed to hear his quick wit and explicitly arid sense of humour. What really topped it though, was hearing the two of them bantering together. I got to see the very best parts of his character, the ones which he’d passed onto my future wife. He sparkled when we arrived.
Travelling West to East thrashed the living shite out of me…Sort of like a comedown without the rave ever happening...
Of course I asked some of my well travelled friends for tips.
I got: “Drain all the free booze” or “Drop a benzo cocktail after joining the mile-high club”
For us the mile-high club was laughable. We are both within inches of 6ft and both of us are carrying an ample amount of love lard.
Bringing a ‘proper’ good pillow was an absolute winner. I left mine in Kuala Lumpur on the trip back home. I was gutted. ‘Mr Pillow’ was perfection. Noise cancelling headphones kept me from losing my sensibilities on a number of occasions on and off the plane. Having just a few moments of sonic peace is invaluable. Regardless, heavy duty 36db earplugs are a MUST. Wear a couple of panty liners (or sanitary towels if you're hardcore) That way, when you land in your allocated limbo land you can simply whip it off and BOOM! Fake-Fresh undies! – Straight to the bar or in my case, a place to go vape.
So, flying through the air with 300 other people for 24 hours in a giant metal penis with wings is a hell of a long time, especially whilst not knowing if we’d arrive in time to find him still alive.
I can tell you, aside from the aforementioned gin, diazepam, good pillows and panty liners…it was a WHOLE different kind of trip. Combine the above with huge fatigue & a boredom induced over application of complimentary airline cologne and boom! This was the state I was in when we first arrived at the hospice.
I held her hand through so many complications. Family, unearthed past hurts, uncomfortably close soap stars and painful bouts of her being yet again an after-thought. All this and more set a scene around an already highly distressing situation. One which I’d not choose to re-live, the only reason would be for her.
The saving grace, was a tall, fiery, fucking wonderful human being. A woman who from my experience of meeting my partners blood relatives, embodied the true meaning of family 100% more purely. A true sister, friend & vodka drinker.
We laughed so hard our faces nearly fell off, slept in the biggest bed I’ve ever slept in my whole life, had the best cuddles from Django the Dingo-Dog, and felt welcomed, at home and safe. All whilst having a perfect view of the open ocean.
After tumultuous days of frequent tongue biting & making nice with people who showed little to no respect for the love of my life, we needed to evacuate the already post-it note clad (laying claim to his possessions) now former home of her Father (who may I add, at this point was STILL alive).
I needed to blow off some steam. She needed sleep. I wanted to drink. We were both successful. Although not at the same time.
The lesson, don’t drink export strength vodka (straight) and expect to keep up with someone of a Polish constitution. You WILL end up in a mess...for example, wedged between the wall and the fuck-off massive bed, legs akimbo, unable to move yourself without human intervention. As much as the dog tried to help, his barking, licking ect wouldn't budge me.
Despite waking up feeling like a bag of ass, my head like a centrifuge. We all laughed, I took strong painkillers, cancelled the day's plans & went back to bed.
Originally this trip to Australia was going to be a snappy little tour around Melbourne, but due to the circumstances that fell to the wayside.
Four (remorseful, detoxing) days later, was my Australian debut gig... A full scale house concert in the sunny backyard of two lovely guys named Curtis & Graham. The vibe was so sweet, make no mistake, gay guys know how to throw a partay!!! It felt like a home away from home and despite being on the other side of the world we still wandered around Chapel St in search of a late night kebab!
Traveling East to West was equally as uncomfortable but at least it felt like time travel. The last hours we spent in the hospice were horrific on many levels including the very last goodbye she had with her Dad, which she had to fight to get despite having travelled over ten thousand miles to spend time with him. Seriously gob-smaking.
I was powerless. Beyond angry. i couldn't help. It was heartbreaking.
Despite witnessing some seriously harsh family dynamics, I understand her better. It makes me want to hold her tighter & closer. It makes me want to be the most kick-ass parent to our boys I can possibly be, and I’m proud of our little family.
Having been back in the UK for a couple of weeks now I can confirm that the night owl can be, and has been, royally taken up the ass by the lark. Hoot! Hoot! to that. I’m up in the morning. It’s sort of nice actually.
With great sadness and profound gratefulness, I dedicate my first blog to the Father of my person, my future wife and the forever keeper of my heart.
Giselle Louise Ryan.
R.I.P – Andrew Gabriel Ryan 15/04/16