Tomorrow

Six months is a long time.

Things change, people change, lives change, the seasons change at least two to three times depending on when the six months started.

In six months, lots of good progress can be made, new things can be explored, and challenges overcome – or at the very least faced.

You can feel more comfortable with yourself. Feel a little more relaxed about things. Be able to get up and say that hey, at least today will be that little bit better than yesterday.

But then tomorrow comes.

And it isn’t the day you were promised in the pop song that Annie Lennox and David A. Stewart sang in 1985.

That presumes of course, possibly falsely, that 80’s pop songs were ever a good yard stick for life and expectations.

Like the evil foot solider of an enemy thought long vanquished, clad in black and blending in with the surroundings that nobody else might see it, the unexpected reappears in a dark alleyway at the one moment you’d least welcome its arrival.


I wrestled with what to title this post. There were so many other one word descriptions that came to mind, but in the end – as more often than not – I drew inspiration in part from Lennox and Stewart; and also from Episode 155 – the last episode of the final series, of The West Wing (I’m sure you know how much of a fan I am of this long finished show).

The episode to me is a reflection, in parts, on decisions made by you, and for you, and the opportunities lost. The decisions we struggle with, in the vein hope that what we do today creates a better tomorrow. For ourselves, our friends, our family, those who’s opportunities of tomorrow are closely aligned to the decisions we make today.

That might be overselling things a bit given the context, but it gives me to pause to reflect on the past six months, and a change of direction that – for better or worse – is likely happening tomorrow night, and how much of a positive impact this time has had.


It’s likely not a change I want to happen. Reverting back to almost a previous status quo, not being able to enjoy something specific in the way I have recently, and likely not attaining anywhere near as much opportunity for pleasure in the physical and emotional context that the last six months have brought – no matter how limited that pleasure might have been.

I see this women as my equal in so many senses.

Putting aside all that has happened in the last six months, even before then – this is a women who’s company, intellect and conversation I’d crave.

If it was possible to pick from a menu and find another women with all her skills, her knowledge, talents and abilities, the lust for life – please tell me where that women is and how I find her.


I feel annoyed in some respects. Because there’s, at least to me, still more than a few miles left on the clock for what this has been in the current context.

I don’t feel that the current context has reached the end of a road, or a natural conclusion, and that I’ve been able to grow personally anywhere near as much as I might want, or need, to – I feel there’s still more unexplored opportunity for that.

And I also fear what comes next.

As someone for whom, you’re likely aware, has been perpetually lonely and led a life sadly lacking the physical validation and emotional nourishment that comes from any such experience – will I ever experience this again?

Given the disappointment that has come before, and likely will continue to come – where is what I seek to be found, and on which of the tomorrows might this come.


I am left to ruminate today, if I’d have ended up in the city at a high school reunion party that Saturday night instead of Leederville.

If I’d not had the iPad with me as a distraction on a train journey for something to read, and used a certain application, looking through photos and finding hers.

If I’d not started a gentlemanly, respectful and friendly conversation with a good friend, only to uncover a nugget of truth.

If I’d let that nugget of truth slip through the cracks.

Where would I be today? Would I be feeling the way I am now? Have I been blinded as a result to other opportunities that have passed me during this time? Would I have done, or have been able to do the things that I’ve enjoyed during this time.

So many questions. What Ifs. Whys and wherefores. Like the choose your own adventure books of our childhood, but targeted at a more discerning adult audience.


These things, like all matters in life, come to pass. When you’ve waited as long as I have, you do get sick of having to ask the question of when your time will come to have that which you so greatly crave.

It’s not an outcome I’d want to happen, but it’s one that – for better or for worse, I’ll have to respect.

And hope, possibly in vain, that somewhere, the women I seek, is out there, ready to be found.

If not today, then hopefully, on another tomorrow.

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I want my Mallory (Warning: Feelings inside)

Mallory O'Brien (Allison Smith)Those who know me, will know just how much I enjoy The West Wing.

No, let’s be honest, I’m a fan. I can quote lines, re-watch episodes often, and can be found occasionally borrowing my oratorical stylings from the show when I decide to get on my high horse about something. Sorkin-esque you might say.

And those who know the show, will hopefully remember Mallory O’Brien (the reoccurring character played by Allison Smith).

The daughter of Leo McGarry (John Spencer) and his former wife, the secondary school teacher was as funny as she was quick witted. As smart as she was stylish. If you didn’t fall in love with her the first time she graced the small screen in this well written show, then something had to be wrong with you.

Mallory is my idea of a perfect women – and I promise you that it isn’t just because of how she looked.

She’s educated, smart, willing to step up to the plate and challenge both misconceptions and the opposite sex, on her way to or has become accomplished in her chosen field, obviously looks after herself, and is aware of her feminine charm that makes the more sophisticated or eloquent of the male species hot under the collar whenever she catches their gaze.

And let’s be honest – her red hair. For me that’s the icing on top of what is seemingly an already perfect cake (yes, I like redheads – but jet black hair does it for me just as well, with blondes next in line).

We then cast our eyes forward in the series to another recurring character, one Jordan Kendall, the attorney at law played by Joanna Gleason.

Jordan, albeit not a redhead, again embodies all those values I see, ageing gracefully to boot. Who wouldn’t want to fall in love with a Mallory who matures into Jordan-type character you want to grow old with, slow dance to the classics of your shared era, and stay up late with sharing all the good memories of times past in the comfort of each others arms.

Ok, so Mallory might be just a character on a long finished TV show you may wonder. Followed by the next obvious thought – being why the fixation, or using her as a reference point for your desires in a women?

It came to me after starting to re-watch Season 2 of the aforementioned TV series for the seven hundred and sixty second time. I always found it difficult to articulate the kind of women I sought. I knew the values I sought; I knew that her already having kids wasn’t going to work for me; drugs, smoking and excessive drinking were always a bridge too far; but I’ve never been able to get that and the rest of it down to a simple elevator pitch.

And here we take a segue into the life of an introvert. I know what I want, I have a good idea of what I’m looking for, but I don’t have the first dammed clue how to get it.

I struggle in conversations with people, regardless of gender, for whom I have no pre-existing basis to make conversation from, let alone be comfortable around. The anonymous nature of social networks such as Twitter has actually allowed me to build some good friendships, especially with those of the fairer sex.

But I’ve never capitalised on them, except once in a moment of honesty and possibly kismet, that has put me in the situation and place I’m in today.

The number of people who know the more intimate details of my life can be counted on one hand. And the specific, more intimate parts of my life which has put me in the head space I’ve been residing for the last week, are details of which I’m not going to discuss in any form or detail, especially in such a public way.

But I will say this – I’m very close to my Mallory, closer than I’ve ever been. And for someone who struggles to date (my last proper date and steady relationship was over 8 years ago), finds it difficult to engage new people in conversation, or make new friends regardless of gender, it’s a good place to be.

I was also going to make a joke about the lack of making friends not being limited to just gender, but also species – due to the inability to have an animal as a pet for some form of companionship… but I think that most of you have dirty minds and you’re going to unwittingly build an awful mental picture that was entirely unintended.

Ahem, I digress.

But this women, despite having all the characteristics I seek, isn’t available to me in the way I’d honestly like her to be.

I have to settle for something much less than what I truly desire, and I sadly don’t see that changing in the foreseeable future. Even then, knowing the limitations of the current paradigm being faced – I still struggle, on a daily basis, to reconcile these limits. I have to balance my desire for some form of limited companionship (if only to get back on the proverbial horse to practice and build skill) against its limitations, if only to avoid this coming to an abrupt, and unwanted halt.

And the way this women makes me feel. To even so much as attempt to describe it, could not come within a thousand miles of giving it the literary justice it so honestly deserves. Just writing this has given me the high of endorphins I get being around her, but not enough to overcome the nervousness of expressing myself and my feelings in this way.

It’s like a high wire balancing act, crossing the deep canyon – where I need to constantly respect the boundaries that are set for fear of falling off in a spectacular fashion, and ultimately being so injured and bruised after the attempt that it’s another 8 years before I try again.

That would be a uncomfortable state of affairs, as I’d be in my 40s by then. May your respective deity help any introvert who’s still trying and struggling to find love at that age.

It’s a sad, difficult situation to be in – when your Mallory, or something very close to it, is so very near – almost in your reach, yet still so very far away.

My Christmas letter to each and every one of you

This year I’ve decided there’s so many people I’d like to write a card to, call or share a conversation with. Sadly, circumstances don’t permit this – and doing so could keep me busy for a whole month of Sundays.

My 2011 is best summed up by this quote from one of my all time favourite movies; the 1998 David Mamet written masterpiece Ronin:

Vincent (Reno): Seven fat years and seven lean years.
Sam (DeNiro): That’s what it says in the Bible.

2011 has been a year of mostly downs, with the occasional spikes and highs of turns that didn’t always pay off.

Moving on from a nightmare of an employer, and the in the process of doing so and clearing my conscience I ended up unemployed. A five week stint in Sydney after business requirements changed seven days into a contract, and rediscovering the damage caused by the black dog.

This all of course lead to being unable to take my annual holiday, which would have included discovering the delights of Hong Kong and Macau. It also highlighted how not planning ahead for those potentially lean years has left me in the position I’m in.

But as the Christmas season draws to a close, one year ends and another begins. It ends on a slightly higher note, allowing me to combine my writing skills with my passion for aviation and airports – and at least earn some money from it. Granted, this is not enough to make a living from but it will at least supplement the pitiful amount the Government expects the unemployed to survive on.

And in polar opposite to most of the job seekers I have the misfortune of encountering during my rare visits to a Centrelink office. I for one have made sure to apply for and be looking at all and any relevant opportunities to me. I’ve been open to relocation, moving, or even tacking new challenges which I may not previously have encountered.

And unlike the aforementioned cohort of job seekers, I at least make an effort to rock up to appointments there dressed decently; not in the cut off jeans, tank tops, unwashed nature showing off body art and jewellery they put on display; conveying just how uncommitted they seem to moving off the sustenance of the taxpayer’s teet – one which I funded substantially during 17 years of continuous employment.

So what do I have to be thankful for this Christmas? Granted, I may not have been showered in presents, enjoyed massive banquets, or even bought myself an exciting present beyond razor blades (yeah, that’s a must-have Christmas gift – not).

What I do have is a roof over my head, friends, acquaintances who give a toss, and an even wider circle of lovely and warm people I’ve come to know across social media – for whom my daily conversation and interaction with provide a welcomed distraction from the monotony of this year.

Every day, so many of you and your musings bring a smile to my face. From photographs of your beautiful offspring, your day in pictures, various pets, sharing a love of cooking and travel, sharing the odd suggestive joke, through to deep conversations of matters life and universe and those things that are troubling you.

Time after time I want to just reach through the screen and hug you all, especially those I’ve still not had the pleasure of meeting in person. While I do have my own troubles, I hope that the occasional comfort and kind words I’ve been able to provide has at least brought you some relief in your own times of need and despair.

The only gift I can offer is hope – a longing and desire that 2012 for each and every one of you will be better than the previous year. Some of you face new challenges; from the miracle of new life, marital or civil union with a significant other, to moving from one stage in your life or career to another.

Each one of these challenges will help you grow as a person; putting the skills, knowledge and attributes you’ve acquired over the many years to the test.

I can only wish you the best of luck and success in each of your endeavours. Know that I’ll be cheering you on – if only from the sidelines.

And if there’s one thing I’d like for 2012 apart from stable employment – it’s a nice women who can at least provide a shoulder to lean on, be a strong and supportive player in the as yet incomplete play known as my life, and share the occasional cuddle and some deep conversation in my lonely queen-sized bed.

So to all of you, a merry Christmas and the best of wishes and good luck for 2012,

Michael H