Before there was him, there was her

I had dinner with my friend Jodie on Sunday night. I haven’t had a chance to tell you about it until now. I was too busy moaning about my bowling injury and boasting about all the nice wine I drank in Melbourne.

I’ve known Jodie FOREVER. Well, more than 30 years.

We met at a dodgy gay nightclub in Newcastle called The Gunfighter’s Rest. I think. My long-term memory is pretty hopeless, possibly because of all the Dingo Dangler cocktails we consumed there.

She started dating one of my boyfriend’s mates and the rest, as they say, is history.

When Jodie moved to Sydney, I’d catch the train down to visit her and we’d go clubbing together. Jodie was really cool, I was dazzled by her style and personality.

She had short, spiky, bleached hair. I remember one time she bleached it so blonde that it turned to jelly and fell out in clumps.

Jodie has always been full of life and energy. No matter what is thrown at her, she dusts herself off and gets on with it. I’m constantly awed by her resilience.

When I got a job in Sydney, we moved in together. We shared flats in Cronulla and Rose Bay, then two terraces in Paddington.

The day I broke up with my first love, Jodie came home from work and consoled me on the lounge while I sobbed all night.

A little over a year later, I met my second love. Jodie got married and had a son. I moved to Singapore, moved back, had two kids. She had another son, many, many years after the first. My second love walked out after 23 years, Jodie consoled me. She moved to Jordan, moved back. Oh and lots of other things happened in between, but I’d need to write a book instead of a blog to cover it off.

All that stuff meant we’ve fallen in and out of each other’s lives over the years, but we’ve always had this invisible cord connecting us.

She was one of my first friends to meet DD. I warned her that he was a quiet one, but he was unexpectedly chatty. Jodie tends to bring that out in people.

Every now and then, Jodie and I meet for Vietnamese in Marrickville. We natter about old times and new over bonfire beef.

In recent years, one of the inner-west’s stalwart Vietnamese restaurants, Bay Tinh, has moved over to my side of the bridge, so Jodie joined me there for dinner on Sunday.

As usual, we nattered about old times and new over bonfire beef.

We’ve both been through some pretty challenging moments lately, hers much rougher than mine.

I arrived for dinner feeling pretty blerk, but walked out buoyed and smiling. I hope she felt the same.

It’s lovely that we’ve stayed in touch, despite the wildly different directions life has taken us in. Old friends are so precious, they’re kind of like sisters (which I’m lucky enough to have one of as well) – no matter what gets thrown at you, they’ll be there if you need them.

I have my fingers tightly crossed that Jodie gets her happy ending. She deserves one.

Here are some of my favourite photographs of us over the years …

Song of the day: Coldplay “Yellow”

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