At one point I thought I was in love with him and wanted him to move down to London with me. He did come down once and spent a platonic night with me in my tiny flat. The next morning I heard him quietly leaving. I got up and found a note from him saying how sorry he was but that he wasn't ready to make such a move. I quickly dressed and went to the nearest tube station where I found him waiting for a train. I'm not sure if I rode with him to the railway station where he caught a train back to Newcastle or if we said our goodbyes there. But we said goodbye. It didn't end our friendship. As it turned out, I loved him but I certainly wasn't in love. It was just lust. I felt old and alone. I wish I knew then what I know now. I had no concept of mortality.
What's odd is that it was only 6 short years until I'd meet txrad in San Diego and fell in love for real. So many events happened in those six years. It seemed like an eternity at the time. And now 6 years go by in an instant. We are in our 17th year together.
Paul now lives in Scotland. I haven't seen him in 23 years but we occasionally keep in touch. While I was in London he painted this and gave it to me for my 24th birthday. I have it on my wall.
Happy Birthday, Paul.