Tonight I will be gawping at Matt’s hideous trousers on Masterchef all the way from Byron Bay.
I am Kurt’s chaperone for two days, sent to deposit our wayward son to the first destination of his ‘finding himself’ tour, before I leave him to start making his own indelible mark on the world.
Sounds crazy I know, but this advice to be chaperone came from someone much higher up than my attachment disorder – the therapist no less, (I swear!) – who thought that with Kurt’s anxiety disorder he might not make it here at all and instead become Tom Hanks at Sydney Domestic for the next five weeks instead.
In truth, my son would probably would have had an easier journey north without me there to scupper the organization of his travel plans. I’ve never been very good at following Google maps – especially in the dark, wearing high-heeled boots, and without my reading glasses.
But together we made it, in spite of both being anxious fliers and pretending not to lose our shit every time we felt even the most mild rattle of turbulence – thank God we weren’t sitting together – although I did notice Kurt spend $7 of his paltry daily backpacker allowance on a whisky and coke on the plane, I assume to calm his nerves.
There were inevitably a few teething issues. We somehow cocked up his booking at the Youth Hostel and instead of the crowd of young, vibrant back packers he was expecting to share a room/new life with, his room mate is some ninety-year-old called Jack, who due to some misunderstanding thinks that Kurt is also called Jack.
Jack is probably only in his mid-thirties, really.
When I dumped the boy outside the youth hostel, hiding in the dark behind a tree so that none of his potentially cool new friends would realize he had brought his mother along with him for Dutch courage, I sobbed internally for my loss. For as much as I desperately need this break from this child of mine who has tied such an emotional noose around my neck, he is an integral part of me that hurts physically to let go.
We made vague promises about meeting for dinner and I lied and said that I hoped he didn’t need to meet me for dinner because he was bound to have so many new friends and then I wandered around a very dark and empty Winter Byron feeling vulnerable and fretting about what the fuck I was going to do with myself for the next two days now that I’ve been dropped like a hot potato in a small hippy town where the average age is about twenty-two.
Eventually, the soothing mix of veggie chips and wine called to me from Woollies, with the promise of Snickers Pods for dessert, and I’ve secreted myself in my guest house room and trying to transfer my male affections back to the other important men in my life, George, Matt and Gary.