The Promise Essay Research Paper The promiseThe

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The Promise Essay, Research Paper The promiseThe following ad appeared in the Lonely Hearts column of Time Out magazine for the week of September 9-16, 1992: “SUCCESSFUL WRITER, 29, gay, tall, dark, handsome, seeks non-smoking, significant other 25-35, to share love of cinema, good food, and maybe the Sunday papers. Photo, telephone essential. Box 388.” I received 16 replies, but one letter stood out for several reasons. It was very long – 20 times as long as all the other replies put together – and very serious. It made all the other photocopied scrawls and scribbled notes seem like the cynical bids for easy sex they were. I met Drew Morgan at the Barbican soon after. He was 27, a computer programmer from Queensland, Australia, on a two-year working holiday visa.

When I saw the short, smart young man marching towards me, my immediate reaction was, “No.” We spent the afternoon watching a play, and in the evening watched television and shared a bottle of champagne. Drew confessed that if he drank alcohol at all he preferred a sweeter wine, such as Mateus Rosé. Mateus Rosé? He had to be kidding. No wonder the Bollinger seemed dry. Still, it did the trick. We went to bed. One week later, we had afternoon tea at the Savoy. This time, he was more handsome than I had remembered. We went on to see Don Giovanni at the Coliseum, and then had supper. He had a glass of rosé; I drank champagne. The sex was even better this time around. Ten days after our first date, Drew called to say that he had taken “a unit” in the Jericho area of Oxford

(he had been living in Swindon). “Are we going steady now?” he asked. I laughed. Nobody had ever asked me that before. It was typical of courteous, old-fashioned Drew to put it this way. I was ridiculously pleased. I had auditioned three other men who had replied to my ad but, for one reason or a dozen, they had failed. “Yes, I suppose we are.” I did my best to let Drew into my life. As his friends were on the other side of the world, mine had to become his. This was not difficult: Drew was far more likeable than me. We went to a Halloween party organised by a magazine I used to write for, which, for some reason, had a Wild West theme. Half of the people there were in cowboy outfits, smashed on margaritas, and, if it was strange for me to see so many old colleagues in one

place, it was even odder for them to find me, after all this time, part of a couple. I was proud to be seen with Drew. The novelty of the phrase “my boyfriend” had not yet worn off. In conversations with friends, I had even started to say “we”. We celebrated my 30th birthday at the Groucho, 16 of us gathered in the club’s Bloomsbury Room. I plied them with champagne; they showered me with gifts. What made the most impression, however, was Drew’s birthday card. In addition to copying out the entire lyrics to Gene Pitney’s Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart, Drew had neatly printed: “The song on the opposite page actually sounds really nice when sung and I should probably let you hear it. At the moment you mean an awful lot to me, even if I don’t always show

and/or say it. Anyway, what can I say, the big three O. Let’s hope we all see thrice thirty and more years yet as the future unfolds. Happy birthday my love. The adventure has just begun.” Love is good for self-esteem. On Australia Day, January 26, 1993, Drew sent me a list of all the things we had done since our first meeting. We had been through a lot together in four months (a holiday in Nice, a cruise through the Caribbean, fights, flu and near infidelity). On Valentine’s Day, I received eight cards. Each one had a letter inscribed inside the front. When read in the correct order they spelled ILOVEYOU. Hardly a week went by without some sort of billet-doux from Drew. Once, I got an apparently meaningless mass of colourful letters snipped from magazines and sealed