Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Too close to home

Posted on 10:31 PM by Charlie Milwall

Note: this is actually an edited version of the original. i had more details in it, which i actually published, but only for a couple of minutes. i'm republishing this without the details. it's very very personal to me, and as you will read later in the post, not many, not even my family knew this happened.

i just watched a movie called "borstal boy" and i couldn't finish it. it was a good movie, but the story took a turn that i was not expecting at all. in fact, it surprised me, or actually jolted me because it hit very much close to home for me. i guess to put this post in context, i need to elaborate a bit on the moview, so there may be some spoilers. so, stop reading now if you don't want the movie spoiled for you.


the movie is based on a book that i'd read. i wasn't aware of it until it was brought up in a series of tweets with a twitter friend. the book is autobiographical, about brendan behan's time spent in a borstal. he was put there for his failed attempt at bombing a hotel establishment in england. whilst there, his stance on the english softened. the movie was based very very loosely on the book, where charlie milwall, an english sailor had a more prominent part. in the movie, brendan and charlie developed a romantic relationship. in the end, charlie was released from borstal and joined the h.m.s. prince of wales, which was supposed to have been sunk in singapore (this was historically inaccurate). there were no survivors.

whilst this part seemed generic, an aspect made it much closer to me. i lost someone that i loved (i still do) and all i have left of him is his pendant. what we had was perfect, and i was devastated when he was taken away from me. i wore the pendant for years, swearing not to ever take it off, but a friend of mine convinced me last year to start letting it go. i finally did take it off, but it was really more ceremonial than anything. i still feel something.

and whilst watching borstal boy today, the emotions came flooding back again. i've only told this to two other people. my family do not know that this happened to me. maybe i should have. i was a mess for the two years that followed. it is obvious from writing this that i've not completely gotten over the experience. i really do not want to, not because i'm a glutton for drama. that is absolutely not the case. i hate drama. what i had with HIM was life-changing, and an experience like that is something that one should hold on to. to this day, while it still hurts a bit, i genuinely feel that i am proud to have known him, and to have known that HE was mine.

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