I have always loved Oz. I remember watching The Wizard of Oz for the first time on a black & white TV (brilliant, huh?) and being entranced. I was only about 5 years old. I read the original book many times in my youth and I delved into a handful of the other Baum books including The Marvellous Land of Oz and Tik Tok of Oz during my early school days. It is only recently that I have finally ploughed through all 14 (well, I am half way through book 13, but I am getting there!).
I have lived in the alternate 'Oz' (Australia) for over fifteen years now and I have made some superb friends. However, in the past few years, I have made three rather special friends. I call them my "straight-dates". Three handsome, smart and talented heterosexual men who are amongst the kindest, sweetest and decent men I have ever met. I have a strange bond with each of them and, oddly, they share similarities with a certain trio from the land of Oz. Weirder still, I met them in the same order as Dorothy met her friends! Let's take a look...
For the sake of decency and privacy, I will refer to these fantastic chaps by their first initial.
A few years ago, I met 'D'. I saw him in a stairwell and I lit up. Gosh, what a handsome devil he is. I pursued him in a friendly manner as I was keen to find out if he swung my way. He did not, but we bonded quite quickly and became firm friends. Now, 'D' is smart. Really smart. He is wise beyond his years, he is a deep thinker and dedicated to truth. The thing is, he tends to doubt himself (as I often doubt myself!) - he really shouldn't, for I know what I am talking about. He is also charming, talented and (did I mention before) ridiculously good looking. He has been there for me through thick and thin. He is my scarecrow and he has more brains than he realises.
A couple of years ago, I met 'C'. I had seen him about the place at work but really got to know him one evening at a nearby watering hole and I learned all about his talents, his life and his charm. Another handsome chap but, this time, ruggedly so. He has a cheekiness that appeals to me greatly too. Now, 'C' is a man with heart. He is so kind and generous. He frequently gives and gives to others. He gives his time, his effort and his money! I am lucky to know a great number of generous people, but his generosity is boundless. 'C' has so much to give, yet he (like 'D' and myself) has self-doubt. The amount of times 'C' has helped me out is astounding. His heart couldn't be any bigger.
Then we come to 'P'. Sweet, strong, beautiful, courageous 'P'. I met 'P' about 15 months ago at a mutual friend's Christmas soiree. He and I hit it off quickly. Initially I was a bit intimidated by him because he appears so confident and I am a paranoid mess. However, he showed strength of character and he impressed me with his prowess, his stories of his life and, again, his stunning looks. (I am not that shallow, it's just a common ingredient!) 'P' is courageous in many ways. He left a career in the film industry and began a new life as a nurse - one of the most courageous jobs in the world - he also does rock-climbing and all kinds of manly activities. He is also lithe, fit and strong. And, sometimes, he has a wonderful mane/beard. He is a protector and a king.
That wonderful trio is my alternate "friends of Dorothy". As I mention, I have a load of amazing friends over here. They know who they are. But this post is dedicated to the three men who make my journey that little bit more magical.