In kindergarten Taylor had reserved his love for his mum and dad. By the time he started school dad had been dropped, at least in public proclamations. He proposed to Camilla Dawson during grade 2. A few years later his only allegiance was to the mighty Hawks. It couldn’t last. In his last year at primary school he discovered spin-the-bottle.
By year 7 he loved girls. In general. The idea of them consumed him. It took until year 9 for anything more concrete. But after Natalie moved to another state he spent years ten and eleven hanging out with the boys. Year twelve he told Addie Charmichael he loved her ’cause she wanted to hear it. But he didn’t miss her once school was over.
University was something else. He and Rachael were an item in first year—something they achieved in part by never mentioning love once. By the time he finished his undergrad course he’d decided love was a construct that reinforced dominant paradigms. Then part way through his masters he met Paula. Reciprocated passion. Desire. Devotion. He wanted it all. He wanted it forever. But he should have learned, by then, not to hope for so much.