Aidan, 19: So Far
Aidan was one of dozens and possibly hundreds of young men and women on New Zealand's streets. How do you meet someone in this situation, even if you have such an interest? How do they survive? Why are they in such a position? What are their aspirations? Such citizens of New Zealand are on the margins and few of us get anywhere close to those margins. Aidan's unconventional life story, so far, is a revelation for anyone interested in an aspect of life that is rarely, if ever, revealed with such candour. His story begins in his home town of Christchurch, New Zealand's Garden City in its South Island. His father died when he was four. His mother had her own challenges at that time and as a result, Aidan was left with an aunt, who having been asked to `baby sit' him, did so selflessly for ten years. Having moved to Wellington, New Zealand's capital, at the age of just 16, Aidan soon moved to Auckland, where he lived on the streets of New Zealand's largest city. There he worked out, on his own, how to survive in some of the city's toughest neighbourhoods. You will read of his good and bad decisions. When he makes mistakes, he describes how, with brutal honesty. This story shows how Aidan can now go into shops and offices and not feel out of place. How he can engage with people and not feel he's being judged. How he moved from the streets to his own room in an apartment in Auckland's CBD and then into his own room with a good friend in a lovely townhouse in an Auckland suburb. Aidan has now expanded his friendships to include people who are not necessarily on the margins of New Zealand's society. And most importantly, he has learned that there is something he can do, other than contribute to the sex industry, and that is to write.
"When they finally let me out, I was in a singlet, shorts and socks. No shoes or jersey. But I did have my watch, which I told the time off and it was 11.40 pm on Christmas Eve. I didn't know what to do. I had nowhere to go." The true story, of Aidan Cahill's life, at 19, of how he's survived, so far. In his words: "The ups and downs. All the nitty gritty. Things people are usually too embarrassed to talk about, let alone put into a book". The extraordinary and inspiring story of an independant and uniquely qualified young man with a remarkable narrative from the margins of New Zealand society.
Aidan Cahill was born in Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island, in November 1997. His teenage years ended on 13 November 2017 when he turned 20. He went to a number of schools in Christchurch, including Richmond Primary, St Paul's College, Bank's Avenue Primary, Champion St School and Cathedral College. He moved to Wellington, New Zealand's capital, as a 16-year-old and for the past three years, has lived in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. This is his first book.
1. Me 2. Mum and Dad 3. Angela 4. School 5. Family Life 6. CYFS 7. A neighbour 8. Leaving Home 9. Auckland 10. A Massage Parlour 11. A Big Mistake 12. Ellerslie 13. Marmalade 14. Police on New Year's Eve 15. Homeless 16. HIV and Body Positive 17. The Sex Industry 18. K Rd 19. Grindr on NYE 2016 20. 24 Hours In My Life 21. An Unlawful Theft 22. A Station Wagon 23. Reunited with my Family 24. A Relapse 25. A Roadtrip 26. Finale: For Now