Today (4th Nov) would have been my friend's birthday.....someone I knew from my schooldays and who was a kind, funny, clever and outrageously handsome young man. He had cornflower blue eyes. He made me laugh, he made me cry. He was a straight talker and gave me the necessary "boot up the arse" to make me believe in myself at a critical point in my life.
He introduced me to... some great music..Lou Reed, Stephen Stills, Steve Miller, Peter Gabriel's Genesis and the ilk. He taught me how to play badminton very well..so much so that I usually beat him when we played..which he hated. lol He always beat me at chess though. It's his fault that I like Southern Comfort!! lol He was a tough softie, although I once played merry hell with him for blowing an entire month's wage on a tuner for his stereo system:O) He really coveted a Bang & Olafsen system but could never afford one..it was always out of reach, so he always went for the best he could afford. No credit...everything was cash on the nail.!
He made a big impact in my world with his wise words and left a big hole in my life when he died...He was only 24. He's now been dead longer than he had been alive and lies in rest near to where my Dad is buried. I clean his grave a bit when I go up and see Dad, mainly to give him an ear-bashing. The kids and I sometimes leave him tiny, little furry toys just to show that we care..... and that the cemetery rabbits and birds usually nick off with:O) He sometimes makes an appearance in my dreams when I'm in the middle of some huge dilemma. Typical him....
The night before his death I had this unexplainable urge to ring him..I'd not seen him for ages and ages but just knew there was something wrong. I couldn't get through because the telephone lines were down and he lived hundreds of miles away. I didn't drive in those days. He died in the early hours of the next morning. So, to this day I don't understand why he would end his own life when he had so much going for him. If only I'd been able to get through, then maybe I could have said somethine to stop it...maybe...I'll never know.
I remember at the funeral that I held it together until the burial. Burst into tears and walked off for privacy. His sister came after me and I told her, in the middle of my blubbling, that I was going to play holy hell with him when/if I got to heaven. She replied with..."well, if you get there first, give him a knuckle sandwich from me". She was another toughie but softie, too. His family loved him totally...and it never sank in to him:O(
I hope he's happy now and at peace, where ever he may be.....probably listening to music on his Bang & O system. He was determined to get one:O)
Happy Birthday, Stephen. xx