Monday, 3 May 2010

Goodbye.


I remember you from a long time ago.

We were little. A bully was all you knew how to be. As the grown ups patiently herded us into a corner where we could make nuisances of ourselves, far away from them, you were the unspoken leader. 'He'll know what to do," was the unanimous feeling and we fell behind you as you plotted how best we could ruin everyone's evening next. I wasn't sure I liked you but I was sure I admired you. There was something equally sunny and evil about you, that we all gravitated towards in spite of ourselves. You and me, we only noticed each other from the vantage of our extremes. You were just 3 feet but your presence eclipsed the room. I was known to sit in a room without being in it at all. You were the only one who could ruffle me, I was the only one who'd never show you you could. Veiled respect I think they call it.

One day you were installed in a big car and taken away to seek your fortune in places that would rearrange themselves around you. Months lapsed into years and years lapsed into decades. In our part of the world we heard unsurprising tales of your glory. Perfect musculature, jumping out of planes, making impossible bank shots, curing sick kids. And everyone spoke of you as if somehow they had a hand to play in your greatness just by virtue of knowing you, by having once said hello to you. I had to imagine you were bored by it. The inexorable numbness of consistent perfection gives one a glassy quality.

You became a traveller and who isn't nowadays? But for some of us it isn't merely about seeing new places, having our horizons stretched taut and all those other Chicken Soup for the Wandering Soul things travel is supposed to do for you. For some of us it is simply about the Leaving and Going Away and the Farness. For some of us it's about finding new things to leave behind. Was it that way for you? Or maybe it's to do with how little currency glory has begun to have in my life that makes me think everyone dreads it. You probably were looking for new challenges. 'Been there, done something worthy of two-three-four dinner table conversations, next.'

But this is all conjecture. This is all extrapolating, romanticising and fiction writing. I didn't know you, not even in a way that could make me cry when I heard you had died. Sadness felt too farcical for this. My life remains unperturbed, I didn't even cancel my movie plans that day. But I miss you in a way you can only miss someone you never knew - like something's dropped off your consciousness. Something that made a difference to you, just you don't know how. And the only thing you're left hoping is that wherever the person's gone to has been much better than here.

Rest now brother mine, it's been a while.

2 comments:

Anil P said...

Some things time makes permanent so we can still it on our timelines, like a notch that separates the before and after.

The gaps between the notches are but a continuous stream we flow with.

Made for poignant reading. Makes the reader seek the name to go with the personna.

gyurkovics said...

His name was David Couto.