This is a last goodbye to a friend who passed away in his sleep from alcohol related complications in January of 2017.
I left my local cinema last night with tear marks on my cheeks and my mind firmly in India.
I had just watched the new film “Lion” and it was simply incredible. It is about an Indian boy who gets lost in his own country in the 1970’s and ends up thousands of miles from home, before being adopted into a wealthy Australian family.
It is not until 25 years later that he finds out the name and the location of where he grew up in India, and the rest….well, I won’t spoil it for anyone reading this who hasn’t yet seen the film.
You would have loved that film Daniel, this I know for sure. I’m also sure that it would have someday made it to an AlteArte film club night.
It wasn’t until I was en-route back home from the cinema that I thought to check my phone. I saw messages from a best friend and then one from an ex boyfriend. His message told me that you had died. I don’t remember too much after that.
Fast forward a couple of hours and it’s early morning now. I found myself the passenger in a late night car journey into Manchester and back. It gave me plenty of time to think and reflect.
Quite frankly I’m angry and I’m upset. I’m pissed off that you’ve gone and in doing so taken a piece of my past with you. That piece is a time in my life when we found ourselves so close that you had (in true Daniel style), invited yourself to visit the family home in England soon.
That piece is a time in my life when we were so close that we were in daily communication. We were probably too much in each other’s business to be fair. Our highly active social lives revolved around the heady madness of Casco Antiquo at night. Where else could have housed utter misfits like us and Jostein so well?
And then it was gone. Finished. Terminada. The friendship lost. Ended. Irreversibly altered. We never did make it back up those endless-seeming steps again. We never did sit down one more time for a heart to heart. You never came to visit Manchester with me. I never had you over for that dinner party. We became ghosts to each other, but it didn’t mean that I stopped caring.
I cared about you, a lot. But I couldn’t save you. It seemed like no one could. Just like the main character of the film you got ‘lost’ a long time ago, and you have simply been trying to get back “home” ever since. I do so hope that you are there now.
I hope that you know that you touched the lives of people far and wide and that your silent departure will echo around the stone-cobbled streets of Altea for some years to come.
I hope that you know that no one else could have gotten away with half of the stuff that you did. You could have smiled that smile to Satan himself and he would have let you off on a technicality.
I hope that you know that for how painfully our friendship ended and for how much negativity I held for you afterwards, that only one memory of you comes to my mind now:
Film club. Maleficent is playing. You chose it. I am tolerating it. I look over to you quite often and I see a grown man holding his tiny dog and staring wide-eyed at the screen. I see absolute innocence in his eyes. I see wonderment at moving creation. I see love. I see God.
You told me once: “pain is your greatest teacher.” I agree with this sentiment as much today as I did then. However, I would add that if only you could have known that your pain was not you; you could have taught this world so many more things.
You see you were so many things Daniel, yet you were consistently one: acceptance of others.
I shall posthumously raise a glass of rose wine with Vichy Catalan to you!
You sure did make Altea an incredibly stylish and soulful place to live.
It was a time in my life that I shall never regret.
You are a person from that time who I shall never forget.
Adiós amigo. Cuídate mucho.