They called him the mad poet.
But I knew him before his eyes changed and that permanent sheen of sweat covered his face.
A hopeless romantic with his head wrapped in a cloud of words, there were times I truly believed he was made of words. They flew out of him as he moved and left a silver trail of words everywhere he went.
There were some very good years. I remember how we made up silly songs on a long drive when he bought his first car and how we debated literature, art and cinema into the wee hours, “was Marquez really just an old perv?” “What was Frida thinking” His knowledge on all things literary was universal and unparalleled.
Once during my travels I lost a book he lent me and he casually dismissed my apologies, staunchly pretending not to care. It was weeks before I found out through a mutual friend that the book was his most treasured memento. A gift from his first girlfriend, the love of his life. But that was him, his capacity for kindness towards his friends was endless.
An adoring father, I remember his eyes welling up when his first daughter was born and how proud he was that she looked like him and not like his beautiful wife.
This man was all heart, all soul. Life is meant to be felt not just lived, he always used to say. Nothing annoyed him more than the lack of depth and character. As he hurtled to his end, I’m positive he revelled in the blaze that took him down.
I dont want to remember the secrets and the darkness that seeped in. How the ugliness broke this gentle giant and changed him in so many ways.
Instead, I hold on to his smiles, the bear hugs and our friendship so deep, so pristine.
My friend, kindred soul, you burned so bright. It’s time to rest now and find your peace.
“I could’ve told you Vincent, this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you”