I wouldn't normally do this. In fact I see it done from time to time on blogs and facebook and things and it seems so... I dunno... Crass. I mean I am crass myself in many ways but I'd always supposed that sometimes, somethings, are best left private.
But not this. I won't get a chance to say these things otherwise and so I need to say them here, where someone might read them and yes, probably think I'm a dick or after attention or just spreading the misery about but really, really I just want someone else to know. Not know about me, or how I feel but know about Ted. Because he was a miserable bastard. A wonderful bastard. And, probably, a bastard that you lot don't know.
I got home tonight, late to a pile of messages on the phone. All bad news.
My best friend Ted. Idiot that he is, hit by a motorbike in the early hours of today and... Well, not and. No more 'and'. Just. Finished. A Full Stop now.
I mean, a motorbike? In the early hours of a Sunday night Monday morning? And to be hit by one? I can't quite believe that. It doesn't seem plausible and if Ted were here I know exactly what he'd say, he'd say, "Well. He wouldn't have been expecting that."
But that's not Ted. Ted isn't the guy that managed to be hit by a bike at five in the morning on a Monday.
Ted was... Well... Mad. Wonderfully mad.
He took me to a strip club once, did my manloving friend Ted, at four in the morning - it was the only place still serving. And he was gone half an hour later, taxi into Newcastle and out on the pull. He felt bad afterward, seemed to think that it was his fault that I got punched by a bouncer. Seemed to think it was his fault that I still have the scar tissue floating in my eye.
And the first time he came round to my new house for dinner - I followed him about as he sloashed red wine across the carpet - me scrubbing the floor as he ambled between DVD stands. His eyebrow raised and a 'Really?' look across his face.
And he was there, always there.
I left my fiance a few years back and he was there. He put all his own stuff on hold and he was there, usually with a bottle of wine and sensible advice. And earlier, when my family was pulling itself apart he was there, and we were younger then so there was no wine but I stole spirits and he maintained enough sense to speak sensibly.
And, actually, I'm sort of pleased that this blog has tailed off and has a much smaller readership because I feel proud of my friend and I feel priviledged that he was my friend and that he did give up his time (and wine) for me and I love the fact that I did know him. That I was that lucky. That this, for almost all of you will be simply a sketch of a life that I got to share in.
I want you all to be jealous.
I want you all to wish you had had a friend like mine.
A friend that once had a 'pleasant time' with a Cambridge Don and as a result of which I still recieve SPAM email.
A friend who said the most genuis things about books and film and music and theatre and left my nodding and baffled and impressed but who never judged me for loving Sci-fi pulp novels or films about sexdolls.
But most of all I want you all to know that I miss my friend. And that I had potatoes in and had a vague idea of how to do dauphinoise potatoes and that I was expecting to be able to talk about the History Boys because I had finally gotten around to watching it.
I had a friend with whom I could talk about books and music, even if he did like Kate Bush, and Scandinavian Miniminalist film and Daphne Du Maurier and talk about nothing and about simple ambitions. Proper ambitions. Dreams that went beyond the horizon and that never left the back yard.
He deserved better.
Someone I listen to, someone I believe and trust, told me once that heaven is somewhere built upon every second of every dream and that for each happy moment a different heaven exists. I hope, I demand, that Ted has many heavens and I hope that somewhere, for a second or two in one of them, maybe in a pub in York or Cambridge, I get to buy him a pint.
I've opened the wine Ted, I poured you a glass.
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