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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Brief encounters

Darren 'Wiz' Brown
You meet people from time to time who have an effect on your life beyond what you might expect. One of these, for me, was Wiz from Mega City 4 whom I was lucky enough to help interview for a student magazine in 1993. We spent probably twenty minutes with him in a corridor in a venue and he was lovely - open and down to earth. It was his music later that night that I really connected to. I love it still. When I read that Wiz had been taken ill and died in 2006, I felt I had lost something. Our relationship amounted to those twenty minutes, maybe a forty-five minute music set and my subsequent enjoyment of his music. I still feel sad that he's gone.

When I had a go at writing a novel, it inevitably drew on my lived experience. It was about an enduring love and I suppose I put a bit more of myself into it than is wise. The object of this enduring love was not based on a particular individual but was an confection of all my teenage crushes seasoned with a fair bit of imagination about how my fictional character might have dealt with such a situation. Fiction indeed, but what was true was the residue of emotion that those crushes left in the real me. These were people that had flitted through my life on the lightest of feet. But they had left heavy footprints.

So last Friday found me in the middle of a collapsing world, staring at a stark screen where, one week before, red and blue pixels had rippled with a tiny heartbeat. No heartbeat now, just the stark, silent fluorescing of the tiny bones destined never to grow and the gathering storm of grief flying around our heads.

Is there a silver lining? Of course there is. Things are a bit more vivid, I appreciate the good things that I have got. I am grateful in a way for the clarity, perspective and the feeling of renewal this grief has given me.

And I'm still sad. In that scrapbook in my heart where Wiz and the others who passed through have left a message there are a couple of pages dedicated to what might have been.

Life goes on.