“We loved each other so much we felt it necessary, in preparation, to say good-bye our whole lives.” — The Art Lover by Carole Maso
Tonight was a beautiful night. Saturday 25th April, 2015.
We sat outside as Jon made strong cocktails from rum and limes: caipirinha. The crickets and cicadas chorused around us, while a ghostly moon floated through the clouds overhead. We had spent the morning at the local market, buying fresh eggs, my favourite biscuits, and pão de queijo.
It is a beautiful thing to see your father spill tears of laughter as he reminisces about the crap jobs he had as a student. His face comes alive with an energy long lost from somewhere deep within, making him go outside his present self for a moment. The shared twinkle in his and Jon’s eyes is a connection, a depth of past, that I can only imagine. Over 25 years of friendship.
The crinkles at the corners of their four blue eyes – two pale, two dark as the ocean – suddenly seem to speak of years of shared laughter, stupid tales of hungover mornings, being poisoned in Germany, dodgy security jobs in Battersea, and a great many gigs in London at large: U2, Tears for Fears, REM. All the years that have gone by, and here they are now: the light that comes from those eyes is pure unadulterated youth. They are joyous. They are 22 again.
Then there is the loss – Jon’s broken family, characters so colourful that I’m sad myself that they no longer walk this earth.
It is nights like this I know I will remember for ever. I can feel this burn into my memory, commit itself to my past, and settle, gentle, in my heart. This night will one day cause me great pain, when I am forced to relive it as a cherished memory, the real people having departed. I feel it so deeply, I am already grieving for what I will one day lose – my father, my father’s friend, and me. In Brazil, in 2015; in another world, it seems.