Someone died today who I haven’t seen in years. An old neighbour, a friend to my parents, but to me a wise man, a storyteller; he was a caster of spells who bought me my first beer.
He played an old fiddle with his electric ears. We used to joke, calling him the ‘Cat Eater’ for his folklore beard. The mischief of his eyes alone spoke the rage my own father lacked: at injustice, apartheid, sexism, the Poll Tax.
An adult who delighted when I entered the room, though I had nothing more than my eighteen years to say. He travelled through the empty spaces in my imagination with me; a scarecrow to mark my path, pulling gems from his pocket along the way.
I’m older now than he was when we first met. He put down his bow suddenly, just after he turned 80. I will miss him. I wish I could meet him again now, for the first time, as a friend. He was the best and kindest of men to the end.