Here is a background tale...
Late last year I was in the middle of living in an isolated bubble.. I went out but only to do the things I needed to do. I made sure I didn't see anyone I didn't want to and I was prepared to cross a street rather than 'engage' with any form of life. Sad really and beside the point.
On one of my sneaky trips up to my favourite cafe... I noticed one of my friends sitting out the front of the cafe (right near the front door) in a large electric wheelchair. I had heard that John had been unwell. The grapevine here is good at times. To my shame, I took my time going to see him. Selfish me didn't want any (more) bad news. But today.. I couldn't cross the road or walk past or try any of the lame tricks I had up my sleeve. I stopped an d smiled and we embraced and the love I had for him (which I thought had been swallowed up by my depression) was there at the surface. far from being uncomfortable, we were two mates.. like we always had been except this time he was dying.
In three months, I reconnected with Melon (John). We met at the cafe as often as we both could. His body was betraying him completely. He was turning to stone in front of my eyes... but not once did it harden his humor or spirit. After the first meeting I was inspired to start writing the book I had always wanted to write. It was a graphic novel.
That first night I went home and wrote and drew pages of the first draft. Melon had inspired me so much. The next day we met and I showed him my work. He laughed and I went home to make more. The book was a tool for the both of us. I wanted him to know how important he was to me. I wanted him to know that this was 'his' book. He was the muse and therefore immortal. I thought I was helping him but it was quite the opposite.
I wrote and read to him for three months.. over coffee, beside jokes... late at night. A few nights I stayed up in the lounge - listening to him sleep. Loving him and the body which was trying so hard to surrender. His Mother, Sister and Brothers..were amazing. Thanks to this loving team, Melon was allowed the time and space to be and settle into the reality of the next stage of his journey. I am proud to say that he was excited by the prospect of moving on. He was reconciled. At peace. Brave. An unexpected Hero.
I finished the first book on a Saturday morning. That night it was a full moon and Melons sister and I caught up for a Vodka. They had taken John to the hospital that evening. He was very ill.
We were watching the moon rising and talking about coincidence when the phone rang. John had died. Just twelve weeks had past.. too short and yet long enough - for him, John, to change me and a little of the world.
John isn't the first person I have known to die but his passing affected me in a profound way. He was so young.. just 33 and a popular and very funny radio dj. The world was his. I couldn't help but think of my own life and what I was wasting...
It is now a mere few months later - I find myself in a rut - again. The story which is his is here and wonderful.. the cover letter is written and the synopsis is clear and solid. All I have to do is muster the courage to send it off.
Using Melon as inspiration - I will.