My post on Finding Peter has brought me to thinking about other friendships I have made and lost in my travels. No one so bindingly close or as life enhancing for me as Peter, but I had some very loyal and amazing friends with whom I could exchange body parts and have no qualms. People who knew me thoroughly and related to me as intimately as children three years old do, when they hug.
We are born; we work hard; have families; accumulate material goods and then we die. Some of us make rich relationships, either as lovers or as friends. It is such relationships that sustain us when all else fails us. I have been very fortunate in forming amazing relationships, but to my sorrow ,my wayward ways have taken me away from my friends, lovers and soul mates.
Jid Cooper, where are you when I need you? Jid (Edwin) Cooper was one such. He was a flower child, stocky and short, flowing wild hair and piercing eyes like harpoons. We lived in a hippy commune outside Blackpool. One day a group of us stringy hippies were walking along Blackpool front early in the morning. It was a Saturday and it was raining in that constant Northern drizzle. Across the road were a large group of football bound skinheads. They had been dropped off by buses and were lurking in the shop fronts, growling. They saw us and gave chase. We ran. Jid stepped behind me as we ran and urged me to go faster. “they will kill you” he said. Jid got his arse kicked for his troubles, but then he had a big fat arse! We were buddies in trouble and buddies when we were high and how can one lose a friend like that! But I did, to my utter dismay. If there is an afterlife I would seek them all out, my long lost friends, in that crowded heaven.
I could name other names, but what’s the point of it all? The stains stick, nostalgic and pungent in my brain, of left over lovers, kind hearted friends, and buddies who would follow you to the ends of the earth. My friend Jid did just that. At one time I was stuck in the jungles of Ceylon (don’t ask!) and Jid set off to pay a surprise visit. He hitchhiked most of the way from Bradford England. At Rameswaram, at the point of entry to Ceylon he was not allowed to go further unless he cut his long hair. Jid refused and so he returned all the way back brokenhearted. He mailed me a few copies of the New Musical Express and 45 rpm records which he had brought with him to sustain me in the jungle. You crazy kid, Jid. Where are you now and why did I lose you?
So folks, treasure your friends, not the friends of the Facebook variety, but the ones who would give their life for you, the ones who smile with every cell in their body when they see you. Seek them out, hug them, spend time with them before time and space whisks them all into a fog.
And of course lovers, the ones who wrung your heart out, the ones who got under your skin and tore it apart and moved away, to start fresh; hold those moments. It is hard to retrieve lovers but you can retrieve memories, the times when you were alive, the times when your face was not big enough for your smile, the times you wished you had wings. Hold on to that dance!
Now I am a dancing star trapped in an old man’s body.
Lastly, my friends, don’t beat up the Americans too much for electing Donald Trump. It shows they have a sense of humour.