Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On the death of Trevor and other thoughts

It's rare these day when a Facebook post can stop me in my tracks but "RIP Trevor M" was like a great heavy concrete wrecking ball of a post that hit me square in the chops. I almost gagged on my beer; I hung up on my conversation mid banality.



It was posted by a girl whose life took a different turn from mine. While I have lived in eight different places and two different continents since I left school she has lived within a couple of miles of the school all that time. Her kids still go there. We have little in common.

When you are transient your life can become very segmented. Different people belong to different places. They are filed away under different names and drawers stacked with carefully pressed memories. Former friends, girlfriends and wives occasionally pop up on social networks. But they are detached from their bodies, nebulous thoughts and gestures filed away in lockers down far off and echoing halls.

But Trev. Yes that killed me. He wasn't just my year, he was my class. I hung out with him and spent idle hours in his basement. He was the first kid in the class to have the single of Ghost Town by the Specials before it became Number One. He was both cool and unassuming. He was thin and wore flannel trousers and a skinny black tie and had a Mod parker with a target on the back. He was a bit rakish like Terry Hall from The Specials. He died of a fit in his sleep.

Trev wasn't quite a friend but he was close to it. He was one of the guys we hung around with when we stood on the wall by the train tracks and mooned to the passengers on the 7.45 into Gloucester station. As you do. He used to beat me at football and tennis. It pains me to find my memories are already becoming skeletal; stripped down to the bare bones.

Knowing Trevor he held down a respectable but unremarkable job. Maybe he had a couple of kids. There are people like me who harbor dreams of changing the world and crash to earth like Icarus after flying too close to the sun. There are people like Daedalus who escape and then people like Trevor who have no inclination to build wings in the first place.

But the death of Trevor haunts me for another reason. I have had a dream about being at Trevor's house all those years ago. We listened to Ghost Town over and over again in his basement. But something terrible happened to him and he was taken away in the night. Like all instances of deja vu, it's fuzzy around the edges. It's undefined but the feeling of horror isn't. And the next day I walked down those now strange and deserted streets of adolescence. And they were both the same and different from the faceless suburbia I delivered newspapers in. Bodiam Avenue with its hill, suddenly dreadful and insurmountable on my bike. They were deserted streets in my dreams and nobody moved on them, as if Armageddon had come in the night and took everybody away.

And bands won't play no more.

15 comments:

  1. That was wonderful David; your last few sentences were hauntingly beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so sorry about the loss of your friend. It's jarring isn't it? That was a beautiful tribute...I hope his family gets to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks JoJo, although I doubt it as I we lost toch rather a long time ago

      Delete
  3. You never forget the kinds of guys you moon trains with. Great post David.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cheers Tim - those memories tend to linger lol

      Delete
  4. I relate so much to this post. There are so many compartments in life anyway - school, Uni, first jobs. But then you move overseas and it draws a final line beneath the "before". Then somehow, parts of it reach out like this.
    Sorry for your loss David. I hope the ghosts of high school don't haunt you for too long.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. cheers Emm - sounds like you have the strange displaced ex-pats mentality like me.

      Delete
  5. Sorry for your loss, I can't even imagine how it must be, but it will happen to me someday. I guess it is what they call 'adult fears'. Unlike that dream of yours with its weirdly appropriate music.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. very appropriate Starla - yeah adult fears suck - I'm up for swapping ages if you are lol

      Delete
  6. Sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine how it must be, though I suppose it will happen to me someday. I suppose it`s what they call 'adult fears'. Unlike that nightmare of yours, with its weirdly appropriate music.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I know too well the feeling - throat dry, stomach clenching - when you read the news that someone who was part of your school life has passed on. So sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie and thanks so much for dropping by

      Delete