Monday, February 02, 2009

Tristan Wells

He had cartoon hair, drawn on as an afterthought, boyish yet murky at the end. I loved him stupidly because he lived an uncomplicated life. It wasn't that he wasn't thoughtful, it's just that he didn't require answers like the rest of us. I didn't know at the time, how much he meant to me, how much of a model he was. God, I loved him.

I loved his coat, coveted it. It was shapeless but expensive. After he died I loved his gipsy girlfriend because she had some stuff that was part of him, and the great deep brown areolas sinking into a bubble bath as we looked at each other tearfully. And I loved his father (the greatest betrayal) because he had that old Mercedes and a video of the Newport Jazz Festival with Thelonious Monk and those dangerous Christmas lights and a giant turkey and the bit of wood which kept the dishwasher closed which you had to hurdle or limbo under and the elderly female relative, surely dead now, with the extraordinary flatulence.

He was so fast even crippled as he was by some hereditary back thing four hundred metres in fifty seconds and easy hands swatting a six into the car park at Alleyne's and that just a top edge, so perfect so fragile as it turns out.

His name is Tristan Wells. Tristan Raymond Ernest Wells. T. R. E. Wells. You won't find his name on the internet, this was 1989, there are no memorial benches or websites in tribute. He was magnificent, I loved him, and he died twenty years ago today. My life has had its share of sorrows (and more joys than I might expect or deserve) but this was the first great 'fuck you!' that this brief vale of tears had in store for me. And even then I was more grateful than disappointed. So fuck you right back. There will be brilliance and uncommon beauty amongst the folly. There will be people to believe in, and whose example we can hope to follow.

He had terrible taste in music.