When friends drop down dead at 46, it is inevitable that you dig deep. You try and find some answers, some logic, some comfort.Max has found none. Like most of the people who yesterday went to pay their last respects to Julian Manduca – Choppy to all and sundry. We all huddled under the cypress trees, uncomfortable in our suits and heels. Julian’s brother read something. We could not hear. A girl threw up. A slight commotion, the crowd parted and the four undertakers walked past. The girl sitting on the floor shuddered. That’s how we knew that Julian had been buried. Irene, my friend, Julian’s wife, read something else. We lost the words to the wind. And then the crowd starting the long walk back. And Irene saw Max in the crowd and whisphered in his ears ‘I can’t believe it… I still can’t believe it.’ Max knows that like everyone else, he will seek the comfort of routine, family, work, loved ones, strangers. Max knows he has to leave something worthwhile behind, before his time runs out. Even if it is only two fingers, pointed at the sky, in a mock salute to our existence. We just don’t understand.
For Julian. Gone too soon.