Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Remembering Mickey.

No Smoke without...

The first time I met Mickey, he was standing in a kitchen on the second floor of an apartment block in Cologne, Germany; he looked like a caged animal.

His captor was a beautiful young woman, and Mickey’s confinement was something he had accepted but you could see he was pacing back and forth much like a lion at the zoo will.

The next time I saw Mickey was in his garden in Spain.

I had arrived earlier than expected and he had instructed me as to the hiding place of the key that would open one of the two wooden doors that gave access to an inner courtyard and then the front room.

I followed my senses and turned them into his kitchen where a part-cut loaf of bread sat on a simple table; I was reminded of a Rembrandt painting, so I took a photo. Mickey was a photographer and I never dared show him.

He showed me his collection of vintage cameras that sat in a cabinet at the back of the main room; a staircase and narrow gallery ran around that room leading to a sleeping area over to one side; there was a shower surrounded by bamboo deep in the garden with views to the distant mountains.

The third time we met was in the mountains, though not the same ones.

Spain and France are separated by the Pyrenees and somewhere on the Spanish side Mickey had settled into a yoga meditation retreat organised by a Tibetan monastery.

My family and I visited, and when he wasn’t praying or eating healthy vegan fare, we walked around the lake.

The last time I saw him was just before he started to get ill.

He was standing in my kitchen, neither looking like a caged animal nor a Zen monk whilst I was cooking breakfast for us both; it was Christmas Day.

The sleeve of the pyjamas I was wearing caught fire in the gas ring as I turned to reach the pepper and Mickey put me out.

Later he showed me the best way to slice onions.

He also showed me how to make Paella, how to create the perfect Gaspacho and he improved my clumsy Spanish.

He was the godfather to my son, even though none of us are pure believers and he convinced me that yoga was worth another try.

He encouraged my photography, helped me settle two property issues in Spain and told me things I don’t think he told anyone else.

And one time he saved my life when I stood there surrounded by blazing bed clothes.

I couldn't save his.

formerly published in The Archives.


Mary said...

So sad - terrible to lose a friend.


popps said...

It was a while ago, never forgot.