A Song For Nick
The Orb Little Fluffy Clouds
April 14th, 2017 is a day that will forever be ingrained in my memory for precisely the wrong reasons. You see, today I received news that rocked me to my innermost core and I haven’t yet even begun to process the data. Today I lost my very first friend in the world and one of the most glorious souls I have ever had the divine pleasure of knowing. I’m currently sat here completely numb and haven’t the faintest idea how to even begin to explain what this particular person meant to me. However, I owe it to him to at least try, to let heaven know that they have just procured themselves a true angel. To my buddy Nick, this one’s for you pal and I’ll love you dearly every day until we meet again. Through our lives we make many friends, some of whom fall by the wayside as time gets away from us. But certain associations can endure any length of time and ours was one such friendship. Only a few months back, I ventured down to his neck of the woods and spent a weekend with this fine gentleman and his sweet and unassuming significant other. I’m so glad I did. Indeed, we were in the process of arranging a second visit when I received the devastating news of his premature departure and I take a solitary crumb of comfort from knowing that we shared these precious memories together.
Speaking of which, my recollections of Nick stretch as far back as five-years-old and the beginning of primary school. They say that certain souls naturally gravitate towards one another and this is precisely what occurred when the universe introduced us. Children of that age generally have no problem making acquaintances, but if they’re incredibly blessed, then they may forge just the one special connection and will know right then that this particular friendship will last a lifetime. I wasn’t like the other kids in the school yard and my brain processed information in an entirely different manner than most of them. However, in Nick, I found the ying to my yang and we quickly became inseparable. I often say that reality never felt quite sufficient to me and Nick viewed the world through the very same pair of lenses. We both simply adored the fantastical and took every opportunity presented us to explore the outer realms side by side. While the other rapscallions were playing hopscotch, Nick and I were solving the world’s greatest mysteries together and thwarting all manner of evil masterminds in the process.
Said wicked geniuses were hell-bent on global domination and only two young men could stop their tyrannical march. The school playground represented one huge crime scene which we would search high and low for clues to their whereabouts right through each and every lunch break without fail. I seem to remember us getting a fair few funny looks as we stroked our chins pensively and pondered the answer to each fresh conundrum. We have joked many times since that they likely thought we were crazy and I can see how it may have looked to the casual onlooker. However, as yet another arch-fiend was toppled and case closed, we knew that we had done the world a spectacular service. Ridding humanity of evil threats at five-years old is something to be damn well proud of and I’m swollen with it just for having been chosen as Nick’s co-pilot. If I’m looking for childhood memories that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then this is one of my very first mental stop offs. Indeed, it was because of Nick that I first learned the true meaning of the word friendship and we pledged then never to let such a beautiful gift go. We never did.
How do you even start to celebrate such a treasure? I guess a good place would be to share what I’ve said countless times over the course of my lifetime – Nick is the most naturally intelligent human being I have ever have the good fortune of meeting. I have a tendency to go off on tangents when intellectually stimulated, and with Nick, there were never any boundaries to the topics we could wax about. When I saw him last, we spent a deeply spiritual Sunday together sprawled out on deck chairs on his back porch, overlooking his stunning garden in the blazing sun and without a solitary care in the world. The conversation veered off into too many directions to possibly tally; although never once was either one of us out of our depth or scrambling for words. This is my definition of true friendship and I know another very dear friend that will attest to this as she loved Nick just like I did and got us like we got each other. Some things are just effortless, certain relationships not bound by time, certain lights shine brighter, and Nick’s was positively dazzling. If he were here now and I can feel his warm glow in my heart as I write this, then we’d probably call it a real Bobby Dazzler. That’s right, we shared the same irreverent sense of humor and belly laughs were never far away in his company.
One thing that Nick had in abundance was passion. If you asked him for his thoughts on a particular song or film, he’d seldom simply respond with “yeah it was alright”. Neither would he fine-tune his opinion to fit in with anyone else’s and I always loved that about him. Music played a massive part in his life, and I lost count of the summers our social group spent huddled around his “ghetto blaster” as they were known at the time, while he played the role of pied piper. Nick connected us all through audio and I’ve got catalogues of songs in my head that bear his watermark. His passion was ours too and it was positively absurd to consider a house party or gathering without him right in the very thick of it, dishing out the life and soul. He was never short of things to say, never anything other than a positive conductor, and he did it just by being Nick. God bless him for that. Right now it is incredibly raw and I’m still in a daze of confusion and bitter denial so it may seem like the worst possible time to pay respects to one who meant so much to me but I actually beg to differ. I open my soul with the purpose of providing my dear, sweet friend a guiding light through the next leg of his eternal voyage. There is a new star in the sky tonight that twinkles brighter than any other and I take tremendous comfort from that.
Nick, I love you. You were my oldest friend and one of my bona fide personal heroes. I will never forget you, and every time I close my eyes you’ll be there, briefing me on our next expedition just like when we were kids. To all those who knew and loved Nick as I did, I send every ounce of my love and strength your way in this dark hour, and pray that you will eventually find peace in the very same place as I. Life can be decidedly cruel at times and April 14th, 2017 has been particularly merciless. But I just feel honored and immensely privileged to have basked in his wondrous light. This won’t be our final journey; of that I am in absolutely no doubt. For now, rest well my sweet prince, and I’ll be seeing you again the very moment I close my eyes for our next adventure. Godspeed my good man.
There’s a star in the sky that is twinkling brightly
More radiant than any other
The reason this orb is particularly sightly
Is that it shines on behalf of my brother
We may not be blood but we’re always connected
Regardless of where our paths lie
The bond that we shared is forever protected
and there’s one place you’ll always reside
A loss quite like this can’t be calculated
and words simply don’t feel sufficient
But a life so sublime needs to be celebrated
as you filled yours with purpose and vision
I count every blessing for each second shared
Feel honored to have played some small part
For infinite reasons I wish to declare
That you’re forever right here in my heart
Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,
Your eternal co-pilot,
Richard Charles Stevens