Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Passé Posse

It is a quiet afternoon in the office: typing, muffled voices and the constant drone of air conditioning, are all I hear.

“Have you thought any more about leaving?” Toby breaks my revere.

“Yes, a bit”, I say.

“What would you do?”

“I don’t know, go to Europe, join a monastery, write a novel – I have no idea.”

“Sounds like you’re having a creative crisis – you want to use the other side of your brain more.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s it. There’s nothing very creative about what we’re doing. I feel like my life is passing me by here. I’ll be lying on my deathbed wondering where it all went.”

“Tell me about it.”

“I always thought I would be famous. When I was a teenager I thought I’d be a drummer in a hard rock band.”


“Yes, I really believed it too.”

I give Toby a wry smile and then ask, “What about you?”

“Well actually, I’m writing a play. It’s something I always wanted to do.”

“True? What’s it about?”

“Well it’s going to be called ‘The Passé Posse’ and it’s just about a group of people – you know.”


“Actually you’ve been helping me out with the ‘disaffected office worker’ character. Hope you don’t mind?”


“And Liz has been typing up our conversations.”

The typing noise stops. Liz looks across with a sheepish expression on her face.

“Right,” I say. “Well good luck with that. Let me know when it’s on – I’ll come and see it.”

Toby turns to Liz and says, “Did you get the ‘lying on my deathbed’ bit?”

I pretend to be busy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Rain Dancer

He knew he was going to die. He knew ‘metastasis’ was a just a big word for ‘cancer again’.

The last time I saw him he was weak and frail. His treatment was making him so sick that he needed someone around to help him all the time.

I found myself in deep admiration of him, found myself admiring his calmness and peace, the sureness that surrounded him. He had seen death and was not frightened.

He was small and fragile and yet he held the world’s weight as if it were nothing.

The people who helped him loved him, smiled at him, absorbed his presence, touched and held him. They seemed to find their task the greatest privilege.

The funeral was gut wrenching. The family was obviously devastated – they had lived in hospitals for months praying that this day would not come.

Those who talked at the funeral spoke of a person who lived a selfless life; a person who in the week before he died had gone to give his money to a friend because he didn’t think he would need it anymore.

I sat in my pew thinking of this person who I hardly knew and remembered his eyes, his deep sad and joyful eyes.

Afterwards someone told me “You know, he could be a bit of a rat bag”.

I was glad to hear it.