Sunday, 25 January 2009

It's not precisely to the date; in fact if my memory is correct (and it is kind of vague) the actual anniversary was thursday. But as events befell on a cold, overcast Sunday much like today, I thought I would finally 'blog' in some detail and pay respects and memory to Daniel Succony, a friend who is sorely missed and whose presence was a massive influence and inspiration on my life.

I'm in danger of falling into excessive hyperbole. Overwhelmingly kind, always caring, ever reliable, deeply sympathetic... all traits which, while were never 'wholly' absent, aren't words I would ever choose to describe him. A fantastic, waspish, flippant, sharp, cocky, faddish narcassistic, brilliant and intelligent little bugger; without a doubt.

My kinship with Daniel was forged in sixth form, where I blossomed into a wonderfully emotive and petulant little shit, wrapped up my own newfound arrogance and with the supposed weight of the world on my shoulders. I didn't instinctively feel like I was that way, but to gauge a little perspective I used to playfully imply to my friends that I was 'the best' in a-level Drama, pretending to undermine their achievements by addint 'Ahh... but I was the best'. It wasn't something I actually ever meant, but only on talking about it some years later did my self absorbed joke actually become as realised as it ever did in my own head; they all thought I meant it and somehow put up with me! In addition to this, I was prone to moments of enraging piqué, laying scorned teenage loves to waste with embittered words... what an absolute tit I was. But of course, you never feel it at the time, and if you never feel bad you don't see a problem to address. A delusional joy, i'm sure.

But of course, there was Daniel there, ever present. Despite my conceit, and I can actually admit this in his absence, I did deeply admire and to an extent hero-worship him a bit. He was a young man who literally did not give a fuck, and it was absoluitely brilliant. A childhood fraught with illness, he never let the weight of his ill health and unfortunate circumstances get on top of him. I'd never say they didn't affect him, naturally they would, but he could certainly keep a level head and keep on top of things.

I heard a great story about him once; when he was on work experience at a care home in Year 10, before I had even met him. A girl we knew was reminiscing about being on this placement with him, and being incredulous to the fact that he had Nike Air trainers on. It's difficult to remember that kind of pinhole thinking that used to perpetuate at school, but recalling back that's almost all we ever did, bracket and pigeonhole people into ridiculous conventions and to strangely exclaim when they didn't obey these!

'Oh my god, you've got Nike Air' she stupidly blurted;

Daniel's response, even at 14 or 15, was classic; 'Yeah, and I live in a house with windows and doors and everything'

Typical. He was a loyal friend, but he didn't ever suffer fools gladly, as I learnt over the course of our friendship from his blunt, curt responses to my equally thoughtless impulses. There have been many times since where I've thought how much I need him, particularly when personal problems crop up. You can have all the sympathetic, practical friends in the world, but it still always helps for someone to clearly tell you; 'you're being ridiculous', when it's absolutely necessary and even when it's not.

His memory too, could never be fraught with sadness. It's impossible for me to think of him, no matter how much I miss him, without a smile. All the ridiculous things we used to say and do, positive and negative, were such a blessing to me. Our initial friendship from the early days in sixth form descended into a simile for one of those classic fraught relationships; Pete and Carl after he'd robbed his flat, Steptoe and Son... perhaps in many ways it was rather like Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell, only with the gay sex and hammer-bludgeoning cut out. At times, it seemed we couldn't bear eachother, but I equally couldn't bear to be without him.

I could write for years and years about memories of sixth form and our short time in Aberystwyth, but I would not wish to expel myself on that matter too soon. Daniel's memory is something that's ever present, so hopefully this will be the first of many steps to revisit these memories and everlasting influence. One thing that was more inspirational than anything else was his attitude to life, he lived almost on borrowed and uncertain time and with an acute conciousness of his own mortality at such a young age. Unfortunately, his condition also rendered him weakened and helpless to fulfil his potential, and I will always wonder what great works may have lay within him. I can't speak for Del, but I will always feel in thrall to his talent, and have no doubts he could have written something a million times beyond the pale of anything I ever have or could. But feeling inferior to others was never his style, so I try to recall that attitude whenever I can; to live and give as much energy as you can to prove your point, make yourself known and heard, and to fully live as much as your capacity can hold.

I often wonder, with those talents in mind, what the three of us could have made theatrically... in brutal honesty, a bloody ridiculous, farcical mess, no doubt! But it certainly would have been fun. Fortunately, to an extent, we get to take him everwhere in our company; Daniel Andrew Succony Théatre. Bold, brash yet understated. That's his style, and it's my continued pleasure to honour and behold it.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Dead to the World

That was a title for something... something I wrote, long ago. I can't recall whether it was a song (gasp!), poem or just a few scrawls. Certainly can't remember the context. But recalling the title has some fuzzy recollection, an ethereal glow of a feeling or place akin to the expression itself.

Mr Pinter is now, sadly, dead to this world. I however, am not. 2009 has been an upheaval of sorts so far, characters change and plots thicken... on page and in living breath.

All you can ever do is honour memory, stay true and be free.