Today has been a hard one.
The first words I woke up to this morning were "Do you want to hear bad news? David is dead. He had a heart attack. "
All I could manage in response was "Fuck."
That is about the extent that it has been discussed.
Nobody seems to know what to say, so nothing is said.
But I need to talk about it.
David was my friend, I guess. (I'd call him a friend, whether the feeling was mutual or not doesn't really matter.) I met David many years ago when I was a teenager working at the local bakery. well, I lie. He observed me while I was working one day and must have decided I had an interesting look. I never took any notice of him. It wasn't until a while later our paths were to cross, when my father ended up doing some work on his property. Everything fell into place. Dad came home rambling on about this man named David that wanted to paint me, and insisted I go and meet with him. Yes, it sounded incredibly weird. An older gentleman 'watched me' at work and wanted to paint me. Being somewhat of an introvert and not really in the mood to put myself in a 'bad situation', I tried to avoid it ever happening. Finally, after much persuasion and clarification that he was a 'real artist' I went to meet him. He was everything promised and more.
He did end up painting me a couple of times, and I am honored to have had that opportunity. The first painting was technically amazing, but the second.... he knew exactly who he was looking at when he painted it. It's an incredible honor when you realize that a person can see you as you truly are . You can know a person for years and never experience who they really are. He understood me after a handful of emails and a couple of face to face meetings. That is the gift of a true artist.
The last time we saw one another was an impromptu afternoon spent in his studio. I was unwell and didn't feel like being with anybody, but he invited me around to see his latest works that were going to be submitted into some competitions and exhibitions. He painted and chatted away about his life and his grandchildren. I flipped through his sketch books and probed around the studio, asking questions about his younger years.
He truly was the happiest person that I have ever met. Genuinely happy about life. Happy to give all the time in the world to the people he cared about and proactive about making the things around him flourish. He motivated me to pursue my painting and drawing, always happy to analyze the things I chose to send him, and discussed the technicalities of watercolor in a way that I could understand. He had a fucking huge heart.
And now he's dead and I wish that he wasn't.