For Absent Friend


‘ve lost one of my youth friends…
His unequal battle against cancer ceased two days ago.

I wasn’t there, since I live 2000 Km away, but the blow of losing him was not dampened by the distance.

A piece of my youth has gone with him.

We have been very close during the years when I lived in the same city.  We met at high school and have been close friends ever since; until I left for another Country.

We kept in touch through letters at first, then computers slowly entered the homes and so it became possible to send e-mails.

But now he’s gone and though I deeply mourn him, I can’t help remembering the happy and carefree years we spent together.

We loved music and discovered, together with our other friends, all the wonderful music created between the 60’s and the 80’s.

We became avid collectors and ended up with hundreds of LPs, tapes and, later on, CDs.

We often spent evenings and nights listening to music, talking about music, living life as if it was a movie in which the soundtrack is the most important component, a life where actions can be reduced to music or whose essence can be inspired and contained by music.

In the last years he had slightly lost touch with this all.
The ever-challenging job, the family, the kids; all of this absorbed so much of his time that he had grown a bit “out of tune”.

But fortunately, one of his sons took over the passion and became a good guitarist, so eventually the flame could be passed on.
How proud he was about his son’s first concert.
He sent me a couple of photographs, as if the musical skills could reverberate through the images; proud as only a good and affectionate father can be of his son.

But the illness was undermining his health rapidly and now he is gone.

The pain is too fresh to be felt in full, but I bid you farewell, my dearest friend, offering these words to the world, together with one of the pieces of music that we loved the most. I’m playing it right now in remembrance and pain, but also in everlasting joy to have known you.

Rest in peace for this eternity and all the ones coming after it…

Ironically, on YouTube  this track (by now removed) was signed: “R.I.P. Simon Jeffes”.
Simon Jeffes was the founder and “perpetuum mobile” of the Penguin Café Orchestra.
He too was eventually felled by cancer.

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