I got some sad news today. My dear friend Victoria's dad died a few days ago. I didn't cry because he was pretty sick and I think he probably hated it but I feel the loss sharply, like a knife slice across my heart. He was such an alive man, an intellectual , not an athlete, but still always projected a certain air of fitness right up to the end. Infirmity didn't suit him well. I remember the last time I saw him, how shocking it was to see how he physically diminished he had become.
I don't normally get attached to my friend's parents but Clay was an exception. He felt like a friend too, or maybe a favorite uncle. He had a warmth and an accepting nature and always made you feel welcome. He was the kind of person who gave you his undivided attention when he spoke with you. He was kind of a bigshot you know, but he was always clearly engaged and interested in what you had to say, no matter who you were. And Lord knows Victoria often dragged home some, shall we say, unusual charaters -- like myself for instance.
I loved Clay. I worked for a while at his magazine. We shared a love for world travel. We laughed together. We drank together. We shared a joint once at a party. In many ways we were kindred souls. He was an attractive and charming man. Trite as it may sound he was one of the truly nicest human beings I've ever met in my life.
I haven't seen either him or Victoria in all too many years, but I'll miss him. The world is sadder place without him traveling somewhere in it.