(2003 to 2005)

I hate it when the phone rings.. too late.

Mon Nov 29 11:23:00 UTC+1100 2004


I'm going to preface these comments with an acknowledgment that it's probably premature for me to be writing anything at all. Regardless, I feel like saying something now, so I am.

Last Monday I got an SMS. I wanted to store the phone number of the person who sent it to me, but the address book on my phone was full. I was forced to scroll through each entry to find one to remove. I don't really use my phone very much, so the act itself was a little bit of a trip down memory lane.

I saw Mark Tung-Yep's phone number in my address book. I'd got it off him years ago, the last time I'd seen him, at a house party in Glenbrook. I don't truly remember how long ago that was. It seems like forever, and like yesterday, at the same time. We'd bumped into each other there, having not seen each other for some time, and it was really great to hang out for the night. It was a pleasure to see him looking so happy and healthy as he did. I'd got his number, and given him mine, but as it goes we'd never had a specific reason to call.

I'd really wanted to call Mark last week. I just wanted to say hello, and see how he was going. I remembered his beaming smile from the last time I'd seen him, and how glad I was to see him happy. But as it went, I didn't have any specific reason to call, so I didn't. Instead I just continued to wonder how he was and what he was up to as I flicked through the rest of the entries in my address book. I kept his number.

Yesterday, while hanging out with Shahriar, and talking about him as we drove out of the driveway to my apartment in Epping, I once again wondered how he was. Unbeknownst to us at that time, he was already dead.

Shahriar called me about an hour ago to let me know that Mark killed himself last Friday.

That's all I know at this time. His funeral will be 3pm this Friday in Springwood.

Dealing with news of death is always difficult. For me, the worst part is being unable to cry. For some reason, I just can't bring myself to cry for my friends when they die. I can feel the tears, but they don't come.

Personally I can never get over the feeling of needing to ring the person who has died, to see what they think of all of this. As it dawns on me that's not possible, I tend to go through many feelings. Anger, grief, disbelief, remorse, even happiness as I recall the past. I start thinking about who's to blame. What is wrong with the world that this could happen. Then I think I need to ring the person who has died to see what they make of it, and I cycle through the 'realisation' many times, for days. I like to be alone, the only company I want to be in is the company of the recently departed, usually so I could say "what do you make of all of this?" or "Why?"

If there is ever a time in my life when I feel like I believe in the supernatural, it's when someone dies. Real, or imagined, I'm aware of the ghosts of my friends.

I'm going to miss Mark. Although we were friends he was never my best mate. But he was the sort of guy who could have been. To some extent I feel like I let him down. I respected Mark. He had an integrity and honesty to him that I appreciated. He was strong. I knew I could trust him. It's a real shame that he's gone.

Perhaps the world just doesn't have enough space for men who were born to be warriors.

Copyright © 2003-2005 John Elliot