Michael Van Rooy, crime writer and fellow arts admin collaborator, died last Thursday. The day of the Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry reading.
After a hectic few weeks, I felt ill-prepared and under-rehearsed for the reading...
But I was completely UNprepared for Michael's death. Like everyone else in the writing community, many of whom knew him better than I did.
But I liked that he was the only person who'd ever lifted me over his head without collapsing and/or dropping me.
I liked that he tried to press-gang me into his wife Laura's roller derby team.
I liked that he let me take endless goofy pictures of him at THIN AIR, Winnipeg International Writers Festival - just ONE of his many contracts - mostly because it made me laugh.
We just got each other, what we were doing and why.
So I'm angry. At him for pushing himself so hard. At me, for noticing how at-the-brink-of he was and not convincing him that slowing down was in all of our best interests.
And I can't quite believe I'll never see him again.
So basically I've been playing a lot of killing games when I might otherwise be blogging or reading or really doing anything that I've agreed to do.
But going to MVR's sad and absurd and funny funeral this past Saturday helped. And going to the tribute to MVR this Saturday will help. And, theoretically, attending to all my deadlines will help.
So here's to you, Michael Neelak Van Rooy.