We knew him just as “Dark Cloud”

08 Dec

And no, this is not him…

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But I did hear sad news yesterday, from The Empress. On such a park bench some time in the past few months he was found. A heart attack, apparently; we had heard he was sleeping rough in the past few years…

He was about my age, perhaps even a little younger. Over the past twenty years he had come by our circle, sometimes for extended periods, sometimes disappearing for a while. He was well educated, private school indeed, and beautifully spoken. He had grown up, it seems, in England, but was clearly strongly Indian in appearance, a point he never discussed.

He was a man of mystery.

Sometimes he was close to the rich and fashionable. That was always his aspiration, and what he didn’t know about fashion was probably not worth knowing.

He was a terrible hoarder, though, of magazines and fashion accessories. But they gave him pleasure. His flat, when he had one, was apparently almost floor to ceiling with piles of stuff…

A lonely death one night on a park bench. That was how it ended.

Some used to say fear of deportation (or something) kept him outside the system, off the radar. But he was a good man, or so I thought…

Perhaps the Luncheon Club remembers him.


Posted by on December 8, 2008 in events, Gay and Lesbian, gay issues, memory, personal


2 responses to “We knew him just as “Dark Cloud”

  1. marcellous

    December 8, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    I would be keen to read a less elliptical post. I don’t think that would be trampling on his grave: in fact quite the opposite.

  2. Neil

    December 9, 2008 at 8:52 am

    He was indeed a man of mystery, and I know little more about him than what I have said. I could have recounted more incidents, but mostly they would have been of conversations which, in his case, rarely revealed much about his background. Mostly they were about whatever treasure he had in his bag that day, whether a book, or a fashion accessory… The last time I really saw him was when we met in Devonshire Street one day about two years ago and sat and had a coffee. He did talk of his heart condition, but I doubt he even had Medicare… He seems in the past to have lived by housekeeping jobs, dog-minding, house-sitting, and so on. I am not even sure what his real name was.

    He was quite distinguished looking, bearded, with a mane of greying hair, and usually wore a good gaberdine overcoat and affected a scarf. I am sure many would have seen him around the traps, though not so much in the last couple of years.

    He did at one time do some work with the Luncheon Club, but I seem to recall had a falling-out there.

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