My friend died yesterday.
He wasn't a good friend - scratch that, he was an amazing friend - but he wasn't a close friend. Even so, his passing was as though the moon had disappeared. His smile made you feel like you were buddies. That happy face ratified how lucky he was and we were, as if we shared a secret about Whistler that the tourists would never know.
I've learned from experience that words are just words. No matter how sincere, to the grieving they sound hollow, or worse, cliché. But it's the only way I know to pour my feelings out. As it happens, it's exactly how others want to pour.
I've written about death in this town more than once, but this is the first time I've had tears in my eyes. Because this time, he was One Of Us, without even trying to be. As soon as you saw him, you knew that everything would be a little bit better, because at least you knew Chili Thom was having fun.
He was more than an acquaintance to me but not by much. I can't pretend to know his favourite food or colour, but I can tell you this:
The world is a hell of a lot darker now.
I'll really miss you when I need you, man. Keep on painting perfection.