I didn’t know what to write about, it being the middle of that end-of-the-year lull, but then Glenny gently asked that we remember Simon Ricketts today, on the Anniversary of his death, and so here I am.
Remembering a little thing.
I have no idea how I managed to get in with the cohort of extraordinary Twitter people that I did. Perhaps it was because I came early to the party and the gates were just sitting ajar.
Whatever the reason, there I was, back in the glory days, exchanging warmth and bants and creativity with a wealth of wonderful folk, the like of which I could never hope to commune with in real life.
And Simon was there, and Glenny was there. And they weren’t the Kings of the Gang or anything. Nobody was. It wasn’t like that. It was just people who turned up and typed stuff into their phones and their computers. Nothing much, nothing special. Except, because each line they typed had some tiny trace of their DNA somewhere inside of it, the lines became something more than just lines. Because those scraps of themselves lurked inside every tweet, the scraps became strands and the strands became chains and, over much normal, everyday, time, the chains of DNA became people. Real life, breathing people.
Twitter memories of Simon R? He was brilliant and revered in equal measure, of course. But, when I skim my memory for the stuff that rises to the top, it is always those Saturday nights that come straight up. Simon and Glen would go to the football and then they would go to the pub – always the same pub – and there would be a ‘turn’ – a musical act of reliably dubious quality - playing there and then there would be home, where Glenny would seem to vanish a bit but Simon would have pizza and a cosy welcome home from the cat.
It doesn’t sound like much, does it? But it was, it really was. It was a tiny event shared without a care for recognition or reward or increase in fortune of any kind. Purely, simply, a life moment shared. And, just now, as I type it, I think that’s what made Twitter such a warm place for so many of us at that time. Life moments were shared… for no logical reason at all.
And where was I, when Simon and Glenny were down the pub, supping a pint, negotiating their way through the regulars, gently wincing at the ‘turn’? I was generally at home, with Patricia, enjoying my Saturday evening. A DVD and a can of beer maybe. I wasn’t glued to my phone or my computer, hanging to see what happened next. Nah. But I was never a million miles away from knowing that the boys were in the pub and that all was okay with the world.
And then, not suddenly but not too slowly either, those two single men, who attended the match and the pub and ate the pizza with unerring regularity, were not single men anymore. Gibbzer and Bernie came along and changed the shapes of their Saturday nights and it didn’t take a genius to realise that this was a change that was very much for the better. There may have been a charm to the lad’s routine, a warmth to it and a security in it. But what replaced it was better, so very much better. And if we were no longer sure where they were of a Saturday evening, we know it was a good place and they were okay.
And we know that the turn would play on regardless.
It can’t really be a year, though, can it? How times passes. Thankfully, we remember. And, of course, it’s not just an annual remembrance on some significant date like this. It is that everyday, ‘sideswipe you from no place’, ‘make you unexpectedly grin’ type of remembrance.
Simon R is still very much here.
Making me laugh unexpectedly. Making me think. Making me remember.
I’m glad he’s still around.