Sam Petty

May 29, 2003

Someone said to me on Tuesday, in an effort to be firm with the idea of grief and loss, that I should try and get used to the thought of never seeing Tony again.
Well I challenge that!
They meant well, but they didn't know Tony. In fact I've seen him dozens of times since the weekend.
I've seen him striding down the street towards me, with his checked shirt wrenched around his waist, and his mane of black hair bouncing with every step.
I've seen his laconic smile spread across his stubbly face -an infectious smile, on a hair-trigger.
I've seen the joy on kids faces as he distracts them from a small altercation, with a quick series of really silly walks, his long legs going in every direction. I've seen him make his drum kit actually dance, jamming for ages with Tim and Adrian and me, and rockin out in front of the mike with Chris and Adrian as well.
I've seen him drunk, and furious with the injustices of the world. I've seen him leaning way back in his chair, listening, smiling with crinkled eyes, just enjoying the company of his friends.
And I've heard him too! His unmistakable mad laugh - seeking out and celebrating anything absurd. The more absurd, the louder his laugh, on an exponential scale.
I've heard his powerful voice belt out gutsy, heart-felt lyrics, with an honesty that's quite startling, then flow into velvet harmonies under the chorus.
I've hear my phone ring at 2am - it's Tony, with some advice:
" Goooon!"
and it's really good advice!
And I've heard him tell me, as we stride together down Foveaux Street towards a $5 steak, how much he's come to appreciate his Mum and Dad, and Brother and Sister.
We may be shedding tears because of the absence of your flesh and blood, Tony, but you'll be with us all, forever.