Vancouver, A Love Story, A Tragedy, A Sonnet. Part Eight : Geza. A Friend to All, A Brother To Me.

I have many fond memories of people I interacted with in Vancouver. I was fortunate to meet some of the finest people in my life there. I could say the same for many places I have lived all over the world, Perth, Port Douglas, Byron Bay and Wellington, but many of the most formative years of my life were spent in British Columbia. It was here that the foundation for the healing I would do here in Wellington was laid. Eryn was my anchor, my closest ally and on many levels a mentor to me, a pillar of integrity and strength. At entrance to the temple of one’s heart there is often two pillars, aligning to many forces of the natural world, the universal mind and heart. My other pillar that stood opposite Eryn was a man whose care, generosity and kindness got me through one of the hardest years of my life, 2002. His name as Geza. When I lost all my money that I had saved on 9/11/2001 (some six thousand CAD) my world crumbled from beneath my feet, and I began to free fall. A hand reached out to me and caught me, and then began to haul me out of the darkness below me and said, ‘I see you. We got this.’ It was the open-heartedness and generosity that came along with the words, the care and attention that was behind the intentions in the dark days that followed that got me to the springboard of November 2002, and the beginning of the real work that came next.

Geza was a regular at Nevermind restaurant/bar, and it was here that I remember meeting him. One of the most capable people I have met, a renaissance man on so many levels, musically, intellectually, artistically, philosophically and spiritually. His knowledge base about trades was exemplary, and I worked with him doing maintenance for several cafes, restaurants and bars where I saw what he was capable of. His choice to take me on as labourer allowed me to create an income that would allow me to pay my rent and eat, and I will be forever grateful for that year where he generously gave me work, even when he could have covered the work schedule without me. Every hour he gifted me of his energy and time brought us closer together. I had known him since 1999, but only started to get close to him in 2000/2001. We began to spend more time together going to functions, parties, and gigs and often having the most sublime and ridiculous adventures. I would be on the phone to find out where Geza was when we were kicking off at 2785 West 10th and Mac and tell him to come over as soon as he could on countless occasions, no dinner party, night out or night in was complete without his presence.

Geza’s adventurous spirit took all that spent time with him to some delightful and truly remarkable places and experiences. In the height of the summer Geza would organise picnics down on the foreshore of the harbour around Kitsilano where we could meet and have dinner and wait for the Symphony of Fire (world championship of fireworks) in the early evening. So magical. In August he would organise groups to come down to Spanish Banks and lay out rugs, blankets and woollen underlays so we could watch the perseid meteor showers. He would lay out candles in jars, incense turning a grassy knoll into a magnificent and delectably inviting location to lay on our back and watch the streaming space rocks burn up in the atmosphere above. His attention to detail being one of the most memorable aspects for me, his imagination and quality of care knew no boundaries. All these attributes moved ahead of him like a gentle breeze that soothed all that met, knew and spent time with him. For me, and many others, when the going got tough energetically or emotionally, it would be him we would chose to call on. When Eryn had gone to the UK in 2000 my closest ally became Geza. I spent a lot of time with him in Point Grey where he lived, marvelling at his music collection, the concerts he had gone to, the bands and artists he had seen live. I shared my deepest fears, my heartfelt desires with him and he would listen intently, sharing perspectives with me that made me laugh, most importantly at the futility of my own minds wild and untamed thought stream.

Geza saw the best and the worst in me. In the years that I spent time with him my drug (cocaine) uptake went from being sporadic to regular, to addiction. He never called me on it and never enabled me, but his genuine concern around my mental, physical and emotional health was always at the forefront of his heart and mind. Looking back many years later, there is so much about the subtly of his actions to steer me into a more introspective and deeply nourishing lifestyle for body, mind and spirit. Whether it was making me superfood smoothies after I had been on a bender, or letting me sleep in a little after being up all night, then buying me breakfast before work. Or letting me go through his music collection, enthralling me on the details of an artists life, or an album or song, inspiring me to find greater meaning in music (which would pay dividends for me years later when I started Oho Ake Books). There were no rough edges to his care. If I overstepped a boundary he would let me know, but his love for his friends made seeing his Mystery Machine (he had a van that looked like the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo) driving along the road, or towards you smile. Geza is a friend to all and a brother to me.

Geza. A friend to all, and a brother to me. X

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