posted on April 28, 2008 at 8:50 pm

matt moved out of this universe yesterday at 5 a.m.
his sister held his hand singing him onwards
he was surrounded by his loving family
matt was just 40 years old

you know sometimes
when people die
somebody writes a load of stuff
about what a decent upright lovely person they were
and you think
sure sure…..
well this aint like that!
ive already told you about him
this matt
how he faced the last days of his life so bravely
a couple of months actually
he just lay there only capable of squeezing yer hand at the end
this active dashing wiry geezer
stretched out on a hospital bed
as his family and friends and his partner n her kids
came and visited and smiled and wept
matt was the best friend of my youngest brother john
hes been around since i cant remember
i cant remember even the first time i met him
he was cheeky optimistic and always moving about
i never saw him lying on a couch smoking dope
or sitting around complaining or philosophizing
he was an in the thick of it kind of guy
he did lights for johns band
and when that stopped
he moved on n up into lighting films
and worked on the matrixs and even this new one “australia”
(with our nic n our huge)
i remember sitting in the sauna
while matt told me how he’d been instructed to set up
a big lighting whatsit on the lawn of a heritage building here in syd
it was raining
i wouldnt do that.. matty was warning em
no no no just do it “they” said
so he did
struggled with this thing he didnt wanna do for ages
it kept raining
the stars came out n didnt like the rainy conditions
and went back to their trailers
and the lighting whatsit had sunk into the sodden grass
and “they” were yelling at matty
for ruining the lawn of one of sydneys old stately homes
what happened then ?i asked
and then matty broke into one of his wide hooligan grins
fuck em! he said…i thought i’m getting out of this business
what about nicole n huge ? i asked
yeah…matty laughed…what about em?

he was a kind of ultra realistic fellow
he never said more than he had to
what he said was concise and to the point
he looked like bobby dylan with his hooked nose and curly hair
he had that kind of no bullshit feel dylan has too
a masculine man a mans man a real man
matty would have been a faithful friend
or a formidable enemy
he had not an ounce of fat
and he seemed fighting fit
he seemed like he never changed from 17 to 40…
when he first started having seizures about 6 years ago
he was diagnosed with a tumour
and had surgery and chemo n radio
he never complained or even hinted at feeling sorry for himself
he told ya what was happening with his treatment
in a matter of fact way
he didnt allow you to dwell on the “oh you poor man!” bits
he fucking smiled when i asked him how he could stand all that vomiting
ah ya get used to it he chuckled
matty lost his hair and had a vivid red scar on his head
when my daughter elli had her op
matty sent her a card
“from one cracked nut to another”
i saw matty at the pool and his scalp looked so sore and livid
do you think your hair’ll ever come back ? i asked
matt shrugged
although a bloody handsome guy he didnt give a fuck if it did or not
but it did
i saw him down the pool a few weeks later
blond curly hair coming back through his blasted skull
wow! its coming back and its really thick! i gushed
matty just winked
sometime later i saw him
he had just been given a clean bill of health
no sign of the tumour
he was justifiably elated
he had also been warned that probably
the stupid accursed tumour would return
and it would kill him
matty lived life with this in mind
he tempered his life in the slightly faster lane
with yoga and always lotsa exercise
he reconnected with an old flame
and was in the process of moving into their new house
when the tumour came back after a couple of years
matty did a year of chemo
more radio
i saw him one last time at the pool
he was in the dressing room
steroids for the treatments made him look puffy
(matt never looked puffy)
his voice had a tremble
and my ringing ears could hardly hear him
good day big fella…. he said
how did ya go? i asked
i could only manage 12 laps he said
he looked a bit demoralised
im going back in he said
that was the last time i saw him outside
outside here
where we walk around and buy food and exercise
and pay bills and make love
outside here
as opposed to jail and hospitals
matty had the op
the tumour turned aggressive
it merely rushed back into the space it had occupied
with a deadly vengeance
matty never went home
he stayed in hospital and waited to die
he took it on the chin
he defied misery
he was a mans man to the end
and now hes on the other side
whatever the fuck it is
i know hes making a good job of it
angels devils or a formless void
matt will handle it with aplomb
i asked him to be there when i go into deaths realm
if its possible i said
he was only handsqueezing at this stage
but he looked in my eyes
squeezed my hand almost imperceptibly
and i knew he would be there
if it was possible….
when my brother told me matt had died yesterday
i was glad that hed finally gotten away
he’d done his gig here on earth
and now he was in a fix you wouldnt wish on yer worst enemy
he was loved in spades
women adored him
men admired him
kids looked up to him
the kinda guy i wish all five of my daughters could marry
a true diamond geezer
a real aussie larrikin spirit
a courageous and humble man
a true friend and boon companion
i cant believe it
goodbye matt
we loved ya so much!
sk april 29, 2008

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