Andrew Storrier & Ian loveless
I have written so much about Andrew and Ian ( the two Rubies as we knew them en famille) that it might be thought words would fail me. There will never be words enough to fill the gap their leaving of my life has left; nor words enough to express their importance in my life whilst we were together. I’ve chosen this photograph not because it says anything in particular but because it might have been from any one of our unending succession of times together that like all times had to end and has ended.
This photograph was taken at their house in Engadine Street. There were so many occasions like this it is painful to recall the ease with which I took them for granted. I refuse to complain about losing them when my life was blessed by finding them in the first place. Knowing both Andrew and Ian meant so very much to me. It made my life special.
Ian left me a letter.
I do not want these words – his words – cast gently aside at the time in a not so very distant future when I will go to join them. These are Ian’s words but he left them to me in trust and in trust I wish to share them.
Ian’s words speak for all of us and what we all once were together. We were a family. Some disparage gay people because they jeer they cannot make families.Those people are wrong. Loving families are made from trust, honour, perseverance and candour wrapped inside the constancy of love’s never changing certainty. We had that and more…and I am proud we had it and honoured we shared its glorious abundance.
You were one of the surprises of my life. The prospect before we met didn’t look encouraging: you didn’t seem ‘my type’ at all, with your reported acid tongue and bitchy remarks. “How on earth” I remember thinking before I first met you “can I cope with that?” Me, a child of an unspoilt nature and simple tastes. It didn’t seem promising. But you brought it all out; exposed my dark secret to the light and helped me develop it into a social asset. If I hadn’t been brought up so nicely I think I might have been particularly nasty. As it was some of the happiest moments of my life have been spent being singularly vile to you.
If I don’t see you regularly, I begin to miss you a lot. And it isn’t just your generosity with the Campari bottle that keeps you in my thoughts. Rather it’s missing the comfort of well-worn shoes, a soul sister with whom to confide and share secrets. An adjunct of myself – a part that would wither if not topped-up and refreshed through regular contact. Even a week seemed a long time. No, I didn’t demonstrate it (not in my nature – and why give you the satisfaction of knowing you were wanted?)
And what next? By the time you read this, you know that is not a question concerning me any longer. Firstly, look after yourself properly; but next please try to look after Andrew. You know how damned defensive and self-contained he can become when in the grip of strong feelings and I imagine it will take him quite a while to come to terms with being alone. He needs to be helped more than he is likely to admit and may be reluctant to express his bottled-up feelings. I know you will help him get over this.
You, Richard, PVC and B have provided me a vital family support circle over the years and enriched my life considerably. We have had so many good times together that I cannot single out the best and it would be invidious to choose just one from many countless ‘bon mots’. For me, you, John, will always be an inseparable part of knowing Andrew and sharing his life and a very dear friend for knowing whom I feel especially privileged.
All my love, Ian xx