I thought I was over it

I thought I was over it.  My whole world stopped for a few days.  Days that evolved in to weeks, but I was moving on.  Life was returning to its proper pace, albeit with differences, but still with purpose.  This morning I was just about to leave for work when a series of minor events (car troubles, inconvenient bowel motions, misplaced car keys, more inconvenient bowel motions) combined to persuade me to just stay home.  I made the obligatory phone call, to inform those who needed to be informed and found myself sitting in front of the computer.  Needless to say I took the opportunity to check my emails and my facebook.  I upgraded some properties on my monopoly board, before making my chess moves followed by my scrabble moves.  Then I thought I’d check the online papers and see what was going on in the world today.  That’s where I found the link to all the Earthquake News.  The first story wasn’t too bad, it was about a woman who was being released from the hospital so it had some “feel good” value to it.  It still brought a few tears to my eyes as it brought back the emotion of that day.  Then I noticed another link.  Quake Victims.  I paused;  I hmm’d and I haa’d;  I clicked it.

It’s a web page where people can go, not just to be nosey and see who died etc. but also, to leave condolences and messages for the families and friends of those who passed in the earthquake.  The names are listed alphabetically and there are photographs (where they were able to obtain photographs) and more links to articles about each person.  I was moved to tears once again as I saw the picture of young boy, struck down on the day before his 15th birthday.  As I scrolled through the pages the tears just flowed.  Jaime shared a page with Jo Giles and Baxtor Gowland, by this stage the tears are streaming and I wonder if I should go change my top but I wanted to get through these pages, it was like a challenge to see that I could, and then I found Joe Pohio.  I already knew Joe had died.  His funeral was at the same time as Jaime’s.  But seeing his page stopped me in my tracks.

Joe Pohio was an awesome guy.

It’s hard to put it any differently than that.
I was introduced to Joe by Evan.  They would often stop in at the Southern Blues Bar late in the evening, usually as they were heading home after a night in town, and somehow they would end up staying until closing.  The usual scenario for closing up at The Southern Blues Bar was to usher everyone out the door while we started the clean-up.  Occasionally we would allow a “chosen few” to hang around and share a quiet drink with us when we wound down at the end of clean-up.  Joe was one of the chosen few :)
When the Southern Blues Bar was forced out of business by the 7.1 in September, I was suddenly without a weekend job.  I picked up a few casual/on call stints doing doorwork at a couple of bars and also as a minder for some “promo” girls.  The girls walked around town handing out flyers and wearing jackets that advertised a niteclub in town.  I had the task of ensuring that they were not accosted by any over-zealous drunken types.  One of the perks of the job was that we got to check out all the hot spots in town.  We were allowed entry in to any bar or club in town as long as the girls didn’t hand out flyers inside (they didn’t need to anyway, the jackets said it all).  Often, in our travels we would bump into friends and acquaintances and whilst there was no problem with occasionally stopping for a chat, it got to the point where I could pretend not to notice someone until they noticed me, just to avoid holdups.  Not with Joe though;  if I saw Joe I would always make a point of going up to him and saying Hi.  I liked him THAT much.  I even added The Bard to our list of regular stops just so I could catch up with him.

The tears stopped a while back now, but even as I was to-ing and fro-ing from the other pages to insert the links on this page I would feel them well up ready to go again.  I think I’ll check out the rest of the names another time.


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