Laters Lozza – By @cocoabutler_
By Matt Butler
After the SCA Christmas party I left the Markethouse and headed over to Peckham for my friend Laurence’s leaving drinks, before he headed off to Tokyo in the new year. After bumping into Dennis along the way and bringing him along for the ride, we arrived at a weird looking pool hall in Peckham. After putting my MacBook, my rucksack, my ski jacket and my tripod in the cloakroom I immediately clocked Laurence staring longingly at a Stella* on the bar (*a lass, not a lager).
After a brotherly embrace and talking about how we hadn’t seen each other in 6 months, we proceeded to the dance floor…if you could call it that. Moods were high, the vibe was right and everyone was having a good time. I glanced over at Laurence every now and then to admire the bouncy drunken dance moves I’d secretly missed.
A few of us escaped to the “smoking area” when the when the heat became too much, and Laurence and I got to have a proper conversation. He spoke to me about how he wanted to solve real problems with his architecture and put a halt to the indulgence of super-structures that lacked substance. (We don’t do this on every night out, I promise.) We talked about social housing, poverty and smart creative solutions. And with each sentence my smile grew. Not only because I noticed that we were two creatives with similar wants in creating big tangible solutions but because I could see how much he’d grown and it made me proud.
But then as the night slowly started to come to a close and friends trickled out of the club on their way home, my mood changed. I don’t know if it was down to the lighting, sleep deprivation or the fact that I’ve already lost a friend this year but it started to feel like a weird dream – I had to tap Laurence from time to time just to be sure he was actually there in front of me. I was very sober at this point, so this whole situation began to worry me even more. I tried to live in the moment and enjoy the time with my mate but I guess it felt like I’d lost him too. But we kept on moving – I didn’t want to kill his vibe even though my mind kept on racing.
Thankfully when day broke and we made our way home on the train, the haze faded. But I guess what all of this highlighted to me was that I still need to come to terms with my friend’s passing. I thought I had, especially as we weren’t amazingly close. But if I’m honest, the shock of it all still lingers and a part of me still doesn’t quite believe it. And the fact that it started to manifest in other ways shows I need to make more steps in the right direction. Hopefully I can go into the new year with a better frame of mind on loss and grief.