Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sandy Gort

I seem to have spent a fortnight now hugging grieving people all over Manchester who loved Bryan Glancy. I’m lucky I’m so tall. If you’re hugging me you can’t see me cry.

On the afternoon of Saturday 21st January I was having lunch with my friend Danny Moran at Night & Day. Danny had seen Bryan rattling around big hands bar on Friday night in something of a state and said to me ‘i’m worried about Bryan.’ I told him that he couldn’t possibly imagine how many people I had sat with over the last twenty something years where one or other of us had said ‘i’m worried about Bryan.’ And I gave Danny some advice. Along the lines ‘of don’t get involved.’ I explained that Bryan’s problems were complex, manifold and seemingly endless. It could be frustrating to get involved with Bryan because just as one set of hideous problems had been addressed, he somehow managed to acquire an entirely new set. Over the last couple of years, I confessed, I had withdrawn from getting involved in managing the chaos of Bryan’s life.

We finished eating and headed for the office. On the way there I answered the ‘phone and learned that none of us would ever have to worry about Bryan again.

Emma Black had discovered him, was alone with the body and clearly traumatized. Danny and I jumped straight in a cab and spent the next ten hours or so dealing with the cops and contacting a whole bunch of people to tell them the worst thing you can possibly tell anyone.

As I went through Bryan’s ‘phone I kept seeing the numbers of people I knew I had to call. After his family, I realised my next priority was all the beautiful, strong and remarkable women who had invested so much of their time, love and goodness into trying to cope with Bryan’s chaos

I can honestly say it was one of the worst things I have ever had to do in my life. To ring these women. To know what I was about to say. To know that when I said it their hearts would be completely broken. And then to hear their hearts breaking. At the same time as my own heart was breaking.

At some point, I think in the early evening, me and Danny and Emma were taken to swinton cop shop to give formal statements. I turned to Danny and said ‘so much for my advice about not getting involved.’

And it struck me that Bryan had played a trick on me. He was already dead by the time I was giving that advice. It was as if he’d gone ‘withdrawing from managing the chaos of my life are you? then how about you manage this.’

I have no mystical, religious or supernatural beliefs whatsoever. But it did feel to me that something was out there taking a part in the proceedings. Maybe it was just a consequence of the love that bryan had engendered in his world. The right people entered the frame at the right moment and did exactly the right things. Emma Black, Danny Moran, Helen Littler, Jay Taylor, Rafe Conn, Guy Garvey and Bryan’s brother Philip are amongst the people. They know what they did. And I’ll tell you if you ask me. and if you hug me afterwards, you won’t see me crying.

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