Thursday, August 21, 2014
We talked about meeting for a third time. He had people staying that weekend though. How about in Comptons? His birthday was coming up and that Saturday night his mate was throwing him a party on a boat on the river. He said that I couldn't come as there were already too many people coming but we should meet the following day on the Sunday. Late though because it was going to be a late one on the boat. OK, Comptons it was. See you then. Look forward to it.
I went to Heaven that Saturday night with my mate Kit feeling a bit miffed I couldn't go to what looked to be a wild party on the river. I enjoyed myself though dancing the night away.
At about 2:30am or so the music cut out on the main dance floor and there was a bit of kerfuffle by the stairs near the door. A couple of people were hugging each other and crying. And people looked horrified. Rumours started to spread. I asked around but no one seemed to know what was going on. Then someone told me they had come from Cannon Street bridge along the river and there had been an accident. Apparently a boat had collided with another and sank. And some people had died. There were lots of gay people on board too. And they were still pulling bodies out of the water.
Oh God. Dreadful I thought. Dreadful. I told Kit it was time to go. And we queued for our coats. It took ages to leave.
But to my shame it was only after I had got on the N19 night bus on the way home it suddenly dawned on me, "Fuck! Antonio! Antonio was on the river tonight!" I got off the bus at New Oxford Street and dashed back to Meard Street. The lights were on on the second floor and I rang the buzzer but no one answered the door. I rang again. I pressed the buzzer for a full minute. No one was there. Oh shit. I started to cry.
In the following days I couldn't read any of the coverage of the Marchioness disaster or watch the news. It was just too upsetting.
RIP Antonio de Vasconcellos - you great shag with your Express Yourself obsession.