Thursday, July 20, 2006

Robert Tewdwr Moss (2)

I said I'd post some more thoughts on Robert Tewdwr Moss - see entry below - as the 10th anniversary of his murder approaches.
I heard of his death from a friend. She phoned to say had I heard about Robert? From the tone of her voice I sensed the news was terrible. He had been found dead in his flat in Paddington, near St Mary's Church (where he would be later remembered). My cousin shortly afterwards phoned to say he had seen a report about his death on a London TV news show. Robert had been bound and gagged and he bore the signs of a beating. We learned in the subsequent weeks that he had suffocated from the gag or drowned in his own blood, I'm still uncertain. Whichever way he had put up a struggle.
Because he was a gay "promiscuous" man, a lot of people (journalists especially) assumed he was the victim of an S&M bondage session gone wrong, though he had no interest in violent sex so far as I knew; and I would have known.
In fact two homophobic opportunists - one of whom privately called Robert "Mr Pink" - thought he had money, probably because of his baroque clothes, and decided to rob him. Their murder convictions followed in 1997 and I think both were jailed for life. So perhaps they are due for release as I write.
There's much more I could say but the point of this posting is twofold - both about fatalism.
The first is that in the year prior to his passing Robert and I saw each other maybe only once - though we talked on the phone almost every week. Three weeks before he died I got it into my head that he should come with me as my guest to my cousin's summer party in Essex: it was a completely out of character thing for me to do as I hardly ever mix friends and family. And I thought Robert would never accept because he was about as non-suburbanite as you could imagine. Yet he was a huge success at the do and he loved it.
At the party he suddenly said something to me that changed my whole view of a life situation. I can't talk about it, it doesn't matter here in any case. He said it out of the blue, it just erupted from him with an amazing and uncharacteristic conviction, about something we'd never talked about before. It was a piece of instant good sense I lacked.
Retrospectively I am inclined to see this as his unconscious parting gift to me. In hindsight one can't help but see or imagine significances in all this.
The second thing - a morbid conversation. I had this with one of his very close friends before the trial of the two killers. Afseneh, a Persian woman he'd lived with for years and had met at university, told me that about a year before his death, he had visited a medium in New York: she had told him he would be murdered. Robert knew of my interests in the afterlife, but he had never confided this horror story.
The immoral irresponsibility of the psychic shocked me; the fact of the prophecy hardly registered at the time. I think about it a lot but still can make no sense of it. I wonder to what extent it played on his mind in the last year, and the most successful part, of his life.

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