The Saddest of all Sad News
My friend Abigail Frost was found dead this afternoon in her flat. Apparently she had died in her sleep, either last night or the night before, possibly from complications of her cancer or possibly from side effects of her medication. I spoke to her only a few days ago - on Monday.
I am too devastated to say very much at this point, or possibly ever. I had known her since about 1971 and had been pretty close friends all of that time - and more than friends for a while, just before I transitioned - which was a fairly bad idea in retrospect. Abigail and I did not always treat each other well, but we managed to get past that. Not all of the people in her life managed that - she hurt some of her male lovers quite badly and others broke her.
The world is not kind to intelligent, talented women without a clear sense of direction - she wrote some brilliant journalism about ceramics and textiles, and a lot of very funny fan-writing in zines, but she never found out what she wanted to do. She never acquired any internet skills and never got involved in the on-line culture that ought to have been her natural home. Similarly, she never found a project that engaged her enough to dedicate herself to it - constituency politics a little, perhaps, but New Labour broke her heart a little and the ousting of Oona King by George Galloway a little more, much as she hated the war.
You should all have known her at her best, jabbing away with a perpetual cigarette, cracking wise as if she was at the Algonquin, slightly tipsy and slightly out of control and combining her part-Italian heritage with a very English dryness.
But it was not a story that was going to end well, I guess, and it could have been worse than it was. Thin consolation, though.
She was 57 and I really hoped to know her for another thirty years.