Essay by Luke Foster
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. “
This essay is dedicated to my dearly departed best friend Nick Cuttell and his brother Ash and parents Frank and Barbara who have been looking after me from a distance for decades. Nick passed in 1991.
Nick was electrocuted in a work place accident during my first week of art school at College of Fine Arts in Sydney and lead to all sorts of self destructive behaviour mainly binge drinking and other stupid things.
Me and Nick used to go skateboarding and surfing every weekend. In the sixth grade he used to call me a thousand questions as I asked him questions endlessly.
Nicks father Frank was a former SAS soldier and he and Barbara were pillars of the community on the Northern suburbs of Sydney before they moved to Balmain so Frank didn’t have to commute so far to work. They sorted out all sorts of complex social problems.
One problem they solved was that me and Nick and a few others bullied the kind hearted soul Brad Seaton and Frank and Barbara intervened and welcomed Brad into me and Nicks social circle. Brad became a Hari Krishna and his name now is Ashraya. I still apologise to Ashraya profusely for the horrendous bullying we put him through. Me and Ashraya are best friends and talk on the phone weekly.
I feel Frank beat himself up as he got Nick the job in a wooden boat yard in Sydney but I am trying to ease his conscience as sometimes bad things just happen to good people and Nick was the best.
His accident was no ones fault and no one could of foreseen the tragic circumstances of his death.
Me and Nick had been planning a trip around Australia surfing in a Cortina that Frank restored lovingly with Nick.
My favourite memory with Nick was when we paddled out and paddled with a pod of Dolphins at Bilgola Beach and they swam beneath our surfboards and jumped out of the water around us.
“I’m looking for a world where love will no longer be extraordinary.”Patch Adams
I have been writing to the clown doctor Patch Adams for a decade and he stitched up my trauma of losing Nick with great compassion and insight.
I also have fond memories of skateboarding with Nick and his younger brother Ash and I just googled Ash and saw he is a hunk as a grown up as seen on facebook and was always lots of fun as a teenager.
Tonight I made a series of drawings about Nick and his family to be bound as a book with binding instructions and also sending Frank one of my favourite Yoshitomo Nara t-shirts, a dog tag and Haruki Murakami novel titled the Wind Up Bird Chronicle for them to read. Murakami is my favourite author and is Japanese.