Photo of Christo in Buttala by Dom.
Christo Raymond was a dark/light, young/old and deeply conflicted man. He died yesterday, which came as a great surprise. For everyone who’s known him, he is and always was deeply, truly alive. At one point I thought he might become my father-in-law so I made some tentative effort to know the man. I never found a single clue. He was alive. Now he is dead. That is all I can say with any certainty.
Christo has always been the life of the party. In many ways, this undertaker, this son of an undertaker, was a Colombo institution. When I was dating his daughter they gave us a rather hefty discount at R&B. He was a regular. Yet, among the party crowd, there was never any guile to Christo. I have never seen him in a situation where he would judge anyone, or where he was unapproachable. He always remained very childlike in that sense. Forever young.
At the same time, however, he made many adult decisions with the same abandon. Through this neglect he has hurt people, lost some irrevocably. It is easy to say that Christo was the life of the party, but his own life was more complicated.
I must say that the man loved and was loved. Deeply. I did not know him well, but I think I knew this. That was what anyone felt when they met Christo – this man was alive, he loved, and he lived.
Christo had his fans. I was not one of them. I liked him, but in many ways I knew too much, in other ways I knew too little. Thinking back now, just remembering the man, all that is gone. I feel just a sadness, and love. I don’t remember anything else. He was a guileless man, and he loved. I hope he’s peaceful there now.