I heard last night that Paul had died. Long-time visitors to this website will remember Paul de Koning as my partner in life, love and crime back in the days when this site was called The House of Love.
Paul and I had a brief, spectacular and ultimately doomed love affair about a decade ago, in an age when we lived on the edge and stared death in the face, when we lived for today and assumed that tomorrow would take us up in its cold embrace and deliver us to somewhere dark and cold…
Our relationship ended dramatically and badly, of course, and it’s been a long time since we were close. We reconciled our differences a long time ago, but it’s hard to convert the riotous energy that marked our time together into the sedate friendship of ex-husbands. So for the last few years we’ve seen each other occasionally, exchanged emails now and then, but otherwise gone on with our separate lives, changed of course by the experience of loving and losing each other, perhaps damaged by it too.
Paul gave me a great deal in our short time together. He had an extraordinary capacity to accept me as I am (or was) — not a straightforward undertaking in those days — to celebrate me and us, to love and trust and fuck with spirit, energy and abandon, and to care. He was a truly special man, imperfect in many ways — sometimes bitter, often troubled — but with a old soul of pure gold.
Not many months after we broke up, Paul was diagnosed with adult myeloid leukemia. His survival with this aggressive cancer (as well as HIV) for so many years is a testament to his strength and tenacity.
Happy trails, old friend.