My friend (briefly my lover) Kristian Digby died yesterday; apparently of auto asphyxiation.
Kristian was a sweet, thoughtful intelligent man. Not intelligent enough, he would have scoffed, to think twice about pulling a bag over his head, a belt around his neck and deprive his wonderful brain of oxygen.
By inducing a lucid, semi-hallucinogenic state called hypoxia-combined with orgasm, the rush is said to be no less powerful than cocaine, and highly addictive.
Kristian and I met in 2001 at the International Cannes film festival waiting in line for the Soho House annual Cannes party-bonding over the sight of Andi McDowell being pushed and shouted at by her surly, over weight publicist. After becoming immediate friends-later that night, very drunk and having gate crashed a very grand yacht party, Kristian told actor Ray Winstone that he had always fancied him and tried, much to my horror, to kiss him. Like most of his antics it was very, very funny but realizing how inappropriate trying to kiss Ray was we ran like mad children into the night and had a very romantic time walking bare foot back to his hotel room along the deserted beach at dawn.
I introduced Kristian to one of his many and varied heroes, the glorious Marianne Faithful. We were at Will Self’s house. He sat at her feet. She spilt red wine on his white linen trousers. Whilst she fussed over the stain he was delighted that Marianne Faithful had spilled red wine on him. Delighted.
He did not have one bad bone in his gorgeous body.
Creative, funny, erudite. He had so much further to travel.
Kristian loved the films and books of Dereck Jarman-his true hero. We had great fun exploring the dead filmmakers garden at Dungerness. We ate a very high tea (english expression not drug induced) at a local hotel over looking the bleak gray sea.
I was always in awe of Kristian and those of us who knew him very well knew that there was much to be in awe of.
During the time that we knew each other best (when I moved to LA permanently we saw each other less often) we explored ideas, cites and over coffee in Old Compton Street the state of our gay lives.
He was a regular visitor to my house in Whitstable. Everyone that met him there loved Kristian-I have been overwhelmed by sad emails from friends he met from my old home town.
He was not without his dark side-a troubled childhood and un-accepting parents blighted his early years as a gay man.
Lastly, let us not forget how much enjoyment he gave to those who never knew him personally: his loyal TV audience.
Oh Kristian, you silly billy, what did you do that for? I will really miss you.