Ryan loved Doctor Who.
I mean obsessively. Seriously obsessively. He could tell you every detail from every episode of the series, old and new, and had a replica scarf and hat from the Tom Baker doctor.
One night, we were at the Montreal House in Peterborough seeing The Burning Hell who played the Doctor Who theme before colliding it with their much-better-when-live song “The Second Cigarette” (seriously, Mathias, if you ever decide to do a live album, the faster, funkier Second Cigarette would be a premiere choice) and Ryan went absolutely nuts.
It wasn’t just the good Doctor though, Ryan had a special place in his heart for all sci-fi, even the godawful movie Jumper which, honestly, people in Peterborough only went to see to see what they could recognize as being distinctly Peterborough (frankly quite a lot actually).
Life wasn’t all science fiction though for Ryan. He had a developmental issue that I couldn’t quite place and never felt comfortable enough to ask. His attempts to pick up women didn’t work very well if at all and if he drank, he usually went a little crazy but whenever I saw him he was always smiling and he was always downtown. Ryan lived and breathed downtown Peterborough and while that may not sound like much of anything to those of you who haven’t been there since the flood and seen all of the wonderful things that have come and gone, the vibrant music scene, the small businesses, the wonderful cafes, it was his world and, all things considered, it was pretty awesome.
Every time I’ve gone back since moving away, I’ve seen Ryan. To be overly poetic, he was downtown Peterborough’s perpetual man-child heart that kept everything going and kept everything fun even if it got a little weird and crazy. I only found out about an hour ago that he passed away last night and I already miss him like crazy and I know it will hit me again next time I’m home and I look for him and he’s not there, just a Ryan-shaped hole at the corner of Hunter and George.
Rest in peace my friend, safe travels.