"Sold - Fane Flaws to collect".
It was a handwritten note, taped to a coffee table.
The table had an art deco aesthetic, curves in the right places. It looked like a one-off, unique.
The name Fane Flaws had an intriguing aesthetic to it, and a familiarity I couldn't connect the dots to at first.
Rock star? Actor?
Not being a Te Matau-a-Māui local, I turned to Te Google.
Several "aha" moments ensued.
I'd read about Flaws, and knew of him through his music and involvement with the art and music collective Blerta.
Flaws was a guitarist, who co-wrote the Crocodiles' hit "Tears" back in the 1980s.
What piqued my interest, though, was how he applied his artistic talent across multiple genres.
Art. Video/film. Music. Acting.
And living in Napier, a few kilometres from the CBD.
So I went to try and find him. Art and music are a few of my favourite things.
Following directions is not.
A few years ago I was diagnosed as "hopeless" by people I loosely consider friends, one of whom nicknamed me "Google".
It's an ironic nickname, because I dislike looking at maps, or Googling directions.
Once, driving a car full of young cricketers along the Auckland motorway, bound for a Hamilton tournament, one of them piped up and asked why the team bus had taken another lane and seemed to be driving in a different direction.
I lied that they had gone the wrong way, as we veered toward the Auckland CBD.
I failed to find Fane, and after driving up and down the street a few times, unable to spot an obvious gallery sign, I moved on.
A few months later in the same op shop, a woman who said she house-sat for Flaws was there. I'm not sure how I got in on the conversation, but she gave me some better directions to his gallery. I never made it.
I connected a few more dots, though.
In Hastings, there is a gig poster like no other in the Common Room.
It's a piece of art - and is signed FF / 14. It mentions Neo cubist something-or-other, as well as the band No Engine.
Last week, sitting in a Pukehou church, another dot.
We were all asked to commune together and take a few deep breaths.
We were there for Reb Fountain, but in a moment of pre-gig melodrama, after three deep breaths of our own, we were told that Flaws had taken his last breath that day.
There were audible gasps. Two women to my right burst into tears.
Hearing that someone has died, while you are sitting in a beautiful rimu/kauri Anglican church on a cold winter's night, warmed with craft beer and wall-mounted two-bar heaters, is a unique experience.
I thought about the coffee table.
And how I was glad to have made the effort to get to Pukehou that night. And how I should have made more of an effort to find Fane Flaws.