Eulogy for a friend

Thanks to those who have traveled far to be here. Thanks, Greg Little and Squirrels, and thanks to the organizers, Jen and Lisa, and the many others who have made this possible. I was asked to say a few words to get us started here today.

It was here in this place that I saw Tim in one of his perfect states of being: Headbanging to Dead Moon right here, leaning on these stairs cheering on the band. He said his neck was sore for a week.

Tim loved music and that’s often what we talked about. And listened to. He loved just sitting together and listening to music. Listen to this part, he would say.

He also loved reading and he appreciated good writing. He was quite well-read. When I asked Jenny to help me name an author he liked, she remembered Bukowski. Jenny worked with Tim for three summers doing owl and vole surveys. She got to know him pretty well.

I found a decent Bukowski poem that speaks to this occasion: Beasts Bounding Through Time. It’s from his book, “You Get So Alone at Times It Just Makes Sense.” I’ll read it for you in a second. The poem talks about the suffering of artists and has the refrain, “the impossibility of being human” repeated throughout it.

But first, I’d like to honor us all here by taking a moment of silence. The death of a friend recalls the brevity of life and how important we are to each other. It brings us together and reminds us to be good to one another.

[silence]

Beasts Bounding Through Time

Van Gogh writing his brother for paints
Hemingway testing his shotgun
Celine going broke as a doctor of medicine
the impossibility of being human
Villon expelled from Paris for being a thief
 Faulkner drunk in the gutters of his town
 the impossibility of being human
 Burroughs killing his wife with a gun
 Mailer stabbing his
 the impossibility of being human
 Maupassant going mad in a rowboat
 Dostoyevsky lined up against a wall to be shot
 Crane off the back of a boat into the propeller
 the impossibility
 Sylvia with her head in the oven like a baked potato
 Harry Crosby leaping into that Black Sun
 Lorca murdered in the road by Spanish troops
 the impossibility
 Artaud sitting on a madhouse bench
 Chatterton drinking rat poison
 Shakespeare a plagiarist
 Beethoven with a horn stuck into his head against deafness
 the impossibility the impossibility
 Nietzsche gone totally mad
 the impossibility of being human
 all too human
 this breathing
 in and out
 out and in
 these punks
 these cowards
 these champions
 these mad dogs of glory
 moving this little bit of light toward us
 impossibly.

Tim moved a lot of light. You could say that light moved around Tim, he could bend the light to illuminate the beauty and the seriousness and the silliness that connects us all.

If having nicknames is any indication of how much he was loved, Tim had a lot of nicknames. My favorite thing to call him was “Timmeh” like the kid on South Park. Timmy T-Bone was good one, too.

If anybody would like to share their nickname for Tim, or memories or words or songs, the microphone is open.

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