It is with great sadness that I must convey news of the death of a dreamer.
Certainly, one of my ambassadors to Collinsport, and much, much more.
To those who never knew him, I cannot point to great works or monuments bearing the mark of his achievements. Although he could have settled for subsistence, he did not. His choice was between dreaming grand designs while living as he could, or living a tad better but having no time for dreams of that scale.
He made the right choice and the brave choice.
On the surface, his dreams were always seemingly just this far from his grasp. Thankfully, he remained aware of those cosmic ironies, used them as fuel for laughter, and was never beaten by them. Anyone else would have given up and settled. But he dreamed relentlessly and industriously and with a passion unequaled by anyone I have ever met.
Not only that, he worked at them. One of his great successes is that he never, ever stopped working at them. No one I’ve met has worked harder at anything, ever. Ever. A year ago, this is a man who rose from his bed, nearly inverted with cancer, and wrote, produced, and executed a show for a convention of thousands. I paused last year’s Experiment to be in it. Was it the finest moment in performance art? Of course not. And if I had only one show on my resume, I’d be very, very proud if that were it.
As I’ve aged, I’ve been astounded at those he inspired. No one else has ever introduced me to as many new, amazing ideas and insights as did he. Ideas that profoundly shaped me… from science to pulps to politics to performance to Lovecraft to Shakespeare. To equate him to the Library of Alexandria is ludicrous. But he certainly would have known where the good stuff was.
Monk to my Ham. Ben to my Barnabas and Barnabas to my Quentin. Rascal. Improviser. Wordsmith. Yes, yes. And teacher. Creator. Curator. Futurist.
Most dearly and most, most rare: friend. He defined the word, and through our strange misadventures and tribulations led me to understand and cherish the patience and understanding and joy that comes when that word is invoked. And if that’s not a monument, nothing is.
In my life, I have only met two men who bravely lived life on their own terms. He was one of them. Neither are still with us.
Neither shall ever die.