Now is not the time for pretty lies, nor is it a time for unkind truths.
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Now is simply the time for the telling of a story that covers a mesh of feelings I have always had for this guy, this dude, this generous friend Hans.
It's trite to observe that reflections on the passing of a friend always have more to do with the one reflecting than the one passed -- so I'll go ahead and tell you all that you're in for an earful of me as seen through Hans.
I didn't tell Hans enough how much I really cared about him and enjoyed spending time with him -- possibly because I myself didn't know until that opportunity was gone. But there was that foggy night (it was always a foggy night) at Haven, probably in 2003, when I let him know I thought he was an oaf.
That was me, mistaking honesty for connection, criticism for communication. Like the man says, it probably meets the legal definition of asshole.
As soon as the words left my mouth, I thought, "Really man? You insult the one guy who has never been mean to you, ever? When there are other people in the world whose throats are so clearly singing out for your knuckles to be slammed into them? Hans?"
Man, I was ashamed.
Because if our places were exchanged, and you offered, unbidden, your unflattering opinion of me? Shit, I'd be mortified and furious. Quite probably to the point of unforgiveness. And yet Hans -- I can't quite say he didn't give a shit, because who the hell can take unsolicited criticism without some measure of personal sting? -- well, at that moment, Hans seemed untroubled. Like he was not at all bothered by the thought that some little shit might think he was an oaf. And in that moment of my red-faced-embarrassment I was on the brink of learning why I love him. In no small sense, it's because I always wondered how someone could like me -- me, a cruel person always trying to be kind, a giving person always trying to curb my generous nature. I love the guy because Hans, while I was feeling the blush creep up from my neck to my ears, simply laughed.
And what a laugh. Hans laughed his signature guffaw -- a two part chuckle, a descending couplet, almost like the two tones that the SF MUNI light rail employs to alert passengers of the next stop -- and my shame, if not quite washed away, was forgiven. It wasn't an embarrassed, let's-cover-up-this-episode-with-socially-acceptable-noise kind of laugh. It wasn't a droll, ah-this-fucker-thinks-he's-clever kind of laugh. It was a man-my-friends-can-be-jerks-sometimes-but-I-still-like-them kind of laugh.
It was generous of him. Because in my own mind, now that I'd possibly hurt his feelings once, I would never again even try. And in some way, by simply paying my insult no mind, he let me know it was no big deal and he had no interest in hurting mine.
But I still think he *is* an oaf, in the Old Norse sense of the word -- a silly person. A deeply unserious man in an uncaring universe, always cheerful, always finding the laugh in the gigantic fucking bummer. That's how I'll remember him. Always lightening the mood, always dispelling the heaviness that I seem to tote around. Whenever I saw him, his implicit invitation was always, "Hey man, drop that weight! Have fun for a while!" And I would always accept it.
Implicit invitation? What the hell am I saying? It was explicit. That laugh. That booming chuckle, that huge wide open armed hug, that honest expression of feeling the humor in every situation.
Hans, I miss you, you big lug, and that is the simple, complicated truth of it all.
camp supplies for sale, one day only
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( just add water and food!*Collapse )
*(water and food not included)
sorry for the short notice, but it would really help if I could borrow a digital video camera that does 16x9 for the weekend. I'll be good to it, and promise to replace it if it gets rendered unusable.
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thanks in advance for any help!
Requiesat In Pace, Kurt Vonnegut.
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I have a lead on a site redesign project.
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Currently they're running asp/windows on their server, and their site does signups for the company's service. It is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons, and the client would like the system to be improved/rewritten.
Comment here (they're screened to remain in confidence) if you or someone you know can take on this job. Compensation is a flat fee.
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Friday, May 12
798 Brannan @ 7th