Monday, September 21, 2009
I knew a man, once, who walked almost joyously along the line that separates a blissful, grateful, childlike goof from an unqualified asshole.
He often wore jeans and a pressed white shirt with broad blue pinstripes. He smiled -- a lot. Typically to himself and for no good reason. A sort of sly, satisfied grin. Casey was plainly happy to be alive. Everyday.
Not terribly sentimental, he usually found a way to lighten the bleakest mood -- cracking jokes at his own expense, or at someone else's, in his crisp, gruff voice. When I met Casey nearly two years ago, I was struck by his cheerful-kinetic attitude and his ability to seamlessly weave expletives into ANY sentence.
His self-deprecating, often biting humor led him to posit that as a sober Mexican in Boulder, he must have been a tiny-tiny minority: practically one-of-a-kind. Thirty-three years of sobriety, and survival of a vicious pancreatic cancer, actually did put him in rare company.
Casey was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in Boulder this Sunday; he died shortly after. I imagine that he was grinning his sly grin as he rode, grateful in that moment to be alive and doing something he enjoyed.
I woke early today, to spend an hour with my friends and Casey's friends at an early morning meeting. It's clearly fall in Colorado now, the steel-grey clouds and icy drizzle echoing my mood. I'll go for a ride later, and Casey, whether you FUCKING like it or not, I'll be thinking about you.