Saturday, October 10, 2009

R.I.P. Danny Taylor 1987-2009


It isn't important how I met him and that's no one else's business. What is important is that I was privileged to "meet" and know him as much as time and his failing health would allow.

Taking a break from compiling literary agent listings, I checked my email and discovered through a mutual friend that my new friend Danny Taylor passed away in the wee hours of this morning of a malignant, inoperable brain tumor. In the last few weeks alone, his father had lost an aunt, his wife and, this morning, his 22 year-old son. I cannot even imagine what that poor man is going through but most men I know would fall face-first on the grass and surrender to the ants.

People like Danny and I, for several reasons, don't exist in real life because we're not supposed to. I've long held that the world can no more tolerate the purely good any more than it can a vacuum. Not that I'm purely good. Through my actions both in the Navy and in the civilian world, I've destroyed and distressed families on my own improbable and pot-holed journey to the Pearly Gates. Yet I'm also as capable of acts of extraordinary kindness as I am those of inexplicable stupidity. As with Danny, you'll never know who or what will get my liveliest attention and compassion.

I caught Danny in the weeds of cyberspace at a time when he was about to make the same colossal blunder that I just had the previous month. Only three of my readers know what that colossal blunder is but what's gratifying for me to know is that I kept Danny from making it. I wanted to cultivate a friendship with him that was cultural and cerebral with a generous occasional dose of friendship and humanity thrown in.

He was a sweet, openly gay kid who faced his impending doom with a typically British stiff upper lip, justifying the horrid chemotherapy he was undergoing until the end, regardless of how it knocked him out, because it gave him more time on earth. We spoke about philosophy (he was a published Ruskin scholar at Oxford), my novel American Zen (which he never got the chance to finish) and life and death in both the abstract and in the particular. The letter to which I'd responded and posted here at Pottersville was the penultimate one he'd ever written me, the last being his permission for me to post it.

He was one of the sweetest, most inoffensive creatures on this planet, far more understanding and forgiving of the vagaries and vicissitudes of life than this part time hellion and ogre that vents anger and hatred on this blog. Yet throughout it all, he kept reassuring me that he would finish my novel (he printed it up for ease of perusal) and he was already much more at peace with his imminent death than most of us (myself included) are with life. He treated death not as an enemy but as an unwelcome yet inevitable guest at his table. Even throughout the howling maelstrom that claimed one relative after another, Danny simultaneously fought death yet accepted it and died in his sleep early this morning.

He was the ultimate anachronism. People like Danny Taylor aren't supposed to live in real life nor are they supposed to die like this.

6 Comments:

At October 10, 2009 at 2:05 PM, Blogger No Blood for Hubris said...

Thanks for writing this, jp.

 
At October 10, 2009 at 6:47 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

"People like Danny and I, for several reasons, don't exist in real life because we're not supposed to"

Why do you think you're not supposed to exists?

 
At October 11, 2009 at 1:44 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Because some people just weren't meant for this world, that's why.

 
At October 11, 2009 at 1:46 AM, Blogger Stan B. said...

It's so very, VERY easy to forget, that there are, in fact, some very good people on this earth...

 
At October 11, 2009 at 2:38 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

JP,

What you have offered is a tautology.

 
At October 12, 2009 at 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the lost but I have to agree with Lisa. We can't understand each others lost or lifes and there is no reason we should. It just takes a little understanding were we all come from (belief wise) so we can hold a conversation about how we would like the future to be.
jo6pac

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Salon.com.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger