Saturday, May 11, 2013

My Man Dennis

"My man!"

Who still says that?

"My man!  TC!"

Anytime we would run into each other at one of the dozen "must attend" events of the Howard County non-profit circuit, he would give the same greeting with a huge smile and an outstretched hand.  Dennis never made you wait for his conversation with whomever he was speaking with to end.  He would interrupt.  If the other person was talking, he wouldn't even say excuse me.  Just "My man!"
Dennis just bought an iPhone.  He was at my house two weekends ago and I joked with him that he could finally stop carrying a Smart Phone and a camera.  Dennis responded that he was still going to carry the camera around for a bit, reminding me that he had started a Tumblr page for all of his photographs.  I spent a lot of yesterday looking for pictures of him and I together.  I gave up.  All I have are pictures he took of me, with him on the other side of the lens.  That's just how he rolled.

The quick darts of progress in the tech world excited him.  These things were “neat”.  He looked forward to buying groceries by scanning items with his phone and ringing the total up at the front register.  Even the smallest bit of anticipation was a steady source of joy.  He took little for granted.  I hope he had the chance to test his iPhone-scanner...and learn that things are not quite there yet.

Dennis recognized anticipation as the source of happiness.  I think that’s why he enjoyed real estate so much.  It is a forward-looking profession of inspiration and aspiration.  Although I never talked to him too much about his work, I have to wonder if his missteps and mistakes, to which there were a few, were brought on by optimism.  Dennis expected the best without being spoiled with naivety.  He knew the leaps he was taking.  When he took a hit, no one was the wiser.

Not Dennis Lane
One of the best descriptors I’ve heard of Dennis over the last dozen hours or so has been “storyteller”.  He wasn’t a reporter.  He wasn’t a blogger.  He was a storyteller.  If there wasn’t a story, a context, or a take-away, he wasn’t interested.

I don’t think Dennis would have written anything about the reports surrounding his own death.  He would note the passing of a great man that everyone loved.  He would joke about how The Sun posted the wrong picture of the victim, most likely scaring the family of a very alive Dennis who probably has a busy day on the phone to look forward to.  He definitely would have linked to this clip.  But he wouldn’t have talked too much about the crime.  It’s not the story he would want to tell.

As his friends, we should take solace in the idea that Dennis left this world with very few regrets.  He had the rare opportunity to confront his mortality and live on past it.  You did not share a room with Dennis J. Lane without knowing he was in it.

My man.  My man.  You certainly made it hard for the rest of us to let you go.