Things are far too serious now. People take themselves too seriously. Events feel too serious. Even time...serious.
Where is the levity? The irony? The farce?
It is a shame that only now, eight months after his death, I realize just how great of a writer Dennis was. We enjoyed his day-to-day posts, but missed out on the themes and his consistent tone. If the Tales of Two Cities blog was a book, I could see the blurb starting: "When you live in the wealthiest suburb in America, land use tends to fill up a lot of conversation."
Dennis was writing Confederacy of Dunces meets Our Town.
And if you knew him, you knew that. If you talked to Dennis about one of his posts, particularly if it upset you, you could expect to hear him laugh. He would look at you, barely holding it all in, with his head tilted and smiling behind a close-lipped grin. When you were finished, he would look down at his drink (that's where these conversations occurred) and say "I'm sorry it upset you, but it really is funny if you think about it."
Through humor, Dennis accentuated what was endearing about this place. It's all just a little silly, but cute, precious, and unique. Do you ever have days, working in and around Howard County, where you think "If this wasn't real life, I wouldn't believe it?" I mean, isn't the deification of Jim Rouse just...odd? Has anyone ever asked you to explain the Columbia Association? Does anyone else you know, outside of Howard County, talk about land use?
Can you look at the last three pictures of this post without smiling?
I miss Dennis's advice. He would only give it if asked (exceedingly rare), but it was always genuine and in the best interest of the person he was talking to. I would be lying if I didn't admit to continuing to ask for it almost daily and sometimes telling myself that I heard an answer.
Today is Dennis's 59th Birthday. We are all encouraged to wear red. I must acknowledge that I am having a hard time celebrating. I can't put my finger on why, but my general feeling is that I need a break. Losing Dennis wears heavy on me.
But today I knew I was going to write about him and I wasn't going to let it be a dreary post. He still makes me laugh.
Have a great Wednesday doing what you love! Wear red! Eat Twinkies!