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Everybody had so many stories about Dirk, but I didn’t know him as well as most of his friends. I went to a few of his parties in the early 2000s, and then didn’t really see him again until 2009.

But then Carolyn & I saw him every few weeks, for quite awhile. Especially during the 2009-2010 snows.

We did manage to get one good Dirk story, during the 2009 Snowpocalypse

It was just last December, 2009, one party past the party where I totaled my car coming back from Dirk‘s.

[[[[[ As an aside, my insurance company paid me $3000 for a totaled car that I fixed for $200 (and $700 more a few weeks later). Basically, I got paid $2000 to party with Dirk. He not only enriched our lives, but our bank account as well. That extra money will equal more partying. Somehow, I like to think of that as his spirit living on in our bank account. ]]]]]

Anyway, that night, we sat in the very room Dirk was later shot in, smoking with him, and hearing him give the best recitation of “The Raven” that we’d ever heard.

Honestly, I wanted to escape. I’m not into poetry. I only really know and enjoy 3 poems: The Raven, The Road Less Traveled, and The Highwayman. Which coincidentally was something someone managed to record before Dirk was killed:

“The Highwayman”, read by Dirk Smiler.

I’d been warned by others that he could hold you hostage with a poem — a friend of mine was stuck outside a club for 20 minutes once, and I didn’t want to be similarly stuck in one place. I’m kind of ADD when I’m in party-mode. Hard to listen and not talk. I like to keep moving, like a shark — Or I’ll end up melting into a couch. It’s happened way too many times.

And yet, despite my nature working against to me, I was transfixed. By the end of the reading, I had realized it was a good thing that I was being “subjected” to this: It was by far the best reading of The Raven that I’ve ever heard. James Earl Jones can go fuck himself. I also appreciated for the first time that The Raven takes place in December, as it was December when this happened.

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Now this is where it gets funny — Everyone is constantly saying they’ve never seen Dirk mad, never seen him negative, or never seen him utter a bad thing to anyone. I understand that when we lose someone to a horrible violent tragedy (fuck you Cara), that there is an onus to try to idealize the person we lost, and view them through rose-tinted glasses. To say they were 100% positive, and 0% negative. To say that they never raised their voice of ever got mad. To say that nobody ever saw Dirk angry in their life. BUT WE DID!!! IT HAPPENED!! And it was quite funny.

Basically, many people were sledding in the snow. In fact, they convinced me to sled for the first time since college in the 1990s; I even managed to dent Scott Smith’s circular metal sled. That was a good thing — I would have most definitely lost my balls otherwise. That hidden sewer pipe at the bottom of the hill was not something to be trifled with.

ANYWAY — as Dirk was reading The Raven, someone came in and asked for their gloves, which had been misplaced. But Dirk basically waved them off, and refused to listen. But that person was like, “Wait. Wait. Stop. Dirk, stop. Pause. Pause, Dirk. Pause.” Yes! — They tried operating him like a verbal remote control, which seemed to imply that they’d had bad luck interrupting him during past poetry readings. This must be why Dirk was so legendary for poetry recitations. To us, it was very funny! It was hard to contain my laughter, but the awe I felt in listening to his recitation helped. Eventually Dirk had to accede — a word I learned at his funeral — to the “pause request”, and listen to the guy’s question. He had misplaced his gloves.

Dirk definitely got mad. “Why are you interrupting me for such TRIVIAL SHIT? Why?! Over TRIVIAL SHIT!!!!! WHY?!?!” I can’t remember the full rant, but Dirk made it known in the tone of his voice that he was the man of the house, and he was not happy.

At the same time, you could tell that he was only mad on an immediate and superficial level; this was not true anger of the soul, but EXTREME annoyance. Extreme annoyance, the likes of which I have not seen a host have since seeing myself get mad at my own party guests in the past. I definitely understood: A recitation is a performance, and anyone would be angry to be interrupted. Especially right as The Raven is climaxing.

We quaked in our seats and didn’t say a word or make eye contact with either Dirk or the interrupter. It was both maddening, terrifying, hilarious, and about as “goth pretentious” as you could get, all combined into one single moment of anecodotal hilarity.

Despite the fact that my first instinct was to run away from the poem as fast as my legs could carry me, I’m extremely glad Dirk had the commanding presence of personality to keep both of us sitting at that table, despite my flight instincts and general disdain for poetry… For this has now become my favorite personal anecdote about Dirk. “The time he got mad in a hilarious way.”

Then we went out sledding, had a great time, crashed, woke up, drove out of the snowed in church, drove over the concrete median which we couldn’t see in the snow, and were thankful we didn’t end up totaling Carolyn’s car as well as mine.

But it would have been worth it if we had.

R.I.P., Dirk. You have been–and will be–missed forever.

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Mood: meh
Music: Treblinka – Crawling In Vomits