PREEMPTIVE STRIKE

At long last, and with much sadness, we announce the passing of our dearest friend, brother, father, that great writer, good man, happy clown, and revered seer of all to come, Brian S Hall.

Despite his many accomplishments, and the great wealth he earned, along with the praise for his many works, his greatest joy was reading to his children, driving somewhere with his children, sharing dinner out with his children, getting a call or text from his children. He was less comfortable talking about his children, though abundantly proud of who they were, how they lived, and all they achieved.

He didn’t watch much television, and was happy about this. He didn’t read many books, and this was always a source of disappointment for him.

He wrote, constantly, because late in life he came to accept that no matter how bad or wonderful he was at it, writing was what he was his best at, and could build with words what he could never with his hands.

He never understood people’s fascination with podcasts, certainly when there was so much great music available.

He loved food, particularly potato chips, hated exercise, despite how he felt immediately afterwards, chose his friends wisely, though too infrequently, and was always willing, albeit not necessarily happy to help his parents and siblings. He came to deeply appreciate where and what he came from, why it mattered, its full gloriousness revealing itself to him after decades of cavalier dismissal.

People tolerate reality and circumstance far too much, he thought, though he acknowledged he was blessed with the means to route around these failings, probably disproportionate to most others. When he was younger, he preferred dogs. When older, cats. He chose to not divine any insight from this switch. He believed in God, both at his happiest and when most fearful, and felt sad for those who could not. Learning music was too hard, working for a paycheck too limiting, and traveling deeply renewing. Tea must be plain, coffee must be with cream, only, and he never found himself in a situation where he used too much olive oil. He loved how social media connected everyone, but never could remove the stain on his soul from how everyone, himself included, also used it, even if briefly, even if regretfully, to diminish others. He considered his persistent tinnitus as the physical manifestation of his psychological hesitancy to reach out, embrace, experience the new. He accepted this, but was never happy about it. He was grateful that his thick head of lustrous, dark, Elvis-like hair didn’t fall off until he no longer cared so much about having a thick head of lustrous, dark, Elvis-like hair. He never felt comfortable in his body and was never quite sure who to blame for this, nor its origin. This was blessedly offset by his buoyant sense of humor, willingness to laugh, and joy from making others laugh. If you were not a woman and did not appreciate The Three Stooges or an ill-timed fart, and all farts are ill-timed, then he was suspicious. His parents were good people, and for this he was eternally grateful. Fast cars, soft women, good chocolate, and a big screen were among his most dear non-guilty pleasures. He liked knowing things, even things no one else knew.

He left us with this request:

“I understand the environmental benefits of cremation over burial, and God knows I moved around, probably far too much, but I think it would be nice to be buried in an old cemetery, maybe even near relations I never knew, where despite the best efforts of the diligent old volunteer caretaker, the vines and shrubs are aggressively taking back the space. Talk again, soon!”

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