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David Hines [userpic]

Thomas M. Disch is gone

July 7th, 2008 (09:04 am)

via catrambo, I saw that SF writer Thomas M. Disch has died -- a suicide, alas, apparently on July 4.

In reponse to the notice posted on ellen_datlow's LJ, madrobins posted a wonderful memory:

My memory of Tom will always be colored by an afternoon that he and Stan Shaffer--a fellow Clarionite--spent at a junior college in New Jersey at a symposium on speculative literature. Stan had introduced me to to Tom, and he had a slight "don't embarrass me in front of my friend" air about him. So when the symposium was over and we were walking over the lawn--a series of immaculately groomed hills--and I put down my bag and books and lay down and rolled down the green, Stan was appalled. And then Tom, bless him forever, said "Oh, yes," handed his stuff to Stan, and rolled down the hill too. I think we went up and down that hill a few times, and Stan finally joined in.

I know Tom was depressed these last few years; I'm so happy to have this joyful recollection to pair with his extraordinary writing.

I have a very strong memory of rolling down a hill at Carnegie-Mellon University with cyano and several of her friends one night, ages ago, back when I was still in high school. My high school sweetheart had just dumped me (for the first time), and getting the hell out of town for the weekend seemed like a remarkably good idea. We tore around campus goofing off the way geeks do, and at some point decided that rolling down the hill was a logical thing to do. It was; if you haven't done it lately, give it a shot.

Nuggets of joy where you can, folks. I'm sorry Disch found his too brief and too few.

ETA: Some of Disch's poetry.


Posted by: cyano (cyano)
Posted at: July 7th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)

I remember that night fondly, too.

Last year, I told the nephew he could roll down the park hill (which is long and just begs to be rolled down, as there is no road on the low side)

He did, and was boggled by how dizzy he was afterwards. I am not sure he had ever rolled down a hill before.

speaking of that time in our lives, when I saw previews of Kung Fu Panda, and I saw the Mantis, I thought of you.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 8th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
spidey and mj

The Mantis! A different visit, that, but I remember it well!

I honestly cannot remember the name of the dude on your couch to whom I was trying to explain the basic concepts of that school of Southern Praying Mantis kung fu, but to be fair he was drunk enough that I don't think *he* could remember his own name.

...and later I had to tell him that if he was going to pass out on the floor of the bathroom, he should at least have the courtesy to pull up his pants and clothe his naked villainy. Ah, youth.

Posted by: cyano (cyano)
Posted at: July 8th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)

ah, yes. that was Chris...
We did eventually leave him out on the porch in nothing but his underwear and a t-shirt.

I saw him recently at Spring Carnival on campus, he came back into town to visit. When I saw him, I proclaimed "OMGITSANASSHOLE!!!" with no shame of volume.

To which he laughed and gave a proper hug.

To his credit, he has matured into a fine adult. :)
The beatings must have worked.

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