(Photo by Matt Hoffman)
I could write a book about Matt. Okay, I believe that I will write a book about Matt. Wait a minute, I already am writing a book about Matt. That's what this shit is, people.
First of all, to his parents, whom I hope are reading this: thank you so much for bringing him into this world. Though our friendship became strained over the past five years over petty nonsense (we lived around the corner from each other and contributed to the same magazine, making it all too easy for two egos to become rubbed the wrong way), he had an enormous, positive impact on my life that has hit me with one epiphany after another over the past week.
In memory of Matt, I'm allowing myself the right to be even more of a loose cannon: I will laugh when everyone is being too goddamned serious; I will laugh at those who attempt to make me the butt of their jokes; I will laugh whenever, because he had the best laugh, and mine ain't too shabby, either, and laughing at the preconceived notions of others who think they have the world figured out ought to be an Olympic sport. Matt was a Gold Medalist. My aim is to swap my Bronze Medal for Gold sometime in 2020.
We're all too serious. We've all forgotten how to allow ourselves to laugh for all the reasons and no reason at all.
In memory of Matt, I will laugh loudest over anyone who reeks of money and/or privilege.
In memory of Matt, I will laugh at anyone who blames their shitty day, year, or life on minimum wage employees who are trying their damnedest to fucking survive.
In memory of Matt, I will laugh... I will laugh in the hopes that it will cause an avalanche of laughter all around me... I will laugh because when I needed to laugh to lighten my load and reinforce my armor against the haters, I dropped the damned ball.
In memory of Matt, I will laugh at anyone making an attempt at picking apart my end of the conversation and trying too desperately to armchair analyze me while I'm talking. Especially if they cut me off to speed things along to a "punchline." Especially still if they're drunk.
In memory of Matt, please allow me to share the photo below, taken in the spring of 2013, methinks. On the right is Matt Shaw, co-publisher and editor of Speak Up Magazine, in the middle is my cartoon, "What Does a Homeless Person Look Like?", and on the left is our man, Matt Hoffman, in his full biking kit.
In memory of Matt, my laughter is going to be a cluster bomb of love.
(Photo by David Alan Goldberg)