I have this picture in my head of Tristan when he was about nine years old. He had just gotten a haircut. He had wanted something edgy, long on top and super-short underneath. Somehow the hairdresser lost her place and cut a bit too much in the back, making the long hair just stick up in a silly, goofy way.

But the picture in my head is not just the hair. It’s the sparkly eyes, the open mouth smile, the waggle of his eyebrows, the clever, clever jokes. Too clever. A little boy wearing a big brain and a devastating sense of humor. A little boy who wanted to become a chef. A fearless boy who literally walked on top of the jungle jim.

Not too, too many years later, Tristan became both a professional comedian and a chef, of sorts.  I am embarrassed and ashamed to say that I know very little more than that.  I know there is a comedy troupe.  I know there is (was?) a coffee shop.  I know there was a comedy blog, and I was subscribed to it (was I?), but I don’t remember seeing anything for a long time.  I could dwell more on my own inadequacies and how I shortchange those I love, but this post isn’t about me.

I think of the people closest to Tristan, the ones I love and the ones I’ve never met, and I imagine them donning boots and parkas, still just contemplating the forced climb ahead of them, no choice but to put one foot in front of the other.  I can only bear it if I also imagine that goofy imp climbing up ahead, fearless and tossing out jokes the whole time.

Oh, Tristan, you will be so, so missed!