For, thought Ahab, while even the highest earthly felicities ever have a certain unsignifying pettiness lurking in them, but, at bottom, all heartwoes, a mystic significance, and, in some men, an archangelic grandeur; so do their diligent tracings-out not belie the obvious deduction. To trail the genealogies of these high mortal miseries, carries us at last among the sourceless primogenitures of the gods; so that, in the face of all the glad, hay-making suns, and soft-cymballing, round harvest-moons, we must needs give in to this: that the gods themselves are not for ever glad. The ineffaceable, sad birthmark in the brow of man, is but the stamp of sorrow in the signers.
He was the most astonishing contradiction of components I'd ever encountered. Shy yet fiercely communicative when putting an idea into your head. Vocally astringent regarding his own abilities but not to the point that he couldn't produce-he was as prolific an artist (yes, an artist, and I never use the term, especially regarding people I like) I've ever seen. But I could feel it. Everything he sketched, penciled, inked, made-was a payment, one he could scarcely afford; as if it physically hurt him to put pencil to paper. Yet that only seemed to spur him on, to live far beyond his means. He was unable not to. For Sketch, to draw was to breath, and so the air became lead-silvery in the right light, dark soot in the wrong; heavy, slick and malleable-into shapes he brought together in glorious orchestration, with a child's eye and a rocket scientist's precision, all fortified by a furious melancholy, a quiet engine of sourceless shame and humility. When it came to another's work, he longed to praise it but then couldn't resist critiquing it all within an inch of its life, analyzing deficiencies with uncontrollable abandon and laser accuracy. He was sharp as his Radio 914 pen nibs, and as pointed. And then he'd apologize. Oh, he would apologize: Oh my GOD, forgive me, please don't hate me, I'm SORRY, don't listen to me, why am I saying things, what do I know, I don't know anything, why do you listen to me you should just tell me to shut UP, I'm awful, forgive me, you hate me, don't you? Tell the truth. Please don't hate me. Please don't. Please.