Posts tagged ‘Alex’

The Celestial Trampoline


from an email by Peter Nagy

A time like this makes the most atheist of us wish for an afterlife in which the contaminants that fowled life one are banished. Who knows, the Christian version of it may just be the correct one, although it should contain something more inspirational than the prospects of floating around on a cloud all day and telling God how great and wonderful He is. The recent introduction of string theory makes it possible for small waves of energy to form around a person and to form a replica of his memories and personality. These would remain bonded together indefinitely unless some unexpected force dismantled them. Thus, The Brother may be up there now, leaping off a galaxy-sized trampoline.

Having known The Brother I felt devastated by his untimely passing. I cried on the way to the service, and barely got myself under control as I parked the car. Perhaps we may yet see him again in accordance with the observations above. Alex was too adventuresome to be limited by physical realities. He needed the protective mantle of immortality to pursue his curiosity without harsh consequences. Rest in peace, The Brother. We miss you sorely.

December 18, 2008 at 5:29 am Leave a comment

In Memory of Alex Davis: May 11, 1986 – December 9, 2008

My mother’s friend recently described Alex as a troubled genius. The tragedy behind his sincere compassion and overwhelming intellect was that it existed in direct proportion to a thorough comprehension of all the sadness in the world well beyond his years. Along with his depth and an incredible capacity for kindness and empathy, Alex carried with him a heavy heart. The one relief death brought was the unloading of this incredible burden from his mind and soul.

Carson McCullers, another brilliant yet disturbed soul, wrote The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter in her early twenties. In one of the novel’s pivotal passages, Reverend Blount reflects:

There are those who know and those who don’t know. And for every ten thousand who don’t know there’s only one who knows. That’s the miracle of all time – the fact that these millions know so much but don’t know this. It’s like in the fifteenth century when everybody believed the world was flat and only Columbus and a few other fellows knew the truth. But it’s different in that it took talent to figure that the earth is round. While this truth is so obvious it’s a miracle of all history that people don’t know.”

“Know what?” We might ask. Alex “knew,” and the burden of truth exists in the answer therein.

Alex always wanted to start a family of his own. In fact, my parents thought he would give them grandkids before I ever did. For two summers, Alex worked as an aide for Humble ISD’s Extended Year Special Education Program. After spending a delightful Fourth of July with the students, Alex recounted the experience to his grandmother, Tita: “We had a blast as we celebrated the holiday with a parade!” “A parade?” Tita asked, “How did you have a parade on a school day?” “Well, we marched through the hallways of the school, banging on classroom objects as if they were musical instruments. The pure and simple joy these kids showed on their faces, Tita, it was incredible.” From that point forward, Alex considered a career in special education.

Alex sometimes displayed intellectual and emotional depth in mysterious ways. In high school, Alex had to research the artwork of a famous person who wasn’t known for being an artist. He came home that day and showed me various online images of Hitler’s paintings. “Did you have any idea that Hitler could paint?” he asked me. “No,” I replied, “but that doesn’t change the fact that he was responsible for the Holocaust.” “I know that,” he retorted, “but just imagine what might have been if he had applied his creative energy toward art instead of hatred.” Alex then threw himself completely into the project and produced a brilliant paper on Hitler’s hidden talent. He always reflected upon alternative possibilities instead of tragic realities.

We are on the brink of a revolution, and, at first, I felt immensely regretful that Alex would not get to experience the events in their entirety. But now I think about the huge role he has already played: by voting this November, by graduating at the top of his class from the University of North Texas with a sociology degree, by adamantly expressing his desire for world peace and a more equitable distribution of wealth, by touching so many people with such a limited time frame. Alex loudly and unequivocally demanded so much from those he loved. And it puts me at peace to say that somehow, someway, we gave it to him.


Alex’s online memorial

December 16, 2008 at 5:22 am 6 comments

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