I had to go back to Facebook, because I was eager to learn the fate of the first person I could really call a “friend I never met”. Sadly the news was not good.
RIP Curt Hinkel – A kind and gentle person. A Facebook friend I never met with whom I had in common the love of motorcycling, creatures, Pastafarianism and off-beat humour.
We became Facebook friends after “liking” each other’s comments on the Facebook page of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Curt discovered my photographs and my blog, and we used to comment and chat a little. Reading his lines – and between them – I recognised a kindred spirit who loved nature, children and motorcycles, and who had a similar sense of the absurd. I also noticed he was far more tolerant and patient than I am.
Critically injured in a motorcycle vs car incident before Christmas, Curt was pronounced brain dead and his life support turned off on 7 January.
I wish I had known him better and I am not ashamed to say I have shed a tear for him.
If there really WAS an afterlife I’d like to think of Curt in Pastafarian heaven, supping from the beer volcano and flirting with the strippers….
One last joke for Curt:
Many people have registered as organ donors. Only a few of us have bought a motorcycle to show that we’re really serious about it.
I hope Teresa won’t mind me reposting her valedictory, because it appositely sums up the way I feel:
My last chat with Curt ended December 18 at a few minutes past 1:00 p.m. I signed off, and he said, ‘maybe chat later.’ He was going to a party that evening around 5. He must have been on his way there when he crashed.If I had remembered, I’d have pleaded with him to wear his helmet. For the rest of you guys who feel you need to feel the wind in your ears…think of the people who love you…the people to whom you matter. Yeah, I know…but wouldn’t you rather have a live biker buddy than a dead one?…one to share your road warrior stories with?…one to chill out with on a hot afternoon with a few cold beers?We’d only recently become acquainted about 5 or 6 months ago on the FSM group page. He was funny, and kind and not one to rush to judgement of people.
We had a few private evening chats. His housemate was a cat named Buffy. He sometimes felt lonely and maybe drank a little too much alone…by his standards. Just trying to get by with pain meds in the mornings and scotch in the evenings. He never wanted to feel he was intruding if he wanted to ask a question, or to just say hello.
His best friend was George. He liked to flirt with the girls, but wanted to be sure that if you weren’t okay with it, to say so. He liked the wildlife that visited his back yard. He would have made a good neighbor. He said “good fences make good neighbors.” I thought it was too bad he never had kids. I think he’d have made an awesome dad.
He didn’t like living alone and feeling lonely at night, with only a cat for company. We agreed that cats could be better company than some people, but that living in the company of someone you care for or love and who cares or loves in return makes living so much better.
Caring for his ailing mother the last two years of her life were the most meaningful 2 years for him, as they must have been for her as well.
You just never know how someone may touch your life and change you for the better in the process. I learned a lot from him in the brief time I knew him.
Curt, you left us too soon. We will always miss you. Thank you for honoring me with your friendship.
RIP dear friend.