Sunday, August 02, 2015

In the Garden with Jim Pauley

He had this irresistible wit that would have you laughing in the aisles while also waking you up to some painful truth.
I rarely look for another person’s acceptance and yet when it came to Jim I never wanted to disappoint him or feel like I had in some way let him down.
I’ve never been interested in sports, but for him I would do my very best to try and understand what was going on because it was something he was passionate about, and I wanted to share some of that passion with him.

Music was the bond we really had in common, and of course Bob Dylan was where he and I could meet and lose ourselves in hours of listening, savoring and getting it.
The first time I heard "Love And Theft" was with him and Jessica. I had been fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy, and there was no one I wanted to experience it with more.
I’ll never forget going into his bathroom and seeing the image of James Dean in jeans turned with his back to the camera and wondering what that was all about, but because it was in Jim’s bathroom, I went away thinking how cool that is.

I cannot believe that he is gone and that I am writing this poem.
It’s like a bad dream that I’ll never wake up from because who else would have listened to Tom Waits’ Mule Variations, commenting on how it’s an American classic and meaning it with such reverence and an understated regal charm.
I would say I’m at a loss for words, but I’ve said that before and no one would believe me anyhow, especially Jim. He always knew when I was bending the truth to cover the spread or when I had finally run out of gas and pulled over to the side of the road in order to catch my breath and find out what the score was.

You never judged me, and I am not going to sit in judgment of you now. First because it’s not my place and second because I had no clue about the hellhounds that were hot on your trail as the blues fell down like rain.
I just thank God we had those many nights at JR Miggs when nothing mattered other than Jeopardy and the next CD we listened to.
I will never forget hanging out with you and Rob afterhours and how for the first time in my life feeling like one of the guys as we sat around just shooting the breeze and not worrying about what tomorrow may bring.

I love you my friend and pray you’ve found some well-earned and well-deserved peace.

Charles Cicirella

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