Tasha D: I met Jos in the makeshift Pomona Christian Fellowship (PCF) lounge on the third floor of Smiley. It was a room left empty through the clever pairing of two PCF members on the floor who made a point of using the same room for their living quarters, just so they could have a lounge in which they could proselytize. Jos was a "prospective" of one of the other students on the floor, and I think he had technically overstayed his prospective period. So he made a home of the lounge, whose door was always open. Of course, he could have used it to proselytize to the Church of Jos and people probably would have come in. I did.
I found this prospective in the lounge and started up a conversation, often revolving around his recent foray into farming in Mexico and my recent semester in Strasbourg. As firmly planted as he seemed to be in the PCF lounge, I managed to talk him into a trip to Raging Waters with me. The park was practically deserted, but the weather was great. When we met after changing in the rooms, I discovered that the bronze coat he had on his arms did NOT extend past that -- he looked like he still had a shirt on. It was such a striking contrast I had a hard time not saying something about it. It definitely lent a new meaning to the phrase "farmer tan."
We shared a class even -- Human Ethology, ultimately one of my favorites -- and we exchanged silly notes in class about how many more weeks we could possibly focus on SIDS. I didn't know at the time that he would take a leave of absence, but judging how he felt about that class, I wasn't surprised when I heard he would. I've known other Pomona students in the past who took leaves of absence, and I expected him not to come back. Nobody else ever seems to. But strangely, he did return. And he had so much to say about his experiences! His fish nightmares, his new aspiration to become licensed as a massage therapist, etc. By this time, I was in the working world, and we had a lot to share about how school can probably be better savored through outside experience, and that these kids have no idea what's coming, and that it's too bad for everyone else. Not that working is necessarily fun, but it gives you a better perspective on school. In Jos's case, it didn't make him grow up in the way that you expect people to, but he came back a wiser and more invigorating child.
Since then, we kept in touch. We watched "Fear of a Black Hat" until each of us finally started getting tired of it. He started calling me T-Bone. He crashed in my living room a couple times when he visited L.A. We discussed the intricacies of toessels and how I may qualify to get one but not really need it. He would try to get the poop on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" from my boyfriend who works on the show. He said he and his mom watched it faithfully every week. He even wrote a couple of scripts and stopped short of a third because he finally accepted that the show wouldn't take submissions. [Here are two Buffy scripts ( 1, 2 ) written by Jos.]
He tried to repay favors and hospitality with massages. Sure! But he didn't need to. He'll always be my friend with or without. I'd go on, but -- as he said, "Overshare!"
Jos's life is an inspiration to Live More. I hope that everyone whose life he has touched will be inspired to live harder. Don't just sit there and appreciate life. Live More. I never could get over how he held down a job and still wrote scripts and made movies and everything else. And it wasn't even to impress anybody.