Layne M: The last time I saw Jos was October, 1998, just after Jos and Paul had stormed the Castro as Buffy and Angel. The two of them came up to San Francisco, and I played tour guide as we checked out some of the murals in the Mission District. I was still working at the San Francisco Food Bank at the time. Jos couldn't stop extolling the virtues of WebTV, and he exitedly informed me that I could purchase a WebTV receiver for something like $200. When I explained that my disposable income was next to nothing because of my Food Bank salary, Jos turned to Paul and said,
"You know, if I ever dated Layne I would feel obligated to start doing community service. But we could never date her because she's our sister -- our hot sister, nonetheless."
We headed to Modern Times bookshop on Valencia Street and perused the offerings there. After a few minutes, Jos bought a copy of Voltaire's Candide and handed it to me, "As someone who wants to change the world for the better, I feel it's your duty to read this book." I shyly thanked him and remembered all the times Jos lent me books in college with the same sense of purpose and urgency. The generosity of his spirit was totally humbling.
After we left the bookstore, I dragged the boys to my favorite Thai restaurant. By the time we arrived, Jos had convinced me to form a partnership with him around inventing a water purifying machine for low-income people in "Third World" countries.
As we savored pumpkin curry and spring rolls and vegetables in Thai basil, Jos explained to Paul and I that he loved his job, he loved his home, and he had no intention of doing any serious wandering in the near future. I was flabbergasted. Jos was content? Was this the same Jos that left Pomona College for Ecuador and Alaska? The Jos I had always equated with wanderlust and restlessness? I was filled with wonder and a bit of envy as I marveled at the full, rich life Jos had created for himself. He had arrived in every sense.
As I think back on this last time I saw Jos, I am awestruck. In just a few hours, he had taught me so much -- purely through his example -- and forced me to reflect on my life and choices. I will always treasure the times I spent with him. I will never forget the amazing combination of boldness and compassion for which Jos was famous. As I move through the world with his example in my heart, I will remember his kindness and his propensity for fabulousness...And I will do my best to honor him and make him proud.
|Here they are again. The pictures were taken at my home in Washington, DC during a housewarming party. Jos and Jano came for a short time and Jos entertained us with tales of working with the religious right. [Click on photo to enlarge.]|