An honor song for adrian

Adrian C. Louis, Paiute writer, has died. He was a profane, angry, combative, depressed, grief-stricken, bitter, kind, hilarious, and generous person. He was one of the greatest grumpy Indians in history. Almost three decades ago, when I was broke, despondent, and falling apart, unsure if I even wanted to be a writer, he sent me an encourging note with a fifty dollar bill taped to it, and told me to buy some typewriter ribbons and to keep writing my stuff. With those typewriter ribbons, I wrote half of The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and half of Reservation Blues. I created Thomas Builds-the-Fire and Victor Joseph with those ribbons. I am a writer due in large part to Adrian, the writer, and Adrian, the person. Over the last three decades, his letters, postcards, and emails would randomly arrive in my various in-boxes, and were filled with rantings, ravings, dirty jokes, beautiful lyrics, odes to his favorite musicians and writers, odes to his beloved and lost wife, gossip, ramblings, insults directed at himself, at me, at other writers, at other Indians. Hundreds of pages of Adrian and his brilliant, brilliant and scorching mind and soul. I send my agnostic prayers into air for Adrian, his family, his friends, and his fans. Let us all sing him into the next life. Oh, man, I love Adrian. And I will miss him. Goodbye, my rowdy cousin, goodbye.