Wallace Byron Curtis, R.I.P. (a cartoon goodbye)

Cartoon portrait of what I imagined from Wallace’s last message to me.    “Sorry for the poor correspondence. I have found myself in a managerial sous chef position that eats all my time away and I’m still chasing those monkeys off my back while dancing with them and showing them cute little toys I’ve made….”
– Wallace Byron Curtis. …this was the last I ever heard from him. Part of a message he sent me back in January of this year.
(“Yep. Me too, tho mine play together a lot nicer than they did back then. I appreciate their artistic talent….” Part of my reply.)



By Cat Jones

Last Friday night seemed like such a celebratory moment from here. It was raining in New York, but I had a show that night, and made the rent, and was so relieved to have that settled. Wallace, on the other hand, turns out to have had a much different kind of night. He was on the other side of the country, dying of an overdose. He was 27 years old.

Very briefly a lover, always a friend,  Wallace was a boy I curled up with for a little while in the Year of the End of the World; a fellow traveler and refugee out on the edge.

I guess it was a lethal combination of things that took him out. Nobody knows for sure, but it looks like it was an accident from what I understand. Some people won’t be surprised by this, given how he lived. But I was. I still can’t really believe it, and I want this to be one of those bizarre performance art pieces he was always in the middle of pulling off.

Wallace had a really shitty life early on, and I think he deserved better than he got. Like a lot of his friends, I found out on Monday morning. I had not seen him since I left Cascadia, and had not talked to him since January. But I feel a hole where he was anyway, and I will not forget him. Here is a cartoon tribute to him, of a few of the moments I remember sharing with him back in 2012. This is more for the people who knew him back then than for people who did not. It might seem irreverent to do this by scribbly cartoon, but …I feel like he’d appreciate this. Sometimes, there just aren’t any words.

Click on images for a slide show….)




3 thoughts on “Wallace Byron Curtis, R.I.P. (a cartoon goodbye)

  1. Wallace was an incredible person, as someone who pushed through quite a few formative years with him. He made me campus in high school by lighting my hair on fire — it became a bit of a legend for a while. Ha. We hadnt spoken in a while, and when id left him last, he was not doing well. But his ability to constantly express what felt like pure, genuine, creativity and insight, even in middle school is something that has a very deep and long lasting impact on how I develop as a person.

    I leave all this here because a friend just found me this link, and this is a wonderful tribute to a beautiful soul. Thank you.

    • oh my god… so YOU are the person whose hair he lit on fire. Ah, that was one of the first deep conversations we had… it started off as kind of a funny story, but then veered off into a sad lane as he described the ways in which his life was impacted after that by stupid, awful, authoritarian people who put him through a lot at a time when there were no adults to speak of in his corner. He still remembered you fondly when I knew him. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Pingback: Ode to that Gypsy Boy | Beyond the Barbed Wire

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