Remembering Pierce Sunenblick

The Dinosaur

photo/Karl Greenwald

A little over two months ago we lost a truly unique human named Pierce Sunenblick. Blick to some. Haywood for sure.

Pierce spent the bulk of his time, when I knew him, ensconced in his room writing, gambling, fretting and plotting. Scouring the Internet for proof of his conspiracy. The truth of the matter. The computer program of our collective unconsciousness, and the dark reality of our oppression. At other times he would bless us all with his beaming smile and jubilant humor out in the world over wine or whisky or beer. There was never a lack of laughter with Pierce at his shiny best.

There were times of conflict and withdrawal as with any complicated group dynamic. Our hearts, however, were always in tune with the goodness of each other and our relationship. And Pierce, true to his name, could really penetrate a person’s true center. He did this through a well developed desire to really know an individual’s personal beauty. He craved that connection like a root craves the Earth.

Pierce was one of the most honest, authentic people I have ever had the grace to know. His extremely early passing will be a weight in me for the rest of my days, much as his brilliance will be a great source of courage and motivation moving forward into an always unknown future.

When Johnny, Gavin and I were cleaning Pierce’s apartment in anticipation of his parents’ arrival, I came upon an artifact I hadn’t thought of in a long time. A small, sherbet-colored baby dinosaur. Who would think that this great column of a man with his razor wit and darkly twinkled eyes would have such a playful totem in his possession?

I first saw the dinosaur during a marathon online poker session I joined Pierce in. He was worrying it between thumb and forefinger while anxiously reading the other virtual players’ actions and cards. It was his connection to the calm center. A playful reminder to not take seriously the self or the other. I was amazed by his ownership of this plastic trinket. It seemed at first incongruous with the person I knew as Pierce. As our relationship deepened over the years, I came to realize that this tiny creature was a far better representation of this beautiful man than the brooding recluse he could be.

I hope with all of my heart that he has come to know his most beautiful Self in the where-we-go. And hope equally that everyone who knew Pierce holds that beauty close to their own hearts for comfort, for inspiration, and for Pierce. He wants us all smiling. Of that I am sure.