TRIBUTE: He was a unique, beautiful creature, with fatal flaws and riotous inner demons juxtaposed against compassion, caring and love not seen often enough in this world.
Hunter Thompson would have lumped Michael in with “God’s own prototypes” — a “high-powered mutant, never even considered for mass-production.”
He rarely half-assed anything. If worth doing at all, it was done full-tilt with consequences always an after-thought. I admired his ample testicular fortitude and stood often in awe of it.
His amateur stand-up performances on holidays and random backyard barbeques weres legendary. No tale too racy or raunchy, no punchlines pulled — because the giggles and groans were worth the risk.
He loved making people laugh, and toed the line of ‘good-taste’ with the hopes someone would wet themselves in the process. It was brilliant to watch, and a blessing to be part of.
His crowning comedic achievement, in my opinion, was the t/roast he gave at my wedding that held nothing back and nearly made me soil my white linen suit. Regrettably, no recording exists, but witness accounts reported it as a mass slaying, no humorous left unscathed.
He often spoke of burning out young, not fading away, and so he lived his life in the murky quagmire between sanity and civility. His zeal for the finer things led him towards his latest endeavor of Kairos Time Pieces, and a career catering to a clientele engulfed in swaggy apparel and timepiece porn.
As a salesman Michael was surgical while slinging mid-range ski equipment for Princeton Ski Shops. I witnessed the birth of true genius as he massaged his customer from a simple small purchase to a thousand-dollar complete re-fit — and was thanked heartily for it. He loved the game and played it with the grace and ease of a mid-20s Jeter.
Although I lost many years with Michael to his demons, I always hoped we’d find the time to explore and adventure in our later years.
This was not meant to be.
Sadly it was neither demon nor self-infliction that took Michael from us, but the selfish carelessness of a complete stranger. His life cut far too short, he’s left behind the grieving masses to question, mourn, celebrate, and cherish the Michael whom we each knew and loved.
As another glaring example of how unfair life is, Michael had found peace and happiness in recent times, with goals and aspirations for success he previously never thought possible. I would have loved to see where he took it.
Wherever you are, may there be great music, ample air-conditioning, access to chest deep powder, and above all else the love and happiness you most certainly deserve.
I miss my brother, will do so from now to the end of my days, and will never truly be whole again without him.
By MATTHEW MIKTUS
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Visiting hours: 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Allwood Funeral Home , 660 Allwood Road, Clifton
Funeral: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Graveside service, Holy Cross Cemetery, Ridge Road, North Arlington
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