Growing up, Michael was a mysterious and intimidating man. He was the father of my best friend, Will, and a man of little to no words. When I would visit Will’s house in high school, I rarely saw Michael as he was always hiding in his room.
When I did catch a glimpse of him, he was polite but aloof. Whenever he found anything amusing, he would make a throaty, choking sound that was loud and punctuated with shoulder twitches. It was kind of like the sound that the raptors made in Jurassic Park when they were trying to tell each other where the remaining white people were hiding because — including Samuel L. Jackson — all the other dark meat minorities had been eaten.
As Will and I got older and I moved across the country, my visits to the Kim household became less frequent. However, there were occasions when I managed to meet my blowjob quota and scrape enough coin together for a cross-country plane ticket.
On those occasions, I would swing by and was warmly welcomed by Michael’s throaty chortles and my choice of dental floss samples that he had collected from the dentist’s office. He would show me his latest technological gadget, quote random technical babble from the specs pages, and then wander back to the PlayStation to yell at kids on the other side of the world for not being able to hit the triangle button at the correct moment.
Michael was a fan of movies. He had a taste for anything that held his interest for more than 15 minutes, particularly when it involved wiggly Asian girls fighting rubbery tentacle-monsters. His Netflix queue was choc-a-block with the kind of stuff that made his wife roll over, narrow her eyes, and question how many threads of sanity he still had left.
One year later, Will ended up at my house and we wound up logging into his dad’s Netflix queue. It was there, that we were introduced to Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead and the shockingly delicious world of Japanese tentacle porn-turned-slapstick-comedy.
Michael died in May of 2014.
It was from him that I learned to embrace the zany and disgusting; the childish and grotesque; the comical and nauseating.
It is in this vein that I dedicate this first blog post to the memory of Michael Kim.