Indeed, his short life was largely a mixed bag.
On one hand, there were his mother’s outbursts. Her delirium tremens in which she would see monsters on the front lawn. A six-month hospitalization in a psychiatric facility. The ensuing broken promises and shattered dreams.
On the positive side, there were frequent excursions to cultural centers, exposing him to the Arts, in particular the more offbeat movements such as Dadaism, conceptual art and theatre of the absurd. But, his true passion in life was to write and give speeches.
Baxter died of a rare bone disease when he was just sixteen, one month prior to his high school graduation.
During the eulogy, his divorced father sobbed while affectionately chuckling that Baxter was born bizarre. His mother was too choked-up to speak and deferred to Baxter’s sister, who read the speech he was going to give at his high school graduation.
Baxter’s High School Graduation Speech
To my fellow Grandiose and Delusional thinkers, District eggheads, cosmic clowns, Gandy dancers, renegade teachers, and in particular, the students who selected me because they thought I would give a bizarre speech.
And away we go…
I was raised on corn-fed carp, and been stigmatized, hypnotized, had cabbage implants for my teeth, painted the inside of the family outhouse—with what looks like a pathetic replica of Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory,” was coaxed into mud-wrestling one of those three-pound New Zealand snails, tried to send smoke signals during a Level IV hurricane (I forgot to capitalize the proper nouns) and of course, my compulsions, obsessions and dreams for the world.
Aside from wishing that you will all excel in life, I must share that I have the profound compulsion to wallpaper Argentinian ice cream cones and spray Silly String on beef jerky. My obsessions include the number 5,999,999,999,999,765 (and lime green porcelain termites). I love my porcelain termites. And humanity. Although I don’t understand most of it. Or them. Or my fellow students. Or plastic shoes for that matter.
But, all in all I’m delighted to be here today (posthumously) and promised my Mom that I would seek counseling when I get to the “other side.”
What I want for the world is rather complex so I will just give you the Cliff Notes version. I just want a world where every individual who walks this Earth has the finesse of a Wal*Mart greeter and the enthusiasm of a carnival barker. That’s how real change will occur.
So, my fellow latte gulping citizens of the planet Earth, this is “Bizarre Baxter” saying, “Life is like a tube of toothpaste; that is, you never try to squeeze the most out of it till you’re near the end.”
With that said, I’ll see you somewhere out there.