Paul was with us behind the barricades, in front of the phalanx of pigs, those murderers. He was with us when spirits flowed too readily and the house was torn to pieces (literally). He was there in the ring punching his way to victory. He was there to give us a ride from jail. He was everywhere charming, and always delighting in the fires he stoked. His generosity brought us beats to dance to as we desecrated capital and smashed-in the windows of police cars. Paul’s music reflected his intentions, often filled with joy and rage, with no shame, nor any regret. When itinerant, he found a home in most of ours. He worked to create space for us, because he knew our need for shelter—our need to communize. He was, rightfully, completely perplexed by the laws that divided us, the norms that prevented caring, the willful disregard of authority; he was so bewildered that his considerate quality and his exquisite contumaciousness often made him the subject of retaliation, with the teeth of the state slowly grinding away at him. He was unwilling to submit to a life of alienation; unwilling to bide his time until they released him with burdens to hobble him; he leapt out as far as he could and took it from there, even if this resulted in a few broken bones, a few missing teeth, or an uncertain future. Indeed, the only one he seemed to care about was a unbound future for all of us, torn away from the strictures of capitalism. Along with dear memories of laughter and the enduring warmth of solidarity, he has left us with washes and glistening hues of a hopeful image of community and strokes of mutual aid made into practice. His name will be called out along with all our other missing comrades when we sing the dirge for capitalism and its’ ilk. We are heartbroken Paul. We miss you.
To those of you who knew Paul and share our loss, please remember how important self-care is in this moment. <3