I met Kenny when I was eighteen-nearly-nineteen. At the time, I was this pious doormat from northern New England, too timid to even ask people to call me something other than Michael, let alone utter something that might offend.
Kenny was my foil. Kenny was a narcissistic, bloody-minded bastard who would throw a fit if he was addressed by his Christian name. He never knew Jesus and wasn't afraid to alienate anyone, even the meanest professor. He wasn't clean-cut by any means and dressed like the rock star he felt he was. He defied the normal ideals of sexuality and gender roles. He could speak roughly or with the grace of a nobleman.
Kenny is the reason I exist in my state today. Without Kenny, I would have been Michael Schoen, partner in a law firm in Hartford, with a four-bedroom Tudor, a wife and two kids who go to church every Sunday and an addiction to Xanax. With Kenny, I am Mikey Stone, painter and street artist in Montreal, with a run-down loft and an ultra-feminist girlfriend who will never marry me. With Kenny, I am living the way I damn well please and saying a firm fuck off to the naysayers.
In a way, Kenny was more my Savior than Jesus ever was.