To go along with the theme of past work experiences, here is a presentation I had to make. Our goal in the business office was to create a quick, two to three minute presentation about how we were a crucial part of Loretto and it’s finance team. The presentations were supposed to go over a few weeks, and not everyone participated.
I took a different approach, writing the following speech, ripping off Jeremy Piven’s fake eulogy from Serendipity, and I brought my guitar in the office, playing along with my oration.
Of course, I went over the time limit. Ha!
On March 12, 1983, Christopher Sean Malone, Ph.D., SyracuseUniversity’s professor of English, Pulitzer Prize winner, and international peace speaker, was born to Judy and John Malone, both current residents of Syracuse, New York. To her surprise, Judy, born and raised in Solvay, New York, was pleased to have her first child born on the same day as her father, Lewis Scaia, who unfortunately passed away a month before his first grandson was born. Christopher was an agreed name chosen by both Judy and John. Judy chose the name after the late actor, Christopher Reeve, who stars in one of her favorite movies, Somewhere In Time. John, the New York City born father, had two childhood friends, Christopher and Michael; three years later, the couple would have a second son, Michael Patrick, born March 17, 1986; irony to celebrate his being born on an Irish holiday, but also sharing the same birthday as John’s father, John Malone, a.k.a. Jack to his friends.
Christopher grew up in suburban Syracuse, New York, upon the Onondaga Hill area. The house he grew up in is still occupied by his parents and sometimes his wayfaring brother, who is constantly on the road with his girlfriend. “That kid,” Chris was often quoted, shaking his head in the “tsk, tsk” manner. Nothing would follow, but just the shaking of his head was effectual enough.
Christopher often recalled upon his jobs at Loretto Health & Rehabilitation Center, the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (The M.O.S.T.*), and mowing lawns in his spare time. He also worked a second part-time job at Teall Avenue Bottle and Can Return after college. The lawn mowing was just filler. For almost two years, he worked every day and pulled in a little less than 70 hours a week. Aside his abrasive work habits, I stress his working seven days a week for over two years, Christopher thrived to travel; he visited England in 2007, China in November 2008, Ireland and England in 2009, Italy in 2010, and celebrated his 30th birthday by backpacking around Europe in 2013; he kicked off those travels in Bruges, Belgium.
Christopher also had an avid love for literature, reading and writing. He was an English professor, for cryin’ out loud. He was obsessed with pop culture, movies, music and poetry; he had been playing the guitar for several years.
He attended the West Genesee school district from kindergarten to twelfth grade, graduating with a Regents diploma. At the eighth grade science fair, he received first place prize at the science fair for radon testing. In that next spring, during the Camillus Middle School eighth grade graduation ceremony, he was granted an award in mathematics; he and others were taken with shock.
Although, he was noticed as reserved, he always had a personality, convincing those who did not know him that the quiet kid was nowhere near quiet. At sixteen, June 1999, he began volunteering at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology. He was hired the following December and continued to work and volunteer there up until present day. Christopher always acknowledged the growing potential of the museum; his comfort in working there ironically burdened his leaving. A highlight of his high school career was attending Boys State, a week long political program at State University College of New York at Morrisville. His ties were with the “Baker Boys,” as he referred to his group as, because of their love of shenanigans, and was led under the supervision of United States Marine, Sergeant Rios.
After graduation, after deciding among four colleges, he attended the State University of New York at Oneonta for four and a half years, graduating with a B.A. in English, his fourth chosen major. His collegiate societal niche grossly increased as did the number of roommates. His roommate from beginning to end, William Dergosits, now a fourth grade elementary school teacher and coach of track, swimming, and any other sport you can think of, stayed by his side each year, even after Christopher vomited on his person due to consuming a liter of Bacardi Limon by himself. William, although present, has not yet made a comment.
One of Malone’s old roommates, Michael Moran, commented, “Chris always had a tough attitude, it was never pleasant at first; we got at it a few times, our relationship rough around the edges, including throwing bottled water at each other. At the end of my sophomore year, his senior year, everything was cool. He was the ultimate nice guy.”
Christopher Rooney and Clifford Eck also contributed. Cliff said, “Malone was an incredible guy.” He paused to laugh and continued, “Malone Calzone. That pretty much says it.” Rooney had no comment at the time, but plans contribute one of the scheduled eulogies in Shakespearean dialect.
Ryan Conaughty and Brian “Scuddz” Jackson will be providing music for the following reception. “Blues music,” Ryan commented, “It is how he would have wanted it, that f***in’ guy.”
Two roommates, Ryan Harrington and Ross McCredy, were missing. Little is known of Ross, who when last spoken to, had a falling out over a girl with roommate Ryan Conaughty. Christopher’s last two roommates will not be attending. Scott had been contacted and quoted, “Chris? He was a prick. I won’t be attending his funeral and I’m sure Bill will not be either. He thought he was more intelligent than the rest of us, belittling us with big words and telling us to shove off. Yeah, he was a cold, hard-headed bastard.”
Among those who eulogized: Rebecca Rent, best friend; Charles Krause, best friend, who quoted his workaholic attribute drove him mad; and Zachary Parrish, best friend and literary genius. Zach, the last in the group, culminated the ceremony with a whimsical sonnet regarding his friend and literary comrade. “It was dark and sullen,” he quoted, “but the words are benevolent and lighthearted.” He paused and looked away, biting his lip for effect. “It’s difficult to acknowledge this whole thing. It was a freak accident. Multitasking was never his forte. He took on too much and it killed him.” Kaityn Long, Albany resident and close friend of Chris, created the artwork and collages commemorating his life.
Chris believed in working hard and compensating by playing hard. As a keynote member of the proletariat, Christopher enjoyed going out for a few in hopes for shenanigans. He was quoted numerous times when going into work at the museum in mornings, his hangover caused him to contemplate his “getting to be too old for this.” His dark side began to show through.
Those who knew him, they knew of his love for Ernest Hemingway’s sitting with your friends over beers and talking, debating, or criticizing whatever topic was thrown forth. It was something a real man had to do. Malone’s ideas grew skeptical and doubtful. He ranted that there was much more than this, the life he currently led. He spent more time by himself, reading and writing while enjoying a nice warm cup of hazelnut coffee poured by any local barista. Sitting quietly, analyzing his life and the environment around him. Who were these people around him? What significance did they have? That building—that architecture—that was not his beautiful house. That girl, she was not his beautiful wife. He didn’t even have a girlfriend; “I didn’t get him,” a nameless ex-girlfriend, stated. “We dated at a bad time in his life. Life was confusing for the both of us, but we’re really great friends. Well, we were. He just seemed to be too picky. He let them slip away. I hate to say it, but he was a coward. We remained friends, which definitely showed he really cared. He was full of it—love, that is. He never liked to show it.”
Christopher’s being a coward, his lack of confidence, and his tendencies to over analyze life—it all contributed to his downfall. He valued work and never called in sick; he would come into work, sick, and they had to force him to go home. His tendencies heeded, he showed his fallacies—to complain at the drop of a hat.
Although he did not thoroughly enjoy his jobs head over feet, for they were not his idealistic occupation, he made the best of it. He helped out whenever he could, he enjoyed running errands, and although it was hard to admit, he cared about his coworkers. Because of his stubbornness, he had his drawbacks. At Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center, they would throw him into the time-out chair, located behind the desk of the resident bank on the main floor. After putting up a front of disgust, he actually enjoyed his talking to the residents and other staff members that walked by essentially stopping for a quick chat. It was his philanthropy and social intellect that gave him the fuel to his fire. Several workers had considered him friendly and that he contradicted the finance worker stereotype.
Christopher kept the finance department in as best spirits as he could. The elders of the office could say they lived vicariously through him, even with the stingy attitude, because no one is perfect and sometimes others have a harder time keeping their mouths shut. This was Christopher Sean Malone, Ph.D. Although he complained about inconsistency and redundancy in the work place, he realized his own faults of impulsiveness and more than often felt remorse when jumping down the throats of others. He was caught numerous times banging his forehead repeatedly upon his desk and calling himself “Stupid.”
He strove for a revolution—a passive coup d’état. Not only was he an advocate of saving the planet, he wanted to incorporate spontaneity and lighthearted fun into the workplace. That goal still has yet to be reached. He had to compensate for trying to learn the ins and outs of business atmosphere, no matter which business, especially when it came to taking on things he didn’t understand, then doubting his wanting to understand; however, when those things were said and done he was found kicking himself for acting ridiculous.
Christopher Sean Patrick Malone, Ph.D., died suddenly Saturday night. His body was found upon a bench next to Skaneateles Lake. A coffee cup of Guinness was in his left hand, a pen and paper in his right hand, his iPod shouted Led Zeppelin. His heart exploded and there was blood everywhere.
Please pray for his soul.
– John Cusack, actor and friend