The Eulogy of the Scribe of the Mountain

Dale Triplett took his own life, and it feels like it happened five minutes ago. I have DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) or multiple personalities. And I find myself shifting from one alter to the next, all during the day. Each of them is in a different stage of grief. Each of them has different memories of Dale. Still, today, some of them are hearing for the first time. In a few days, I’ll be going to Dale’s funeral services. And I have been given the plan for how the funeral will be conducted, and it sounds beautiful. From everything that I can see, his family has put together a touching memorial that I think suits Dale very well. But me and Dale were very close. He was my editor and my friend. And I have some things that I want to say, but I don’t think there will be time. So I’m going to say them now. I’m gonna leave it here. This is my eulogy to the Scribe of the Mountain.

Hello, my name is Jesse Teller, and I am the Mountain. I’m a dark fantasy writer. I’ve written a series of books that tell the tale of a barbarian civilization in a place called The Mountain. It’s a story about hate and pride and honor and dignity. It’s a place where family matters. Where there are some things that are set in stone and never change, and sometimes you can’t trust anything. The Mountain is a place of love and despair, pure and pristine good, and hope. And Dale being my editor, he fell in love with The Mountain. He wanted to walk away and just go live on the Mountain. He said it was where he really belonged. He called himself the Scribe of the Mountain. He called himself its defender. He was the protector of the Mountain, and the one he was protecting it from was me. He said, “I’m not gonna let you fuck this up. It’s too important. It’s too beautiful. And I’m gonna call you out. I’m gonna defend the Mountain from you.” And that’s what I needed. That’s what I still need.

Dale was my editor and my friend. It’s weird having a friend who’s your editor. You hand him this beautiful, perfect manuscript. It’s golden and polished, pristine, and it glows and shines. You hand it to him, he cracks it open, looks down at it. And he says, “Wow.”

This is wrong.

And this is wrong.

And this is trash, get rid of this.

This right here is genius. If you touch it, I’ll break your hand.

This is a mess.

How did Bekah even let you write this?

God, man this is gorgeous.

I love this character.

Do we need this character?

Take this out front of your house, set it on fire, and we’ll both pretend you never wrote it.

This is such a mess, I’m gonna fix it for you.

Then he’d send it back to me with all of these comments. And he’d say it was one of the best books he’d ever read. And my work was better. I needed an editor with an attitude, that had a stomp and a growl to him. Someone who was willing to look a friend in the eye and call him an asshole. And Dale was those things for me.

I knew I would be standing here today, looking at all of you, and that I’d have to say something. I didn’t really know what to say about Dale. Then I was watching the movie Miracle. Miracle is about a hockey game that took place during the Cold War, between America and the Soviet Union. The Russian team had shut down every hockey team they had played for decades. Some of those players had been playing together for 15 years. They were big. They were powerful. And they were unbeatable. This took place after Nixon. America had lost faith in the presidency. There was a gas crisis, and gas prices had just gone through the roof. There was racial tension. America was tearing itself apart. We were living in the Cold War, threat of violence was thick and heavy in the air, and it stunk. A poll was taken, and most Americans believed that the next five years would be worse than the five before it. As the Olympics approached, America was ripping itself to pieces. And it needed something to rally behind, something impossible to put everything back in place. It needed a miracle. America was crying out for a miracle.

A group of kids that had been playing together for six months were built by an amazing coach into a hockey team. And um, they were playing the impossible game. Before the game starts, the coach is in the locker room, and he’s giving them their pep talk. And he says, “Tonight, you are the greatest hockey team in the world. You play this team ten times, you’ll probably lose nine. But not tonight. Tonight is your time.” And then the game, and then the impossible miracle that was a hockey team at Lake Placid.

Dale Triplett is gone, and ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we just watched one hell of a game. It was a game of truth and pride and honor. Of love, service, humor, love, love, love. Dale’s game was about honor, dignity, healthy masculinity, curiosity. And it was amazing to watch.

Don’t think about the buzzer. The buzzer doesn’t matter. Every game ends and there’s always a buzzer. My buzzer’s gonna go off. Your buzzer’s gonna go off. My wife, my children, everybody’s buzzer goes off. Dale’s buzzer went off and it ended the game. But Dale’s game was a miracle. When I look around this room, I see all kinds of different beliefs and allegiances, and we all knew Dale. And Dale is the miracle that brought us all together today. Dale’s game, and the way he played it, changed all of us. There’s so much to learn from the way he played Life.

I learned more about being a man. I learned how to laugh a little harder, to love a little different, stare at the sky more often. To always call, even though it’s late, always call. To send the message. Cuss often. Not something I really needed to learn, but still needs to be said. All of these things are going to make me play my game better. They’re gonna turn my game into a miracle. Dale taught me a lot about this game of life, and he did you, too. So when you walk away today, you go off in all your different directions, and you go off in all your different directions and you interact with your people. You drive your car, you drink a beer, you pray, when you laugh, I want you to think about the things that you learned from Dale. Think about the game we all just watched. And use it to make your game better. To make yourself a better player in Life. Because Dale’s game was a miracle. It’s exactly what I needed, what you needed, and what this country needs to see.

I’m sitting in a room I call The Veil. It’s covered in tapestries. It’s made to look like a Romani traveling cart. I’ve got two big dogs sleeping on the couch, and my wife is taking dictation. And I have a whiskey in my hand. I’m gonna raise it now in a toast to Dale.

To the Scribe of the Mountain. To one of the best friends I’ll ever have in my life. To a fantastic player. Dale Triplett.

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