Since hearing of Dennis's passing I've been trying to put some thoughts together, and New Year's Day, 2022, seems the right time to do it. Dennis was for me the embodiment of life, liveliness, living. I first met him a few years before I moved to WVU at a conference at Arizona State--one of those gatherings of high-powered theoreticians and their acolytes (neither Dennis nor I being among these). I remember spotting a man with a crinkled, wry look about him sitting alone and immediately thought, "there's a friend in this matrix of abstractions." The wry look turned into the largest smile I had ever seen and heartiest laugh I had ever heard as we discussed the perils of conferencing and the folly of mankind in general. I didn't know then that my newly found conference friend would become a colleague in the English Department at WVU when I moved there in 1989. We renewed our friendship immediately, and dubbed ourselves Spike, Sr. (me) and Spike, Jr. (Dennis)--aka Big Spike and Little Spike, Dennis's inspiration of course--as an affectionate sendup of academic power differentials and honorifics. I shared many good times with Dennis, whose fish-out-of-water outlook served as the perfect guide to the environs and whose laughter unfailingly brought cheer to the darkest winter day. We both had offices on either end of Stansbury Hall, where you could hear the basketballs bouncing against the far wall (the legend was that some dean, disgusted with the English Department, sent it down to the river's edge in the renovated building, half of it still serving as a gymnasium), and I'm sure we exasperated many colleagues attempting to have a quiet moment with our laughter and callouts up and down the corridors of the office wing. I often miss those days, and miss my colleagues at WVU, but above all I miss Dennis who, as was true for everyone who knew him, brought with him empathy, wit, and that slight sardonic edge that in the end makes for wisdom.