I cannot say that Jim was my best friend.

I cannot even say that Jim was my close friend. Jim was my roommate, and my roommate only, and it’s true what they say: you don’t really miss something until it’s gone. I regret that Jim and I weren’t closer. More than regret, I am ashamed. I am ashamed that what could have been a powerful friendship between us was stymied by my own bigoted intolerance of sharing a room with a nine-foot-tall fire ant.

Bob. Queen Abigail. I can only imagine what you must be going through; how hard it must be to lose one of your thousands of children. I remember meeting you and Jim on move-in day. Remember? Remember how I screamed and screamed and tried to smash your heads in with the fire extinguisher? It almost makes me laugh now. You may not know this, but that’s the day Jim got his nickname around the dorm: The Unkillable Hell Beast. I guess that seems pretty ironic now, huh.

In this, the most difficult of times, know that you will be in the hearts and in the prayers of all of us, but the management has asked me to inform you that you are being charged for each of those mutilated pews and ushers, and I am to respectfully request that you transfer any consumed humans from your holding stomachs to your digestive stomachs as the muffled screams are distracting the other mourners. I’ve been told to wait.

Thank you.

I don’t know what kind of horrible insect-God would allow Jim to be snatched so young, but it’s true that the candle that burns brightest, burns briefest. Despite his short time on this earth, Jim touched so very many of our lives, as is evidenced by the number of prosthetic limbs peppered throughout the chapel this morning.

In the end it took 50 state troopers and a federalized National Guard to bring Jim down, and if the amount of time he spent playing Grand Theft Auto on my Playstation while I huddled in the corner is any indicator, I’m sure that’s exactly the way he would have wanted it.

Sometimes, in the dark, when he was just falling asleep, Jim would make a hideous clack-clack-snapping sound with his razor sharp mandibles. Although I could never be sure just what he was saying or eating, I always imagined it was something like “Goodnight, fleshbag. Celebrate this day, for this day I have not devoured you.” Well, right back at you, brother. sniff Right back at you. I love you Jim.