[photo] T. Cook

Timothy Robert Cook is a reclusive individual whose interests cover a wide range of fields, though significant depth of knowledge in any given subject is limited due to a combination of poor memory and lack of motivation. He presently lives in the United States in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.

Born at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois on 23 July 1979 at 19:48 UTC, the third child and only son in a family of five, he was about ten weeks premature and weighed two pounds, two ounces (960 g). Almost ten and a half weeks were spent after birth in intensive care. Between being fitted with glasses at one and a half years old, having an adenoidectomy and tubes inserted in both ears almost one and a half years later, glasses prescription changed to bifocals at age three and a half, and violent fever in reaction to DTP innoculation at five among various other incidents, early childhood was not easy. To correct for developmental lag, he was enrolled in physical therapy at the Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center in Aurora, Illinois; the activities were successfully completed before enrolling in elementary school. In fifth grade he contracted mononucleosis and was homebound for several weeks; after he recovered, overall physical ability and motivation to engage in activity was significantly reduced and never fully recovered to earlier levels. On 25 December 1998, while travelling with his mother and one of his sisters to visit relatives in Iowa, the car in which they were driving was involved in a head-on collision with another; only Tim and a passenger in the other vehicle survived. Tim was treated at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics until 8 January 1999.

Tim was raised in Batavia, Illinois, attending Louise White Grade School starting in 1986, then proceeding to McWayne Sixth Grade Center, Batavia Middle School, and Batavia High School. After graduating in 1998, he enrolled as an Illustration major at Northern Illinois University. Overall, throughout his education, his scores tended towards mediocre, being notably higher on tests than everyday assignments which required a higher level of dedication and perserverance. A break was taken after the car accident, during which Tim was employed shelving books on a part-time basis at the Batavia Public Library. In autumn of 1999, Tim returned to NIU for three semesters, completing two full years of earned credit, but failing to adapt to the needs of a social lifestyle and passing among several dorm rooms, in each instance ending in a single-occupant setting.

At the end of the year in 2000, an offer was presented by some aquaintences, one known since elementary school, to move to Merritt Island, Florida and share a house. Less than six months later, they abruptly left without warning. Tim then rented out a small apartment in Rockledge, another property owned by the landlady of the house in Merritt Island, where he remained for two years. At the suggestion of a new acquaintence, in mid-2003 Tim moved to Orlando, in an effort to experience more of life instead of being a de facto hikikomori.

However, due to continued lack of motivation and social skills, no real progress was made in this direction, a state exacerbated by being bilked of a sizable fraction of his finances by individuals claiming good intentions. Frustrated at his situation, at the end of 2006 he moved to another residence in Orlando, followed merely half a year later by a move to Oviedo as a reaction to overly-aggressive behaviour exhibited by his new housemate. Once more, at the end of 2007, prompted by general financial difficulties and decision of the owner of the house's son to finish his education, Tim moved to a trailer park in Gainesville, Florida, where his unsociable lifestyle reasserted itself with force. In May 2008, the roommate with whom he had moved from Oviedo decided to move to Washington state, and on 17 June, the person from whom he was renting a room was arrested and all computers at the residence were seized, including those belonging to Tim.

Subsequent negligible human interaction amplified various traits of schizoid personality disorder that had previously been present (as noted by a physician when Tim was hospitalized at UIHC). In June 2009, he was invited back to Oviedo to resume renting the room he'd previously occupied for substantially less money than he was paying in Gainesville, an offer he accepted, and after inquiring about his as-yet-unreturned computer and being informed that the Sheriff's Office does not ordinarily return any seized hardware, moved at the end of the month. During a visit to relatives in April 2010, he was invited to Wayland, Iowa to live with his sister's family, which he accepted and moved in mid-August. Two contributing factors to this decision were the hope that the move would provide a much-needed jolt to and venue for social interaction, and the proximity of Brighton, Iowa, the location of the cemetery where many of his relatives are buried; worries over his own inevitable fate were never wholly out-of-mind when he lived in Florida.

Wayland's small size and distance from other communities combined with significant interpersonal dissonance at his new residence led Tim to be even more socially distant than he was in Florida, with 2012 and 2013 marking a new low point in his life. Idealogical differences between Tim and his sister's family came to a head in May of 2015, resulting in his expulsion from their residence and a frantic search for a new place to live, viable source of income, and basic skills needed to cope with the fears that act as primary motivation for him. Speedy assistance in these tasks was provided by a number of individuals and institutions, including Hope Haven in Burlington, Iowa, though the process of social rehabilitation is always a much longer, arduous journey for anyone, and one some never fully complete.

Enneagram type is 5, self-preservation variant, and Myers Briggs Jung type is INTJ. His blood type is B positive, clearly at odds with the supposed traits associated with that blood type in the popular culture of Japan—being wild, active, and strong, while unforgiving and selfish—while the Sheep of the Chinese zodiac suggests creativity, and ability in the arts, and in the Western Zodiac he is a Cancer-Leo cusp, suggesting a loyal, self-aborbed, generous, and pretentious individual. Politically, around 2012, his views were left-leaning libertarian (-5.75, -2.36) on the Political Compass chart, and had shifted slightly to (-4.88, -2.26) by 2014. Religiously, he was raised Christian. Augmented by a sense of curiosity, desire for hope, and slightly cynical pragmatism, his current beliefs are most aligned with the Liberal Quakers, and the sentiment that one's religious views are a wholly personal matter, not the concern of others. Personal and awareness of global events have shaped his mindset that an interventive deity that would favour only a miniscule number of souls at the expense of untold suffering of the vast majority cannot be reasonably described as anything but malevolent, relegating a well-intentioned God to being something of an amoral designer-of-the-universe who does not micromanage individual details.

Science-fiction and fantasy are his favourite genres of literature and film, and the ready availability of Japanese animation on the internet has brought a wide variety of entertainment to his attention that he might otherwise not bother to invest time to pursue. The poignant story, music, and layers of symbolism (not to mention personal identification with the character Reki's motivations) that define the series 灰羽連盟 (Haibane Renmei) make it his favourite, though equally well-crafted works such as 秒速5センチメートル (5 cm per Second), 蟲師 (Mushishi), and 電脳コイル (Dennou Coil), with their depictions of the powerful, yet often painful beauty of the world and youthful emotions, are held in as much esteem. Similarly, the manga ヨコハマ買い出し紀行 (Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou) conveys a wistful, nostalgic atmosphere, and the music of enya accompanies and enhances this sensation with a calming subtlety.

Distaste of the coarseness and negative aspects of physical and power-driven interaction between humans have led him to prefer the aesthetics of subtlety and gracefulness on a conceptual level, his interest in beauty being one of admiration from afar of an ideal that is ephemeral and untouchable (a large influence on his interest in mermaids as subjects for drawing). The combined aversion to social interaction and the mechanics of physical intimacy have resulted in a celibate lifestyle, perhaps more by circumstance than by choice, with a gender identity aligning more with grey asexuality than any other, and a marked disinterest in engaging with and participating in communities even when aligned with his own interests.