last e-mail he sent
me is still sitting in my mailbox, waiting for a reply.
dropped us a line
when David and I finally finished the 2,002 in 2002 last month. "Only
have a second," he wrote, "but
CONGRATULATIONS!" I remember how
pleased we were to hear from him: we'd been out of touch for a while,
and then I'd managed to lose all of our archived correspondence in The
Great Computer Crash of '02. So it was nice to reconnect with him
again. I immediately moved his message into my "TBA" folder ... to be
answered when I had more time, and could inquire at length about his
job, his holidays, his lady love, his oft-postponed plans to visit the
I never got around
to answering him.
is still subscribed
to the *FootNotes* Notify List: I checked today. I don't have the heart
to remove him from the list altogether, so I've simply changed his
subscription option to "No E-Mail."
tell you the truth, I
don't remember exactly how or when the two of us began corresponding.
Unlike most of the other people in my core group of cyber friends --
including The Bobos and The Grillaz and my darling husband and that fat
grumpy old Australian bastard
who never writes to me anymore -- I
didn't meet THIS guy in the Baby Boomer Chat Room during the summer of
'95. Yet we hung out online with a lot of the same people: our cyber
social circles intersected in interesting places. I have a dim
recollection of seeing his screen name pop up, from time to time, on
the old Boomer message boards ... What Do Women Want, B3 Buddies,
Brushes With Morons, UFO. I was more of a message board lurker than
active participant in those days -- that's still the case, actually:
message boards are more David's thing -- but *FootNotes* got mentioned
on those early boards, every once in a while. At some point he must
have written to me ... perhaps in response to something he read on my
website. (I'm thinking it may have been The
Great Plagiarism Scandal
of May 2000.) There was never any flirty stuff
between us. We weren't best friends or anything. We didn't even write
to each other all that often: maybe one e-mail every other month, plus
the occasional snail mail exchange, during the entire two or three
years we were friends. But he was smart and funny and unfailingly kind,
even towards the unapologetically stoopid, and he wrote well, and
whenever I opened my mailbox and found one of his e-mails waiting for
me, I usually read it before I read anything else. Plus he gossiped
better than a lot of my cyber girlfriends.
going to miss that.
was a good friend of
*FootNotes.* He was especially interested in anything I wrote about my
relationship with David: about meeting my soulmate online, about the
pain and peril of long-distance romance, about the exquisite joy of
sharing our lives together at last.
It was a subject near
and dear to his heart.
found his obituary on the Internet. I've been checking his hometown
newspaper online, the past few days, looking for more information ...
perhaps an address where David and I could send flowers. I think I was
to find a death notice, actually. That would mean that maybe he wasn't
really dead, after all: that the rumors were unfounded, that it was all
just some sort of twisted Kaufmanesque hoax, that he was going to pop
up on Super Fun Time any moment and say "Hahaha!
Gotcha!" But then I
name into the search window again, yesterday morning, and up popped a
beautiful, detailed, thoughtfully-written public tribute to our
It was all there. 44 years old. Untimely passing. No immediate family.
Fondly remembered by many close friends and loved ones. Dedicated to
his profession. "Among his
many interests," it says in
part, "[he] was an avid 'Big
Car' Indy Racing fan and historian, a veteran pyrotechnician, and wild
about old Warner Bros. cartoons."
This makes reading his obituary a tiny bit easier: knowing that it was
written by someone who obviously knew him and loved him well.
easier, mind you. But a tiny bit.
one of his
last posts on David's Super Fun Time forum was in response to the
untimely death of another SFT poster, just last month. "I'm
reminded once again how many times we leave things unsaid, unfinished,"
he wrote on the forum on December 2nd, just after OldeRocker suddenly
passed away. "And then someone
dies, and we lose the chance forever."
At the time, I remember admiring the succinct and eloquent way he'd
expressed what we were all thinking. But now his words seem eerily
prescient. Did he know? Did he sense it coming? Did he know in advance
that he would go to sleep one night, slightly more than a month after
he posted that message ... and never wake up?
not. But it's
hard to read his words now without wondering.
really isn't much
else to tell you. In lieu of flowers, David and I will make a donation
to The American Heart Association, as his obituary requests. The link
is provided below, in case you'd like to do the same. On Saturday
morning -- at the same time that his Remembrance Gathering is taking
place, two time zones away -- we'll stop on the bike trail and observe
a moment of silence for our friend. In his honor, we'll try to remember
to pay more attention to the things and to the people that matter. At
the same time, we'll work a little harder at not leaving the important
things unsaid. I don't imagine he would have required much more of us,
under the circumstances.
goddammit ... I wish
I had answered that last e-mail.