Skip to main content

The Goodbyes You Don't Get To Say

My friend Brian died today.

He'd been sick for a little while. It'd been tough to see him struggling. Brian was kind, and generous, and fiercely self-reliant (to his detriment, it turns out). He was sharp and wise and while he didn't talk very often, frequently his contributions were the spot-on perfect note for humour or insightful commentary. He was a good host and a good gamemaster, and he convinced me to try more than one thing I never would have tried before, from specific boardgames to specific game engines to specific foods, even to specific music. He was one of the people that convinced me to move to Portland, and who welcomed me when I arrived, and who opened his home and his social circles to me when I was settling in, and who consistently made sure I had a place at his table and his games. He sold me his house, my first house, when I decided I was ready to put down roots here.

We were going to pick back up on our tabletop game next week; we tried to work out something for Saturday but it wasn't coming together, so we decided to push it back a week.

The last time I saw him he was tired and in pain, but he seemed determined to take care of himself. I don't know for sure, but I'd guess it wasn't so much a fear of being weak as a nearly-pathological commitment to not imposing on others.

I worry about my friends who knew him and loved him, including his ex-husband, with whom he was still close. I hope he didn't suffer more than he had to.

I will miss his presence in my life fiercely.

I don't believe in the afterlife, or in souls, or anything like that. I only know that there is now a Brian-shaped hole in my life, and I am hugely angry at the universe for that.

There's a lot of "I" in this, probably because I'm a selfish jerk, but Brian was important to me in all these little ways that I didn't realize. He hosted our game nights. He led our Rock Band bands. He always had a new boardgame to play. He was a part of so many sections of my life.

Goodbye Brain. I am sorry I didn't get to say that to you. And I am sad I had to say that now.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Organizing And You: Lessons from Labor History

    I made a joke on Twitter a while ago: Do I need to post the Thomas M Comeau Organizing Principles again? https://t.co/QQIrJ9Sd3i — Jerome Comeau says Defund The Police (@Heronymus) July 15, 2021 and it recently came back up because a member of my family got their first union job and was like "every job should be offering these sorts of benefits" and so I went ahead and wrote down what I remember of what my dad told me. My father had many jobs, but his profession was basically a labor union organizer, and he talked a lot about the bedrock foundation items needed to be serious about organizing collective action. Here's what I remember.    The Thomas M. Comeau Principles of Organizing -- a fundamental list for finding and building worker solidarity from 50 years of Union Involvement. This list is not ranked; all of the principles stated herein are coequal in their importance. Numbering is a rhetorical choice, not a valuation. 1) Be good at your job. Even in an at-will

Activision, Blizzard, Game development, IT, and my personal role in all of that.

 I'm pretty sure if you spend any sort of time at all on Twitter and/or spend any sort of time playing videogames, you are by now at least aware of the lawsuit brought forth by the State of California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing versus Activision Blizzard, Inc., et al. From this point on, I'll add a Content Warning for folks who are sensitive about sexual assault, suicide, and discrimination based on sex, gender, and skin color, as well as crude humor around and about sexual assault , and what the State of California refers to as "a pervasive 'frat boy' culture" around Act/Bliz, especially in the World of Warcraft-associated departments.   Just reading the complaint is hard rowing, even with the clinical legalese in place. The complaint itself is relatively short; 29 pages laying out ten Causes of Action (basically, "these are the legs on which our lawsuit stands"). I'm not sure I have the vocabulary to properly express how a

Money and Happiness as a fungible resource

Money really does buy happiness. Anyone who tells you differently has a vested interest in keeping you poor, unhappy, or both. I know this because I grew up on the ragged edge of poor, and then backed my way into a career in IT, which is where the modern world keeps all the money that isn't in Finance. So I am one of the extreme minority of Generation X that actually had an adulthood that was markedly more financially stable than my parents. And let me tell you: money really does buy happiness. To be clear: at 45 years old, I'm now in a relationship and a period of my life where our household is effectively double-income, no kids. I live in the city, but I own a house, and can only afford to do that because of our combined income. We also have two cars -- one new, one used (though neither of them is getting driven very much these days) -- and we have a small discretionary budget every month for things like videogames, books, and the like. What my brother used to call DAM -- Dic