According to my homenode I joined E2 on Sunday December 9, 2001 at 06:03:58 server time. I had lurked and read for several months, initially finding the site after a link to it had been posted in a story on Slashdot. I never really stuck around until the node Less Than Jake: A Play was the top hit on a Google search that I did and I realized that this place was more than just a site for dry definitions about technology. So I probed and I surfed and eventually came across references to someone called Hermetic. When I went back a few months and read the daylogs following his death and the events of September 11, it finally hit me over the head that behind each author was a person that people around here cared about and that E2 was a mass of interesting human beings all working and having fun together.
It was at this moment that I realized I had to join. I guess this was in no small part due to the fact that I had attempted to kill myself almost exactly one year before Hermetic (having never met the man, it seems a bit presumptuous for me to refer to him as Adam) did. This place that seemed to care so much about its members felt like something I needed to belong to.
I drove to Ohio this weekend and had a ball hanging with the cool Columbus people and helping Chad and Jen move. As the emptying of the garage and packing of the truck was occurring, I plopped down a box a little too hard and heard the sound that every mover dreads: the crunch of an item being broken.
Jen reached in and pulled out the broken corner of a checkered piece of wood.
“Oh, this was Adam’s chess set.”
Copious apologies followed and they were met with understanding and requests not to worry about it. There was only one break, it could be glued back together. Things need to be gotten rid of sometime. It’s OK.
But it wasn’t.
When I got home today I felt the compelling urge to sit down and read through many of Hermetic’s nodes. I sat and read about falling in love, about a marriage and a family and looking for a second chance, about break-ups and a downward spiral, all with the sickening sense of knowing how it ends.
I sat and thought about life and how things turn out sometimes. My life didn’t slide down to a painful conclusion, it was a bumpy road that suddenly ended at a massive cliff that I barely managed not to fall off of. How many therapists and psychologists had tried to fix me? How many times did I feel like it all wasn’t worth it? How many times did I lay in bed at night, my mind wracked with thoughts of just ending it all quickly? Adam and I weren’t all that different in some respects.
I thought about a life that now exists only in the memories of loved ones. A life that exists in a bunch of brown boxes sitting in a garage somewhere in Ohio. I thought about how close that had been to becoming my life.
And I fucking wept.