Tonight I think I stumbled upon the writings of someone I used to know way back in elementary school here on E2. I am not sure if it is him, but coming from a small village in the distant parts of a small country, the options are very limited when it comes to people who knew about and participated in things like E2 back in the beginning of the millennium.
He was one of the most openly and sincerely geeky people I have ever know. He lived off coke and stale pizza, knew everything there was to know about computing and even tinkered with our graphic calculators to make them work faster. As I remember him, he was frighteningly intelligent and observant, but never detached from or cold to other people. During the years I knew him, from when he was 8 to when he was about 17 or 18, he always wore the same haircut and the same kind of geeky glasses. I suppose he got his share of schoolyard bullying for being so different, but he went on about being himself and doing his stuff nevertheless.
We were never close. Once, though, when we were both little kids, he came up to me in an elementary school disco and asked me to dance with him for a moment, and later on he was the person to talk to about fantasy literature and geeky stuff when all the emotional baggage of a dysfunctional family was beginning to weigh me down and I retreated to the safety of fiction and the internets.
He died in a horrible traffic accident some time after I had moved out to go to high school several hundred kilometres from our home village, and I only found out about it some months later. I heard that he was run over by a car when crossing the road on a bicycle in the dark very close to his home. His own mother couldn't recognise what was left of him as her son at first. I got to know his mother years later, and as far as I know, she still hasn't gotten over her loss.
The only good thing that came out of his death was that streetlights were installed further around the outskirts of the village, and pedestrian/bicycle lanes were built beside the actual road. Before that there had only been narrow strips on the side of the road for pedestrians and cyclers, even in areas where people regularly drive 80 kmph. It was a high price for the community to pay for things that should have been there in the first place.
Whether or not the person I found through E2 is/was him, I shall drink to him and my memories of him tonight.