Not long after I started working at my University, I made a phone call to our central finance department to try and fix some problem (the details of which are last in the annals of time…it has been over twelve years after all). And that’s when I ‘met’ C.
C was wonderfully capable – he could fix or find someone to fix any problem that related at all to his world. But that wasn’t the important part.
We didn’t meet in person for maybe a year. Over the last twelve years we’ve probably met as many times in person though talked on the phone a bit more than that. But that didn’t matter.
When we talked, we talked. He had the most ridiculous stories. I’m 93% sure they were all real (or is that I’m sure at least 93% of them were real?). He was outrageous, funny, bright, and we would share work stories and home stories and opposite sex stories. He threatened to do nasty things to my new car. He was the ring-leader of his morning commute (he would do things like convince the newbie ((the same people rode the bus day in and day out)) that the goodies that someone had brought that day was a regular occurrence and convinced the newb to bring goodies their next time on that bus).
I’m shocked he was never brought up on sexual harassment charges.
But I guess that was ultimately due to his caring nature (though some of the things he said! lol).
About two months ago I heard that he was in the hospital with cancer. He was in his early 50s, quite possibly going to take early retirement. He’d had various physical difficulties over the years but he’d never let that stop him from living life.
I was going to visit him that weekend but my back acted up and I didn’t make it. My own life took over and time passed. And then I wasn’t sure he was still in the hospital, so I would have to call and check he was there before dropping in on him.
Today I learned that he died on Saturday.
I am so sad. We weren’t close friends, but he was a kindred spirit and he is gone. I regret that I never said a final ‘you nutcase!’ to him. I could wallow in self-blame, ‘should’ on myself for not getting to the hospital as I intended. But that is foolish. I made the choices I made and he certainly would not blame me for it.
There are so many things I could focus on but there’s just one I want to say:
To all of my kindred spirits out there, whether I’ve met you in person or only online, whether we’re close friends or random acquaintances, whether we ever get the chance to spend much time together or not, I honour our kindred nature.