This one's for Crispy, Arkenstone, Kahlerisms, . . . I met this kid through a helpdesk. He supported the industry software that we once used for our financial planning, VisiPlan. He was serious, helpful, followed-through . . .the sort of person you could rely on to resolve your problems which in my case were often banal . . three times and you're out with passwords or just not reading the latest release notes.
We started chatting along with problem solving. Then sending funny emails. Then every Friday I had to do a backup which rendered all software on my PC useless other than MSN. He was on the Helldesk and we began chatting. We share a love of Star Wars, Blues Brothers, Clerks and I had to set him straight on a couple of occasions on Metallica. We have a lot of differences. He's a geek. Totally. Has his own web server, chats with fellow ancient Mercedes owners, is or was a World of Warcraft gamer . . makes multi-layered jelly with pineapple chunks. But for some obscure reasons we became the first . . yes the very first . . online friends - from my side anyway! Long before blogging or Skype or Facebook.
Last year, he was working in Sydney training other geeks and made the brave move of coming over for dinner to meet. He's lovely. After the first uncomfortable hug and 'would you like a beer' we sat for hours, drinking, talking, eating prawns. He showed off his camera and expounded his love of KISS and Sci-Fi. He asked the hard emotional questions and by the time his taxi came, the night had seemed all too short.
He's going through some tough times with family illness but tonight, the night of a spectacular lunar eclipse, I spoke to him, and the girl that loves him and we had a really nice time negotiating through MSN, Skype and finally a call between quick sojourns outside to look at the tangerine coloured moon.
Yep it was ecliptical in more ways than one. I really, really like this kid. We've kept in touch over 3 years now that's longeivity for a 25 year old. He's somber, unemotional, technical, brave, sometimes dark, often jovial in a geeky kind of way but when there's a crisis of family, love, work, he talks to me. He's a good boy. Good morals, well educated, sweet and he has a lovely girlfriend who I also 'met' via licensing of industry software but spoke to for the first time tonight. Chris, you are special and I'm very lucky to have met you. I wish you well and you're in for some rough times ahead. I hope I can be the friend you have when you're not having a friend and that we can meet up again occasionally because you have something endearing about you and we share an affection for Star Wars, even in Lego form (although I can't claim to being the constructor of Darth Vader, that honour goes to Drummer Boy), Mac computers, cats and getting pissed! He's a talented photographer, she's a fabulous portraitist (althoug I suspect she doesn't really know how good she is) and thankfully, they live in Melbourne so occasional meetings are not off the cards. Good luck to you kiddos and keep in touch. It has been my pleasure to have 'met' you both. And you know, for a moment, it was really nice to know that you were looking at the same orange eclipse as me! Far away as we are, this weird event connected us. (Ok I'm going to collapse in a romantic pool of green cheese right now)