April 19, 2000
Discreetly Fluffy Hugs


David was sitting at the computer at 4 a.m. this morning. I woke in darkness to the sound of his clackety-clackety-clack-clack keyboard noises, coming from the next room.

This happens once or twice a week, usually. He'll wake up -- "Bang!" as he describes it, "wide awake!" -- and wander out to the computer, where he sits and composes posts for the Baby Boomer Message Boards, and looks for Dylan bootlegs, and researches the evolution of cellulose digestion in termites, until it's time to get ready for work.

Unlike my little brush with insomnia the other night, David's pre-dawn meanderings are a semi-regular thing, occurring most commonly when he is preoccupied with work-related stuff.

Some mornings I wander out to the computer and stand behind him for a minute or two and watch him type ... offering the occasional spelling correction ("p-o-m-e-g-r-a-n-a-t-e") or editorial comment ("You sure you want to call them all a bunch of 'geriatric headcases'?"). And some mornings I simply roll over in bed and go back to sleep, leaving him to his creative putterings.

Today was one of those roll-over-and-go-back-to-sleep mornings.

When I woke again, an hour or so later, he was still typing furiously. By that point it was time for me to get up anyway, so I crept quietly out to the dining room and placed my hand on his shoulder. He was so lost in the creative process that he didn't even hear me.

"Everything OK?" I asked.

He jumped. "Everything's fine!" he replied, snapping out of his reverie. "I'm on a roll!" And he took me on a quick guided tour of his most recent message board masterpieces. Among other things, he talks about oral sex with clowns -- "They taste funny" ... bemoans his lack of the ultra-rare Red Skelton 'Red in Bed With Two 14 Yr. Old Tijuana Prostitutes' limited edition collector plate ... refers to a couple of unctuous message board hosts as the "AOL Gestapo" ... and takes credit for singledhandedly killing the Sixties. "And I know where the body is buried, too," he boasts.

In other words: a typical morning's creative output for DRaftervoi.

At that moment I noticed an i.m. window, still open, in one corner of the computer screen. It looked like he'd had a conversation earlier with a pal of ours from the old Boom Room.

"You talked to C. this morning?" I said.

Some of his high spirits evaporated. "Oh yeah," he said. "I was going to tell you about that." And he explained that our friend C. had i.m.'d him that morning with sad news: a dear mutual pal  --  another former denizen of the old Boom Room  -- has lost her spouse, unexpectedly.  My heart split in two at the news. I've thought of little else all day.

If I have learned anything the past couple of days, though  --  and I'd like to think I learn *something* every time I send a post off into the whereversphere  --  it is to be more careful about who I drag onto the website ... and why.

Especially when it is someone as special as our friend. A woman who is, quite literally, THE nicest person I've ever met online ... and who has always been right there for everybody, with links, e-greetings, encouragement, gentle advice, jokes, hugs  ...  no matter what the occasion.

A woman who, no doubt, would cringe in embarrassment if she knew I was even writing about this at all.

So all I'm going to say for now, out of respect and love, is that my heart is both heavy and light for her today: heavy, as I contemplate her unimaginable loss ... and light, because I know that her family, her friends and her unshakeable faith are sustaining her.

And I also want to let her know that DRaftervoi and SecraTerri send her all our thoughts, prayers, wishes, strength, support, love ...

... and *~*fluffy hugs.*~*

throw a rock