When I do get up, I usually boot Milo and check email. Waiting for me was something I had been expecting and not expecting for years. A friend of mine, Roger Hughes, passed away sometime over the last weekend.
Roger was one of those people that was completely unexplainable. He had to be experienced. He was a tall, strongly built man, yet probably one of the gentlest people I knew. He was breathtakingly intelligent, but completely was at a loss concerning human nature. He would share portions of his life and personality that for most people would be too emotionally or intellectually intimate, but was a complete mystery to us otherwise. Roger was never centered on the here-and-now, but in the realms of the possibile and impossibile; but his body's demands almost required him to excercise continual care. He was a joy to write material in conjunction with and utterly maddening to script for.
Roger was special partially because of his physical ailments. If he had been as healthy as the rest of us, he would have been just another Geek who liked to do role-playing games. But during the day he would have been Uber-Lawyer, performing pro-bono litigation concerning the enforcement of the ADA and defending ultra-conservative tax protesters.
(And I'm the one using the name idiosynchronic?)
Roger unfortunately was involved in severe car accident as teenager. He did recover, but suffered from type I diabetes, bi-polar depression, and few other consequences. He always had a brown newspaper clipping concerning a white-haired man wearing an eyepatch and holding a cane prominently posted wherever his residence was, but none of us ever could find out what his significance was to Roger and to Roger's condition.
It was a rare thing for Roger to not be in the hospital less than once a month, usually in conjunction with either a sugar or insulin shock. We usually never heard of these times; Roger didn't want us to bother with some event that was fairly common to him but emotionally exhaustive to those who cared. Somehow he had gotten a Bachelor's degree. We still don't know in what, where, or how he did it. Previously to this year, he had been interning at law offices & studying in grad school. Again, we don't know how he did it while his health was unstable.
Above all, he had a wildly creative imagination that made gaming with him like dining at a 4 star French resturant. Roger was blessed with an imagination that normally would have craved drugs in order for it to transcend normal writing. His body, unfortunately, provided him with the hallucinatory and life-traumatic materials to fuel that imagination without external chemical stimuli.
I think I knew the end was coming soon. The gaming group hadn't played for over a year due to various personality strifes and the simple passage of time in all of our lives. I had met and married my wife, settled into family life, and become more or less too busy for most things related to Worlds of Fantasy. Roger had moved back home to Lacona, where he admitted he despised most of the poeple, and abandoned study. Last June, I took my large stash of RPG source books to the Half-Price Bookstore, painstakingly copying what I needed to preserve our stories beforehand.
Luckily, a sales guy found some of my remaining storyteller notes and handed them back to me before I left the store. A wave of deja vu made think about the increasing holes in Roger's memory that led him to call himself Tatters online.
I almost asked for all the books back.
I would sooner have chopped off my right hand than to have not had the chance at knowing such a creative genius. Like most of his fellows, Roger was destined to have short but highly intense life.