2023-09-06: gating the dead

earlier this year i found out one of my childhood friends died during the pandemic. reading between the lines of the obituary: a suicide, or overdose. the exact cause never stated, but mental health and addiction were. growing apart is frustratingly normal. but, you never expect an obituary.

last night i was searching him again, and found a link to a d&d netbook on scribd. the site telling me to log in, then after fumbling through credentials i'd forgotten a decade ago, another gate: upload 5 files; or, subscribe.

something galling about his traces being held back, that memory itself becomes a capitalist transaction. we played d&d, magic: the gathering, call of cthulhu in a sunny back room at a friend's house. we went to different schools but had the same classes when we started university.

this is where it diverges: i continued on, he switched to the arts. we earned our respective degrees, started to build our lives. i'm writing this a week shy of my forty-second birthday; he was thirty-nine when he passed.