For Colin


I Still Miss You, by Chris Aubrey
 Man, I can’t believe how much I still miss you. It’s just weird that after all this time, you’re still an empty spot in my universe. I still keep your picture on my shelf, near my computer, so you can keep up with the tech, and still read over my shoulder. I still have to grit my teeth and compose myself to keep myself from crying if I talk about you for very long. There’s so much I want to tell you. There’s so much we still had to share. You would love my husband, and I can just imagine you teaching the boy how to hack a satellite before he started first grade.

You’d be floored by the surveillance society we live in, and I can only
imagine the wonderful counter measures you could have invented.  You
were such a genius.  You would be floored at the progression of
circuit boards since the last one you designed…which I still have. 
Of course, I still have supercomputer motherboards too…cause you never
know when we’ll want to build water cooled chaos in the garage. 

I still can’t listen to Pink Floyd’s album Wish You Were Here without
crying like a baby.  Actually, so much of my Floyd experience is
wrapped up around you, that I don’t really listen to any of it much
anymore.  It’s just too hard to explain why everything before The Wall
makes me cry.  And yet, all the punk from all the clubs we went
to…that just makes me happy.  Maybe because we were so young and so
different.  You…East London, me…American import escaping from
convent school.  A weirder pair couldn’t have been dreamed up by a
fiction writer.  I’ll never forget sneaking over the wall at school,
running to meet you and friends at the crossroads, stuffing my school
uniform into a bag and changing into "real" clothes, passing a
beer around the entire car…my first steel toed 12-hole docs…blue hair
that shocked the nuns into silence for two weeks…ah man, good times. 

We got older, I came back to the states, and we lost track of each
other…then Fate threw us together when we both ended up at the same
tiny startup.  How freaky was that?  And it was like no time had
passed, except I’d gained A., whom you hated…because you saw through him
long before I did, and it made you crazy that I couldn’t see him for what he
was. 

I’ll never forget the day when INS came to tell everyone that their visas
had expired and the entire development team would have to leave the
country.  I mean, British people are like our only allies…you’d think
there would be exceptions…but no.  And after only a couple of short
years, you were back across the Atlantic.  But this time we had the
internet and our own phones…imagine my panic when I stopped hearing from
you, and nobody knew where you were.

A. was in England at the time, so I asked him to look up your mom and see
if she’d heard any news.  I think the phone call that resulted from
that visit was the trigger for the end of my marriage.  I could hear
the triumph in his voice.  He was thrilled to tell me that you were
dead.  In his little mind, you were a rival, and you were gone. 
He waited until 8 hours before the funeral before telling me…to make sure
I couldn’t get there.  He left no detail untold, painting your death in
vivid, visceral strokes that haven’t left my mind, even now. I’m not sure
I’ll ever be able to forgive him for the way he acted when you died.

A.  never would tell me where you were buried, and I have no idea
how to find a grave in a place like London.  Then again, I know you’d
laugh your ass off at me doing something gothy like lighting a zillion
candles and weeping over your grave.  I mean, I can just hear you
saying "Gods, stop being a silly cow!".  You’re dead, and
what they buried wasn’t you, it was just a container. 

A. also destroyed your letter, so I never knew if…or how…you said
goodbye.  I comforted myself for years knowing that you wouldn’t have
left without saying goodbye…but it could all be delusion…who the hell
knows. 

Damn dude, I miss you so much.  I think the whole reason I believe
in reincarnation is because I know in the next life, I’m so going to kick
your ass for leaving me like this. 

Rest in Peace, you bastard.  I still love you. 

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