I've been seeing a bunch of people post publicly, so I guess we can post publicly now.feste_sylvain
had the 1-9AM Blogathon pit crew shift. He showed up, took care of us, played Sudoku, and we blogged our crazy sleep-deprived asses off. 9am finally roled around, I had my last giant-squid post good to go. And he pulled up a chair and sat next to me and took my hands and said "Aries died yesterday."
I didn't believe him for a second, and then I did believe him, and then I couldn't breathe, and then I think I was not making sense for a bit. We cleared everyone out, I e-mailed Aries's partners, and Adam finally managed to get me to bed, where I stared into space for an hour waiting for the adrenaline to crash.
People are focusing on good memories in their posts. For me, some of my good memories of ariesd
are tangled with things other people might not think of right off as good, so I beg your patience.
Aries had been ill for some time (though he seemed much better recently, which is why this was such a shock). My body is haywire in different ways, but still, there is this social isolation thing that happens when your body does not work, and there is a tremendous relief in finding someone you can talk to about your complicated medical shit - who you don't have to do 101 with, who won't worry about the things you and they can't fix. Aries and I saw that in each other right away, and we bonded on that level as much as on SF geekery. When I was at a party with Aries, our conversations would shift to this medication or that procedure, and I know everyone around us was lost.
There is a particular thing you do, choices you make, when you are physically unwell but you are determined to live
well. He was a companion in that.
Two? years ago, maybe a year and a half, before my celiac diagnosis, I was scanning my neurological + autoimmune problems as maybe something else. I was very anxious about going to the doctor and insisting on the test I wanted. Aries said "No problem, I'll take you." He drove me there and sat with me, arms folded, level gaze at the neuro. He didn't need to say anything, and I didn't need to push hard. It was just having him there. That helped.
And Aries was like that with everyone. If you needed help on anything, Aries was there. Always. Without even a second thought.
I last saw Aries a week ago today, at Diesel. It would be no surprise to anyone who's read this far that our last conversation was about his new medication, which I've also been on; what side effects he could expect, et cetera
. It would be no surprise to anyone who knew him that that conversation ended with a big, warm hug.
I can think of few people as universally beloved 'round here as ariesd
He deserved it.
I do not have more words right now.