The internet has provided me with a few friendships over the years. Apart from one, the relationship that meant the most to me was the friendship that I had with David Robles. Since I have no friends who read comics I had turned to the interne to talk about them, and after being on a few sites with David we ended up becoming friends. The more we talked the better we got on, which is generally rare for me. I think I've reached the point in my life where making new friends is basically impossible, so I'm just hanging on to the ones that I have as hard as I can.
Finding out that David was a doctor, or at least finishing off the internship part of medical school, and from Panama was surprising because the common reference point of our shared hobby made any differences seem negligable. I first met David in person in Seattle a few years after I'd met him online. He was up from Panama visiting his girlfriend Julie (pictured with David above) who also lives in Vancouver, and the Canadian government was not going to let him into the country. Later he finally got the okay to come to Canada, and stayed a few weeks with Julie and we hung out a few times including a trip to the Canucks.
I had invited him to our wedding, but it conflicted with his end of term school. David's internship was finishing up and it meant that he was working 24 to 32 hour shifts at the hospital and so we weren't talking as much online, but we both knew that soon he'd finish off and we could go back to playing FIFA on the XBox and talking about comic books. He was so excited that Real Madrid, the team he played on FIFA, was getting Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka two of the best players in the world, and was sure that this was going to give him the edge over my Arsenal team. FIFA 2009, he assured me, was on order from Amazon. I bought the Marvel Scene-It game at Superstore last week knowing that while I had no comic book loving friends in Canada, David would be back soon to play.
I got an email from Julie this morning telling me that David was killed in a stupid and needless way. The articles that I've found about his death have been focused more on various levels of government pointing fingers at others about whose responsibility it was.
I've been so incredibly fortunate in my life to never really lose anyone close to me. None of my friends has ever passed away, I've actually gained a grandparent and never lost one. My uncle Dave passed away a few years ago, but I only really saw him once every few years where as I was talking with David up until a few days ago on a regular basis.
I read Julie's email this morning before work, and was kind of in a daze trying not to think about it until I got there. I re-read it at work just to make sure I didn't miss a "just kidding", though she's not the sort to play obscene pranks on people. Once it sunk in that it was real I cried a little, then opened the store.
I feel like I've said too much, or not enough. I don't know. Nothing particularly seems to fit or to sum things up. I always thought I'd be good talking at funerals, but I suppose I just think I'd be pretty good giving speeches at any point. Nothing, no matter how well this blog post is written, is going to change the fact that I lost a very good friend and I miss him.