I just checked messages between Kyle and I, and I found this story he shared with me in 2012. I can't remember the context of what it was from, why it was written, but I wanted to share it with you. This kid was full of talent and had an amazing amount of creativity.
Raven. Beautiful, flowing, brown hair. Elegant blue dress. Raven the maiden was her nickname, and of course, she was a maid. She kept the great Shaz' Arah's house tidy, all year round. Shaz' Arah was a great merchant in his time, having great deals and great merchandise. Raven was more of an associate, learning new merchant tricks everyday. She really did like him, but everyone has their... dislikes.
“Raven, I've spilled my tea!”
Raven sighed. “Coming, sir!” Her work was very tedious. Everyday twas a spill, a broken glass, and dusting the mantle. She'd always dreamed of being an adventurer, fighting the minotaurs, or mountain lions. Instead, she substituted the house cat for a mountain lion. Sometimes accidentally bonking him on the head! She really liked her job though.
Clink clink, thump
What is that?
CLINK CLINK, THUMP
Raven slipped out of bed, as agile as a tiger creeping upon his prey. The door creaked open. She cringed. Raven took the poker off of the mantle. Silently creeping across the hallway, Raven heard a whisper.
“Where is it?!?”
“I ron't row!” His voice was muffled
“ If you don't tell me, I'll slit your throat, like I did to the King!”
At that point, Raven burst through the door. The assassin's eyes almost popped out of his skull. He starts to panic, looking around. He seems to brighten, looking at the window. Raven charges at him, using the poker as a lance. Shinkt! Shaz'Arah crumples to the floor, wheezing. The assassin smashed through the window, plowing through the candles and books around it. Blood was pouring all over the floor, gasping, wheezing sound. Raven scuttled towards the body on the floor.
“Sir?” Raven whispered
“ Raven... take this and g...give it to Jhonka Rnade,”
He slumped to the floor, clunking his head on the ground.
“Sir? Sir!! Don't stop trying! What will I do?!”
The sun rose. Two silhouettes appeared, one looked as though it was sleeping, one seemed huddled up in the corner. Raven gazed at his body. She had stopped weeping awhile ago. Now she was just sitting there, attempting to scoot towards the body. During the night, she had had time to think, to study. She had been peering at what Shaz' Arah had tried to give her.
I'll just put this out there now so you can plan ahead: We're going to Florida in July 2020 to watch that rocket go up.
Your room at the house is already ready.
(on a side note, are quotes not working or just for me?)
I have exactly three memories of Kyle. I met him at Home Depot some time around late 2001 or early 2002. Tracey was my neighbor growing up and Brian and I were relatively good friends in high school. This was pre-social media, so when I decided to move across the state a few years earlier, I kind of lost touch with a lot of friends. When I moved back to the metro Detroit area, I had heard that they had married and had a son named Perry, so to run into them by chance and learn they'd also had Kyle was a nice surprise. We chatted for a few minutes before resuming our respective shopping. Brian gave me his card and I dug it out a couple of years later at the dawn of social media and I've been lurking on Icrontic ever since.
My second memory of Kyle was when my wife and I attended (crashed?) an Icrontic halloween event about ten years ago. This memory is fizzy from the beer so consider this paragraph to be as one of the unreliable narrator variety. I vaguely remember marveling with Brian and Tracey's parents about they were probably the first friends I had growing up in the pre-internet age to have kids and that these were the first kids I "knew" who were growing up in the internet age, which may have prompted Brian to formally introduce me to them. They brb'd from whatever they were doing and respectfully listened as Brian explained how we all knew each other. I remember Perry put his hand on his costume's hilt and gave me a formal nod while Kyle silently stepped forward and extended his hand to shake mine, before they each resumed their respective activities. In those few moments, seeing those two boys so distinctly expressing their individual personalities so clearly, I was so proud of my friends.
My third memory of Kyle is not really my own, nor is it a single memory. It is in these stories, shared here and on Facebook, and in other places, with his family and friends, both online and off. The stories he told and the stories he's given us to tell, including those as insignificant as mine. Mine is merely the memory of being an NPC in the chronicle of a remarkable young man, illustrated by a series of thumbs-up pictures, each with it's own story to tell. There are no words to describe the loss. But in words we can continue to share his stories.
I just found out about this. Totally gutted and in shock.
How I remember Kyle:
IC LAN '07, Bionicle awards and shirtless, free-range children...who turned out to be pretty great. :)
I'm so sorry, to everyone who got to enjoy time with him.
If anyone wants to join in, my sister and I started a photo hashtag on Instagram and Facebook: #thumbsoutforkyle
Had a little time to process... My memories of Kyle are from IC LAN '07, and it was cute with the Bionicles and joining in on games, etc.
I've been away for a long time and missed out on a lot of IC in the meantime. Life happens. But I've figured out why why this still hits so hard. In 2007 I had been married for 3 years or so, and it was getting to the time where you start talking about kids.
That was scary to me, having had no experience in this decision and no real guide for what it was all about. It was an unknown, and basically decision paralysis. One thing I had always liked doing was playing multiplayer anything with my friends, usually in a support role. I liked being that person. But with kids, would everything change? Now you're interested in lawns and mortgages and stereotypical "adult stuff"? Where would you find the time?
Being around Kyle, Perry and Brian during that time changed my outlook on this, and gave me insight into another way it could be. And it was working, because the kids were well rounded, balanced, and close to their Dad, doing the things that I liked, and would like to do with my kids some day.
Hanging out in Warren showed me that kids could be _fun_, and was an example that helped calm my anxiety about jumping into parenthood.
I have four kids now: 9, 7, 4 and 2.
We play Minecraft together several times per week, and we have fun.
The clearest personal memory I have of Kyle was the Sunday after that fateful ICOK 2012. Much like last night, we all came together as a family to share laughs, hugs, tears, and just simply being.
A big group headed off to Honest John's, and it ended up being me, Kyle, and @GnomeQueen. We headed out to John's as well and the 3 of us sat at our own table after waving to the big group of us that were already there.
Kyle proceeded to show us some of the drawings he had been doing in his pad, and just beamed about them. And they were great.
Seeing him grow from the chubby little kid who loved hanging out with his dad's friends to the man he had become has been wonderful.
While I cannot summon a specific memory, I have a vague memory of me in a car, by the Beierman house, with Kyle and Perry in the back seat. I tried explaining to them what a shocker was, and they seemed intrigued/terrified. I remember Brian being less than impressed.
I got a hold of Kyle's diary from 2015-2016 era tonight; the peak of his teenage angst. It's.... there's a lot about sex.... and I've skipped major portions of it 😂
Let's just say he was definitely his father's son
This is from Cory 😂
This story is from my friend Nicki, @Sliquid's wife:
|I wanted to share my memory of meeting him at your July 4th party many moons ago. You had a lot of people over and everyone was having a grand old time. Perry was climbing on the roof and reminded me of Tarzan.
You had a friend in town from overseas, I can’t remember from where, somewhere Nordic I think, and all of you guys were shooting off fireworks in very crazy, not ‘by the book’ sort of ways. Taping things together, and shooting them off in multiples, your basic complete disregard for safety instructions that occurs in many American backyards at that time of year. After one particular zany experimentation that went somewhat wonky, I remember looking over and seeing Kyle watching the festivities, safely locked inside of a car, gazing through the window with a look of quiet tolerance and exasperation at the apparent idiocy of the adults around him. It struck me that this kid was likely the wisest person at the party.
That doesn't sound like us at ALL, no. Can't be true 😂
Hmm, saw some shens, but not with Prime and company-- seems like something Kyle would do, though.
Today at work I caught a rare hour break without meetings, and I was a little stressed, so I decided to venture outside to downtown San Francisco and take a brief walk to stretch my legs.
Twitch HQ is 2 blocks away from SF's legendary Chinatown. I felt like climbing up Nob Hill, one of the city's OG hills full of historical buildings and surrounded by the vibrant Chinese community. After about 12 blocks of wandering, I found myself on the public plaza and park in the heart of Chinatown, right in front of the Chinese Cultural Center of the city. It stopped me in my tracks as a wave of nostalgia hit me.
The story I shared earlier (https://icrontic.com/discussion/comment/952641/#Comment_952641), of Kyle and I being embarrassed as grandpa Ray spoke loudly and excitedly over a traditional dance being performed happened at the spot I was standing. I hadn't seen this place since Kyle and I were last together out here. For a brief moment, there was joy, and I laughed. But those feelings were quickly overtaken by sadness and grief. If there's a such thing as delayed onset grief, I sure experienced it today. I cried a lot. It hurt.
Eventually I moved past the grief and walked back to work and played it off like nothing had happened. But I can say without a doubt, this small place in my city holds a very special place in my heart that I had never expected. I suspect I'll go back many times in the future to live those good memories. God I miss Kyle, I'm glad to have a special spot that reminds me of him.
Look at this picture and imagine Kyle and I wincing in total cringe while Ray shouts "HEY KYLE COME LOOK AT THIS! IT'S AMAZING COME GET PICTURES!" I'll never forget that night.