I just want to make it clear that first, I hate the word blog and I didn't want to do this at all but with some time off of EQ, its not bad to reflect on other things and try to gain a bigger perspective on things I may have been ignoring. As a matter of fact, Everquest was originally played in my house because Doug suggested after Ben's funeral that we go to Best Buy and find something to distract me for a while. I was incredibly distraught and I'm sure Doug realized even then what an impact this persons life and death had on my life and everything about me.
Without Everquest to give a break to the brooding and morbid thoughts I am not sure the kind of person I would be by now. I want to be 80 years old and not be so jaded and bitter by life that I can still play like a kid and more important, still feel like one. I still do to this day. If asked for one wish to be fulfilled, even at this point in my life, I would have to ask that I never lose the ability to BE the carefree kid when I choose to. I would ask that toys and the smaller things in life never appeared boring or "old" in my eyes and heart.
If you dont know who Ben is he was my best friend for several years and someone I had a great bond with for several reasons. Please click the picture to read a memorial I wrote for him years ago.
Watch out for pop ups and ignore the rest of the site. In my free time before Everquest I frequented an IRC server that centered itself around malicious computer intent. Hacking and flinging Virii and trojans around was considered regular "play" and subject to the loss of likely more then one pc. In 4 years there I lost 2. I consider myself lucky for that.
My thoughts on EQ before I ever played it were NOT to join a social atmosphere exactly. I was intimidated by the thought of being surrounded by so many people when I wanted nothing more then to hide from all people, the world... myself. Nothing personal. It made sense to me to contemplate that making friends on a game wasn't really making friends. Of course I had known some IRC friends personally, or on a personal basis. But I really didn't think EQ would bring me to that. I didn't want a friend. With Ben being the second "best friend" that I lost in 5 years, I didn't want to consider ever putting anyone in the same class with those guys.... the class that has so few people that they can be counted on one hand. The same class that I rarely allow any person to enter. And nothing short of death removes them.
There is nothing like a friend. A real friend.
You will likely never have more then one of those in your life, if at all.
They may only be in your life for a short period of time,
Or you may be one of the extremely lucky few,
Who gets to keep one forever.
A friend such as this is rarely a lover,
A friend such as this is rarely who you would expect it to be.
I challenge you to think really hard when you consider labeling someone a friend.
Would this person betray you? In any way? Are you sure? No amount of money would cause them to forsake you, your life? They would never covet your life? Your love? Your lover?
If you were to pass on today, this person would keep you alive in their heart forever? Never forget you? Ever? Think about how you feel about those you have lost before. Do you think about them now? Rarely? On occasion? Ashamedly... never? Would this person give their life to save yours? Without even stopping to think about it?
The Purest Love
I can answer an absolute yes to those questions, my two friends who are long gone also could have when it came to the friendships we shared. Sometimes, things did come down to it, and neither of them ever disappointed me, except in their deaths.
I think there is another phrase for the word friend. Its called SoulMate. I don't mean soulmate in some type of god way, there are no threads of fate to me, and I certainly don't insinuate magic. What I mean is that there seem to be some that we have passion for, a relationship with, and many times those things can definitely feel like magic. The problem is that usually those come with hang-ups, jealousies, squabbling like children, and feelings that belong less being bantered about with the word, "love", and more or less are the definitions of immaturity, control issues, or basic, ugly, primitive self-doubt, insecurity, and even hate.
But this elusive soulmate - some people of whom never run into this mythical entity - doesn't have to come as a lover, though when it does, it is sweet and pure, painful, and happiness like you can never find elsewhere. It is the love of, the kinship with, and the all empowering knowledge of another individual almost down to their very 'soul', essence, spirit, the descriptive word matters little.
The most significant part of this form of pure love is that regardless of as to whether or not the person is a most excellent lover, or never anything but a monogamous friend, you know no selfish jealousies, you own no insecurities about the friendship/relationship, you have no reason to take control of anyway, you simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the notion of true friendship. Pure Love. Pure love tells you that no matter where your soul mate is, the only thing you want from them, of them, forever, is for them to simply continue to exist.
Do you have a true friend? I've had 2. I've lived 2 lifetimes in relative misery from an outside point of view. In my point of view, it was miserable to me too, until I stopped one day, the day I buried my second best friend, and realized how lucky I was to even be able to say that. I knew I would be different from that day on. It was just a matter of learning how I would change. I still don't know if it was for better or worse. I'm still learning everything about life. I hope I continue to do so until I have none left. What I don't need to learn anymore, is what it takes to be a real friend, and what it can cost you when you lose one.