He was a very close friend of mine since 7th grade.
I am numb.
What brought us together was 7th grade math. He was sitting next to me one day, and had a Savage Dragon comic on his desk and was drawing a Megadeth logo on his folder. I did a double take that almost broke my fucking neck. I basically told him "WE'RE FRIENDS AND I'M COMING OVER THIS WEEKEND" and that was that.
Y'all probably know him through his music and his death metal Rain Man writings and podcast appearances. It was no act. I've never met anyone hungrier for music of just about every stripe than him. His CD collection is quite possibly the most complete physical history of death metal on Earth. If you put out an album, no matter what remote scene on this planet, you were not safe. He was coming for you and your band. There are quite a few bands whose trajectory was completely altered due to his fandom.
That, in and of itself, is humanizing. It does not capture how sweet he was. A lot of my favorite memories of him revolve around food. We'd be sitting cross-legged on his floor, snacking usually on White Cheddar Cheez-Its, and he'd reach over and say "Summa dis" and feed me by hand. He did this all the time and it never really hit me how caring and gentle it was until he was gone. We'd go to Tubby's and the rule was that I'd get my sub and he'd get his and then we'd trade halves. He loved those hunter's sausage two-packs with the freeze dried cheese. Using empty Country Crock tubs for cereal bowls. That "Heartburn" tattoo? I didn't even know what it was until we became friends.
I go between sobbing and then 90 seconds later laughing my ass off at something he did or said. I don't know that my words can really do his humor justice. Just know that he was the funniest person I've ever known and it's that humor that's getting me through this.
I stayed in our hometown for a few days last week with a couple of lifelong friends of ours. We kept each other safe and reminisced and cried and bonded. We went to Motor City Comic Con to avoid reality for a while, but still, it was really hard. I walked by a booth that was playing "Wish You Were Here" and almost lost it.
I did meet Ruby Soho, though. I got a photo taken with her and told her what was up. That wrestling has been my security blanket since I was five and just thanks and say thanks to the boys and girls for everything. She came 'round and gave me a hug, asking me if it was okay first. It really meant a lot, going above and beyond like that. She was really sweet and commented on my friend and I's T-shirts. (Black Flag for me and Obituary for him.) I went back the next day so his twin brother could get stuff autographed by Alicia Silverstone and decided to get something for Ruby. It was pretty light on wrestling there this year, so the best I could muster was a couple packs of WCW '91 trading cards. I dropped them off and said thank you again and asked if she was gonna be at Dynamite in Detroit. A fistbump to confirm and may she drop Britt Baker on her fucking dome.
Wrestling has always been there for me, much the same way music has. I've got the 92 Yearbook on as I type this. Gonna watch last week's Dynamite and Rampage later. I've been more active on this board as of late and it's been great to just shoot the shit about our great sport. Thanks for cultivating this board. You know who you are. And thanks for posting and giving me something to read. Like I told Ruby, every little thing matters a whole lot more now, and everything carries more weight. I need all the support I can get, and honestly, just y'all being here like it's 6:05 eastern time every damn day is enough.