My old friend Dirk Talamasca died last week. Over an online time frame of over 25 years (yes, I know that is longer than some of you have been alive), this is only the second time I have experienced a good online friend dying.
I am attending a memorial in Secondlife as I write this, and it is eye opening to hear of other people’s experiences with Dirk. Overwhelmingly, it seems he was a sex crazed fiend who spent all his time in world chasing and ‘bedding’ women. But this was not the Dirk I knew.
The Dirk I knew was intelligent, and widely read on many subjects. The Dirk I knew, I first came across in Yahoo Chat around 2001 or so. He was a Moderator for many chat rooms, particularly on the look out for hints of paedophilia and other crimes. He also played music in chat rooms, much to the annoyance of quite a number of people. His music was good though.
In Secondlife, he was famed as a Mentor. I had little interaction with him in this field.
I live in Australia, so my time in world was the quiet hours for many, but not Dirk. We would spend the time talking of many hopes, dreams, plans and possibilities. We talked often of the stars, and of those that wrote about endless galaxies of the night. We spent hours and hours discussing the pros and cons of the varied aspects of Secondlife, the people we knew in common, and the frustration of implementing what we thought were our brilliant ideas for Secondlife. I made him buy elaborately created 19th century style clothing that I had found across the Grid.
The Dirk I knew was compassionate, and offered me great comfort through my own dark days. He never criticised anything I said or did, and he understood quite clearly how grief is inconsolable. He also understood how a true friend will always be by your side through dark days. He was there for me.
I last spoke with Dirk late last year in world, after my absence of a few years. When I logged back in again after my absence, Dirk was the first to pop up with a welcoming “where have you been, old friend?”
I will miss my friend. I doubt he will be in any 3rd Life watching us, his mind will be too pre-occupied for things like that.
Wherever he is, racing through the cosmos, I wish you safe travels, my friend Dirk.