For every up, there’s always a down somewhere. And the higher and more elating the up is, the more devastating the down ends up being.

The up: getting an e-mail from David Kirschner, the creator of Pirates of Dark Water, thanking me personally for the effort I put into my fan site for the show, and even going so far as to offer to take me out to lunch if I ever find myself in Los Angeles. And yes, I did verify (to the best of my ability–meaning, I recognized the e-mail address, and I ran a WHOIS search on an IP listed in the full header info) that it’s legitimate. It had me on freaking cloud nine ever since I saw the message on Wednesday night. I sent a response that night (and, naturally, made sure to ask the Big Questions: how was it supposed to end? There are rumors that you want to bring it back–are they true? There are many more, but I’ll start with those), and am hoping that he’ll respond!

The down: hearing this afternoon that Adam Stevens, a good friend from Georgia Tech (Computer Science ’04–he entered in 1999 with me, and we had CS and Japanese classes together for a couple of years, before I gave up on CS and he gave up on Japanese), was found dead in his apartment yesterday morning.

It has me really, really shaken up, and actually having to talk about it–explaining to my BOE why I was 45 minutes late coming back to work from my lunch break and why I missed my bus, explaining to today’s school why I didn’t get to write up a congratulatory graduation statement to the 6th-graders (which I was going to do during the 2 hours I would have had to wait for my class, had I taken the bus), and so on–has been very hard to do. Silently, with nobody else around or talking to me, I can keep it together fairly well, and being in the classroom distracted me from dwelling on it as well.

I’ve never handled death well (it’s the one thing I’m truly afraid of–it’s completely irrational and childish, but I can’t handle thinking about my own mortality). The cause of his death is unknown, or was when I last heard. He was a really wonderful guy, always positive in the face of adversity, passionate about things that were important to him, charming in his friendly geekiness, and one of the greatest guys I’ve had the fortune of knowing. You know the saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone?” That was never the case with him–I always felt really fortunate to have him as a friend, and was grateful for it.

While we didn’t really keep in touch with each other as well as we could have after he graduated (a year before me–he was really busy from the moment he stepped off Tech’s campus, first with finding a job and then with the job itself, granted, but we did manage to catch a viewing of Star Wars Episode 3 in the weeks before I left for Japan), I really valued our friendship and loved hanging out with him. When we parted ways after the movie, we gave each other a big hug and I told him to come visit me in Japan anytime…and that’s not possible anymore, nor is any visit of any kind. I’m never going to see him again. As silly as it sounds, I wish I were back in Atlanta, even though that wouldn’t make any difference–most of the mutual friends I had with Adam don’t live in Atlanta anymore.

Today has been difficult. This weekend will be really rough. I hope that the musical will distract me from dwelling on this, and not that this will impact my onstage persona; I was able to handle class today, just several hours after receiving the news, so I suppose I ought to be all right tomorrow, after a full night’s sleep. Lindsay and Hannah have been absolutely wonderful–Hannah couldn’t stay for long, due to having to catch a train, but I’ll be seeing her this weekend when our musical performances start, since she’s our sound engineer. I spent several hours with Lindsay–she invited me to hang out and see a movie tonight, but it feels like it’s midnight and it’s only 8 PM, and I have to recharge for the insanity this weekend will bring.

I just can’t believe this has happened…

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