About my friend, Steve.. aka Foreigner (Fore)
I promised myself years ago, that every web site I ever had would hold this document. A tribute to my best friend.. I still miss him.
On May 18, 1998 my friend, Steve (aka Foreigner or LoneWolfe) died. All of us from the channel got together on IRC to talk about him. I was not able/could not tell you all what he was to me. This is what I really wanted to say. Please read it for what it is.
So there was this night back in August of 1989. I was working for AOL and was surfing the “chat rooms”. Went to different ones and accidentally went into a “News” chat room. Was going to leave but got caught up in the heated argument a few people were having. This one person, GHenry was screaming and yelling at this other person, TSO-ISPF, who was screaming and yelling right back. I can’t remember what the argument was about, but after about 20 minutes of listening and joining in the argument, TSO-ISPF left the room. I had been watching him..he was funny as hell, sarcastic as nobody I ever met and articulate. I Instant-Messaged him. We talked for about 10-15 minutes. He was really funny. He was leaving just then to go play paddle ball with some friends and said he would see me “later”.
Couple of nights later, I am in another chat room, when I get an IM from this TSO-ISPF person. Cool. We talked for a few, he joined me in the #ts1 channel. We stayed in there with all these other people having a great time. The next day (LOL) I got about 35 e-mails from him….about every joke he had received in the last month. And from that point on, he and I were friends. We’d look each other up every time we got online.
Over the next 2 or so years we became really good friends. Buds, you might say. We hung. LOL He would say..Hay, lets go Hung. Hay..You ready to Hung?
In 1990, we decided (or he did and he pushed me!) to go OFF of AOL to an ISP. He sent me software (if you know Steve at all, you know he used to send all kinds of crap LOL). I eventually took the plunge and we both (and Lori) ended up on Pipeline. Was so cool. We discovered this program called mIRC and we had so much fun. I look back and compare our pathetic little scripts we wrote back then to what we ended up with .. what a joke those first ones were. But we worked hard on them. We had no idea that they were called “”scripts”” and that you could download really cool ones. We thought you had to write it yourself. I would get this e-mail from him and he would say he figured out how to do something and OMG it was so cool. He was, as we all know, on a one track. Once he got started on something, he HAD to keep working on it until he got it right. He inspired me.
His first nick on IRC was HeyBabe. LOL Mine was MsMe and then later on ..maybe a month..it changed to Rowaan and LawdyMama. His changed within a month or so to Foreigner or LoneWolfe. They became WHO we were when we were online. As we all know, Lori had 35million different nicks…Lets see…DrGiggles, Giggles, HighHeels, Redsomethingorother, and the one we all know her by now is TropicSea. (Personally, I always liked the HighHeels nick!).
When we were first online, we didn’t know what a “split” was. And people would come into the channel off a split and they would be “Opped”. We thought they knew stuff we didn’t and so we would kick/ban them. LOL We kicked/Banned a lot of people before we realized that it was a split. If the people who came in bothered us in the least little bit, we kicked them. We HAD THE POWER. LOL Was so cool. We could never do that on AOL. We kept, over those first few months, comparing the ‘net’ to AOL. LOL What a joke AOL is, huh? 1990 was a bit different than nowadays
We played with IRC so much that first year. Always working on it..how to make it better. How to make it more fun. Easier. Then that summer this woman came in..abbinrml. LOL That was the beginning of the channel as we know it now. She and Lori and Fore could play these word games that made me so hysterical I couldn’t type. He and I would be on the phone, they would be doing there wordgame things and I would be in tears from laughing so much. I am not good at that “game”. I just start laughing and can’t type worth shit. He could be ROFL and still be able to type. He had a great laugh. I miss it.
From there the channel grew (and didn’t). He fought with people from #burnttoast and #nobs (and other channels that I can’t think of). He wanted #ts1 to be the best channel there could be. I think he succeeded.
IRC became his family. The people in the channel became just as important to him as his own family. He loved, more than anything, to sit back and watch the 500 people in the channel C&P or just have fun. He loved it. Remember the day we had 999 in the channel — he took a picture — LITERALLY — and framed it!!
Course, if you went to another channel, he would hunt you down and make you feel like shit. Did a great guilt trip. LOL Stalk you for days until you HAD to come back to TS1 and then when you did he would be mad at you. LOL
People thought, still do, that he and I were “an Item” or whatever term you want to use for a “couple”. People could NEVER understand that we were just friends. They were kind of right. We were more than “just friends” —-We were best friends. Confidants. There was nothing we couldn’t tell each other. We understood each other. I could/did always know him when he was troubled. Same with him. He always just “knew” when something was wrong with me. He never made what I was feeling seem stupid or petty. He was just there for me. He never use the cliches or the expected words. He always really listened to what I had to say and then commented on it. Many of you know that I cannot have more children and that I am very attached to my son. He would yell me for being so attached. YOU HAVE TO LET HIM DO THINGS…Let him go to the bathroom and not use diapers!..let him go to school..he needs that so much…let him just be…he needs to be alone too. Everyone could say these things to me, but I heard it when Steve told me. I don’t know why. I held his opinion so highly, I think.
Steve sat in the second row of the church I got married in and made faces at me while I walked down the isle. I have this image of him with his thumbs pushing his nose up, his fingers wiggling to the side and his eyes crossed.. while he is wearing a tux .. in the church. The glow-in-the-dark headband that had a chain attached to a ball also didn’t help.. ;) Steve sat in the hospital room with me, for 3 1/2 months he came every other day to see me. He took Frank out to help him stop worring, he helped frank deal with the fact that it might be me or the baby.. or that he might lose us both, that I might die and the day I stopped breathing and my heart stopped, it was Steve who was there with Frank, both of them crying. He was there, in many ways, for both of us. He was OUR best friend.
I have learned so much from him. Learned that I am a really great person. He always believed in me…even when I didn’t. He let me be his friend. He trusted me and cared for me and understood me. I have only met one other person that is kind of like that and I married him. Steve gave to me a confidence in my self that I don’t know if I would ever have attained without him. He gave me the confidence he lacked. I owe him the masters that hangs on my wall. Having all of you at my graduation was the best thing ever. 51 people from all over the US, Canada and Europe, coming to MY graduation… holding my child.. meeting theirs. He reveled in the surprise and the shock I got from finding out you were all there. He planned this from the umbrella toothpicks to the airline tickets and hotel rooms. Because I was his friend. Because he was my friend.
I had planned to tell you all the things he was.. that he drove a cab for 10 years and knew this city like the back of his hand, that he worked his ass off to go to a 4 year tech school so he would “BE” something, so he could be somebody to himself. That he programmed in COBOL and wanted everyone he knew to learn it. That he wanted more than anything to move to Long Island. That he wanted to retire and play paddle ball and restore antiques. That he had a motorcycle and one day he ran out of cigarettes and went to Long Island to get them, on the bike. That he had a broken chair that he just couldn’t seem to get rid of. That a pair of summer shorts sat on his couch for 6 months. That he ate out of cans because he couldn’t get away from his computer. That he loved Boston and Foreigner. That he fell in love with avocados one day and ate them until he was so sick “but goddam, Lawdy, the are so good”. That he loved to argue. That he loved to argue with Brandy. That he loved IRC. That he loved to drink Vodka. And beer. That he loved to watch the Rangers play. That he Was so excited when they won the Stanley cup that he couldn’t eat for 2 days. That he didn’t really like football. That he loved children. That he played stickball in the streets of Brooklyn as a child. That he had this car that he loved and cherished until it was wrecked. That he was so scared of love. That he needed to be loved. That he loved you all. That he loved Mark. That he needed all of you in his life. That he respected you ..each of you. That he loved to be around people. That he was shy. That he was fucking smart as hell. That he was a wonderful person. That he loved hard. That he cared about life.
I guess I just did.
There is this saying I keep reminding myself of…
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun.
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek god unencumbered.
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance.”
My friend, I hope your dancing. I love you and miss you.
I will never be the same without you in my life.
Fore you, my friend.
i sit here
were your gifts to
and learned from
i sit here
that you are
fore death has come.
Taken you in his
enfolded you in his
and held you
until your breath was
and your body….
my tears have stopped
but the pain is
my heart hurts for
i ache to hear your
but death has come.
and i sit here……..