October 24, 2005
Based on the news reports on television I'm watching at the moment, Hurricane Wilma is a Category 3. The amount of research and technology that went into the creation of that system is rather amazing. And handy, too. It's not all that dissimilar from the system I've used to rate Acidman posts over the years.
Yes, in the 3+ years that I've known our irascible Gut Dude, I've been able to gauge his mood just by the first three words of one of his posts. The same could be said about our phone conversations. Once you truly get to know the man, you can read him that easily.
I remember the first time I ever spoke to Rob. He called to talk about blogging, life, his son, my son, and everything else under the...well, sun. I think the phone call lasted two hours. Two hours on the phone with a man who claimed to hate talking on that dreaded instrument of torture. Heh. Right. A rapt audience is a rapt audience and he had my attention.
It didn't take long for us to decide we should meet. Within two months, we were on vacation in Daytona (then on to his home in Georgia), having a damn good time and enjoying the hell out of the companionship. Every single time I come to this site and see that photo in the top left corner, I think about that trip. That photo was taken on the balcony of the timeshare as we waited out a nasty bit of storm.
Even then, it was helpful to have my Acidman Mood Detector on hand. We spent hour after hour talking. Our conversations strayed into some crazy territory. It was great. There are very few people with whom I've ever felt so comfortable venturing into those depths. We both spilled our guts and it, as Martha would say, was a good thing.
We've had our ups and downs since we first met, but Rob and I have remained friends. There are times when we've been ready to kill each other, and times when our friendship has proven to be lifesaving.
When I spoke to Rob a few days ago, I heard in his voice that I'd never heard before: resolve. He was determined to get through rehab and begin living life on his terms. I know most of us thought that's what he was doing all along, but this was different. I can't explain it, but it was very apparent to me that he means business this time around. I'm proud of him for finally reaching this point. It's not going to be easy or particularly pretty, but it's what he wants.
In the meantime, I'm going to miss him. I'm going think good thoughts for him. And, I'm seriously considering sending his doctors and nurses my copy of the Acidman Mood Detector, complete with colorful Category staging graphics.
I miss you, man.
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