There are some people who make lasting impressions on your life, even if they only played a minor part, even if they were NPCS in your game of life; someone you didn’t really know much about, aside from the very basics – and that they were good people.
We lost a person like that a few days ago, and I only just learned about it on Tuesday. The news came as a shock, and I can only express my deepest condolences to his friends and those close to him, as I feel the strangeness and sadness flowing in.
This was someone who was a big part of my life in my teens, when I was starting to venture into the environment that I am now fully integrated in. He was one of the employees at one of (at that point two) comic book/nerdy stores in the city, when I started frequenting it, at first as a shy and held-back young teen, and then as I gradually bloomed into the very outspoken nerd that was on the inside. This was a man who was 20+ years older than me, with interest that to say the least, were a canyon of a distance from mine, but all the while spoke to me as an equal. He was someone who always greeted me – and everyone else – with a big smile and friendly chatter.
He was someone who would laugh and tell me not to be so proud of my uncanny likeness to Miyazawa, and Poemi, and who once gloated in basically guessing the entire plot of a yaoi manga they had held for me – without seeing the blurb on the back first.
He was a big man, and his fellow staff used to joke about making him a Totoro cosplay – because he was just that kind of guy; always friendly, always giving out the best bear hugs to anyone in need, or want of them.
As I went from being a casual customer, to a regular store-hanger (there was at some point talk of installing a hammock over the register for me) and then finally to an author selling my books in their shop, he was always supportive and encouraging. Even when I was a hyperactive, loud-mouth kid, he didn’t seem to mind, although it must have been exhausting to mind the shop with so many of us being so excited all the time.
He was a guy who would immerse you in discussions and make you miss your bus, and who always had the perfect recommendations when it came to books.
He introduced me to Redwall, and actually gave me the first volume, aghast that I had never heard of it. To this day, I have yet to read the rest of the series, but I treasure that book, and the memory of the man who gave it to me.
Trondheim’s environment of RPGS and geekery has lost a massive presence and a really good man.
I didn’t know him outside of the walls of the store, but he was still a big part of an important period of my life. In many ways, he was a major influence in the shaping of an entire generation of young nerds. And we shall all miss him greatly.
Thank you for everything, KIRR.