Eulogy for Dr Watson

He was a friend of mine, met in HS. We were on the quiz bowl team together, narrowly missing nationals. If we’d made it, we would have beat everyone.

He had a hard life growning up. His mother struggled to raise Charles and his half sister while dealing with a husband that left and another that she had to kill in self-defense (If I have the story right, after all those years, I never did get it exactly right.) They had to share a house with a good friend who was gay. Nothing wrong there, except Charles was approached by one of the guys friends. The “friend” got beat up later that week, a small object lesson in whom not to approach by his mothers friends.

He had the same problems in church. Granted, I’m the last person to defend the stupid Southern Baptist Church, but the one he attended until he was 15 and moved across town was about the most backwoods, ignorant redneck Social Club I’ve seen. I’d been there a few times as a scorekeeper for baskeball games. Dumb bunch.

He was brilliant. I’d put him up against any of ya’ll. He could argue rings around anyone. He aced the ACT/SAT. I know his ACT score was a 36. I don’t recall his SAT, but it was insane as well. He did all of his Calculus in his head, never writing down a single equasion, but always getting the answer right. Even the great debaters in GD would have been impressed.

He was the one who got me hooked on computers, really. He actually had one. His mom had saved for one, and we played on it. I got started on BBSing back in the 80’s thanks to him. We had a C64, with that awesome 300 baud modem. He eventually got a XT, then a 286. I took to computers and ran with it. He was Dr Watson on the boards. He was on a mud someplace, had been there 3 years and finally made it into someone important in that mud.

College is where he picked up the habit that we’re guessing killed him. He started smoking in college. He was addicted to it. Classic two pack a day at his worst. He never did make it back to college. He couldn’t raise the money. He simply missed his chance. We tried over the years, but money was always the problem.

He picked up debts from college, and got hit with a garnishment which neatly impeded his ability to get anywhere. Classic Catch 22. He ended up working at Sbarro’s, doing the best he could (which was always outstanding) and trying to keep afloat in a world where poverty is a lurking beast, always ready to slay the weak and drag them down. I did manage to make it. I got lucky and married a wonderful woman (Juliana, that’s you.) He never did get to date. Was always too introverted when it came to women. I got married, started a family, and ended up being the Stay at home Dad. Our lives wandered their ways.

He started coughing last night. My brother who did know him (and saw him last out of our family), said he was coughing more than usual. We don’t know what the autopsy will reveal at this point. But last night he started coughing, then stopped breathing all together. His mom, disabled, and his sister at home (for once) called 911, but nothing could be done.

I mention this here because he was the one who gave me one of Cecil’s books. I read this site for awhile before trying the messageboard. He wasn’t really interested in that, being addicted to his Mud.

Now our paths diverge forever. His to an early grave, led there by smoking (or whatever). He never did escape the beast that sits on our backs, the one outsiders never know in their hurry to misjudge us. He fought hard, but never did escape.

Leaves me wondering where I’m headed.

I’m sorry about the death of your friend. He sounds cool.

I wouldn’t take his fate as your own, as your paths had diverged long ago. You can learn from his life and take the good for your own and see the bad as a warning of what can go wrong.

If you need to talk…

Yeesh Zero…that story is so close to my life, it’s almost scary…

I too had a rough time in school at first, and dropped out. I was a three-pack-a-day smoker. Started experimenting with drugs. I was digging myself into debt everyday, living on a credit card without a job…it was only a matter of time.

But in the same vein, it’s beginning to turn towards your own. In a few months, I’m marrying the most beautiful woman I’ve ever set my eyes on. I’m back in school, only a year away from graduation. I’ve totally cut down on the nicotine habit, to less that a pack a day. And my $3,000+ garnishment has certainly hindered my ability to enjoy life for a little while, but it is merely weeks from being totally paid off.

Unfortunately, I too suffered a tragic loss. Just last summer, a friend committed suicide by Hari Kari. He was Bi-racial, Caucasian/Japanese. But the guy seemed so stable, always helping me and our friends out when we had problems. Always gave the best advice. His head was certainly screwed on tighter than anyone else I knew…showing how bizarre and unexpected this event was.

As I reflect, months after, I wonder what chance I have when a guy so cool and collected can’t handle life…it’s scary. But I know life is here to be lived. What happens happens…and we really can’t control it.

My sincerest condolences, Zero. Keep the faith, man.

Dr. Watson was the first friend of my husbands that I met when I moved down here. He was so nice. I remember he held the car door open for me. SZ was the first to ever do that, and he was only the second. I was stunned.

We became good friends, as I have with all of my husband’s friends. He was probably the most intelligent young man I had ever met, and I was always so impressed with him.

He was the best man at our wedding. (Yes, I married Saint Zero, anyway.) :slight_smile: But he wore this… this… JACKET that was simply hideous. Of course, it didn’t matter to me what he wore (and he really looked good in it), but then I heard he and my wonderful husband had swapped jackets. I told SZ’s mom, “Tell him that if he’s wearing that jacket when I walk down the aisle, I’m not saying I do.” Of course I didn’t mean it: I would have married him if he were in a robe and bunny slippers. But when I saw him, my husband to be was wearing his black jacket. :smiley: We have pictures of the wedding: some shots are from before, when the jackets had been swapped. It is so funny.

Right now, I just can’t believe he’s gone. Even though I wasn’t as close to him as SZ was, he was still my friend, and I miss him terribly.

God bless you, my friend. Thanks for letting me get to know you.

Sometimes life just plain isn’t fair. And there really aren’t any words that can make it all right.

{{{Saint Zero}}}