I write about death all the time. Fictional death. Come on, admit it, you like it. It's fun. You even beg me to write more. Because it's happening to fictional characters, it's abstract, it's escapist. But real death sucks donkey balls. Today we lost one of the pioneers of podcasting, Joe Murphy. He was a mainstay of the podcast fiction community, with his work on Dragon Page and the Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas. I talked to Joe, both on Skype and in real life, only a couple of times. We weren't close friends in the traditional sense. But I listened to his voice every week. I got to know him and his droll sense of humor because of his podcast. There is something about the human voice, something that carries your soul and can connect you deeply to another person. I've got amazing friends from my past, guys that I would do anything for - but right now, my closest friends are all from the podcasting community. I've discovered that you don't have to hang out in person to develop a real bond. That's how it was with Joe Murphy: I heard his voice, and by hearing it so much, I got to know him. He did the same, listening to my podcasts, and somewhere along the line we became friends. It's weird, geeky as hell, it makes no sense, and yet there it is. Joe made me laugh. In my life, that's what defines friends - the people who make you laugh. He made me laugh, and in my heart, I always thought of him as a friend. And now my friend is gone. And I say goodbye with the only thing I'm good at - typed words. I was asked to record something for Joe last week, and I couldn't do it. I didn't have a clue where to start, or what to say. I left the guy a voice mail three weeks ago - all of seven seconds - and I couldn't even make it through that without choking up. I know, right? Me, at a loss for words. So I'm a pussy, so sue me. If you want violence, I've got your back. If you want emotions, I'm about as worthless as a day-old mule turd. Joe, this tall glass of Newcastle is for you. It's emblazoned with the logo of the Krakens, from The Rookie, a 'cast you'll never get to finish. I will miss you. I'd love to say something meaningful, but I'm just too pissed off. So that's all I've got - I will miss hearing your voice, and you making me laugh.
The Joe Murphy Memorial Fund.