Unlike a lot of the beautiful, heartfelt blog posts about Ryan Davis I've seen this week, this one isn't going to have some poignant, personal experience on my part. I'm afraid I never had the privilege to know Ryan personally or even meet him in passing, which I will eternally regret. Hell, the closest Ryan ever came to knowing I existed was a forgettable (for him) moment on one of him and Jeff's commute livestreams. They were on a ferry boat, and Ryan had been talking about changing his look. Jeff made the helpful suggestion that he could go back to the bleached-blond, clean-shaven look he had back in the early GameSpot days, and I suggested in the chat that he should dye his beard and moustache blond and leave his hair the way it is. Jeff thought it was funny and mentioned it out loud, and Ryan made a joke about how amazing he would look.
That's about it in terms of direct interaction, sadly. But I'm posting this because of something that I never expected would bring me comfort; I have accidentally become a source of comfort to others in this dark time. See, on YouTube, I go by the username "BurningDogFace", not Deusoma. It's an old Flash cartoon reference, not about animal cruelty, FYI. And a ways back, I started recording and posting some of my favourite clips from Giant Bomb videos, more so I'd have an easy way of accessing them at will than to get attention for it. But this last week, while several of my Ryan-focused clips have gotten 'RIP Ryan Davis' comments or people mentioning how much they're going to miss him, none of them have gotten as much attention as this one:
I only realized why that one was getting more attention than most late last night, when I saw that someone else had already posted a link to my video in the 'Your Favourite Ryan Moment' thread (Along with my embarrassingly blurry SkyTrain video), much to my shock, though I must say I was even more surprised to see that former intern Matt Kessler had posted it on Twitter and it had been retweeted by a few of Ryan's friends.
Believe it or not, despite my rambling here, I'm a writer, like to write short stories and make people smile. But I find it incredibly difficult to sum up my feelings this week in words. So I just wanted to post this journal to say both Thank You, and You're Welcome.
It actually helps me feel a bit better that people are using a silly video clip I recorded as a means of comforting themselves, to remember one of Ryan's happier moments. I know it's not about me, of course, that I just happened to be the first guy to get this particular clip on YouTube, but still, just the idea that I'm helping other people feel better... well, not to sound cliche, but it feels like what Ryan would have wanted.
So I'm gonna end it here before I ramble all afternoon and just add the most important message of all.
You were the best, Ryan Davis. I loved you like a friend, and I'll never forget you. And you know what? While my last name might not be Frakes, I'm still a Johnathan with a goatee, so I'm hoping that someday, when I kick the bucket myself, maybe we can play a few hands together. I even promise to keep my tongue inside my mouth. ;-)
Rest in Peace, big guy.