A dear friend, butterfluff, has died. I never met its player, but that's no great distinction anymore; love is easy and doesn't much care about place.
Perhaps two years ago I took the time to go around to many of the people I love, and telling them just how I feel, and how happy knowing them makes me. It was a bit disconcerting; some of them I suspect thought I was readying to say goodbye, and I didn't know how delighted I would feel saying it. I don't remember who I told; I didn't try to make a formal list, just told people as I saw them, and I didn't log the events; some moments have to be free. I dearly hope Butterfluff was one of the people I told.
Butterfluff had many wonderful qualities. It was a source of energy, a catalyst to creativity, a person who could catch on to your thoughts and play them back, and amplify them, and leave them more colorful and more alive. And it had a wonderful ability to understand what you were thinking, sometimes before you were fully aware of the idea.
I recall one quick exchange between Butterfluff -- who was genderless -- and Leslie -- a cute, polite bunny-child who insists on addressing adults as Mister or Misses. ``You don't have to call me Mr Butterfluff,'' it explained; Leslie was barely done sweating at the notion when it said, ``No, I see that you do.'' And it proposed the wonderful construction ``Mr Mrs Butterfuff'' -- or Mrs Mr -- and left them both rather happier. It's probably not coincidence most of the really marvelous, magical, special nights on Spindizzy were ones with Butterfluff near the core, playing the keyboard as if singing a life.
One of the handful of serious conversations I had recently with Butterfluff was about its concern that it had lost the lighthearted, whimsical, foolish sides it had originally planned for the character; it was supposed to be childlike in a way. Butterfluff was worried that in being so emotionally supportive, so important to others, that it'd lost something. I didn't believe it had then, and I still don't, and I hope it felt a bit better for our conversation. And I'm happy that (through tinyplot complications too involved to explain) I was able to adopt Butterfluff as family on Spindizzy.
We skeleton-less elastic types have to support one another, after all.
Trivia: The last first-class French warship powered solely by sails was constructed in 1847. Source: Manet and the Sea, Juliet Wilson-Bareau and David Degener.
Currently Reading: Ascending, James Alan Gardner.