I woke up last night at 3:30 AM and could no longer sleep. Sometimes, my brain does this: it suddenly has a question, and its curiosity must be appeased before anything else happens.

In this case, the question is one that had already been bugging me for a few days: when did I actually meet Marcus Almand for the first time? In my remembrance of him, I noted that I remembered meeting him in the autumn several years ago, either during Diversicon weekend or Arcana weekend. It bothered me that I couldn’t exactly remember when that was. Evidently, it bothered me enough that it woke me up at 3:30 AM two days later.

So there I was, digging around in my social media trails at 3:30 AM. Livejournal had the answer.

I met Marcus on Friday, October 17th, 2008. It was Arcana weekend.

Marcus passed away on Sunday night, which was October 20th, 2013. Also Arcana weekend. I’d known him for almost exactly five years.

I remember a quote from the painter Francis Bacon: “I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail leaving its trail of the human presence… as a snail leaves its slime.”

I realize it’s a bit gross to bring up snail mucus at this point, but that quote has been rolling around in my head this week. People leave their imprint long after they are gone.

Marcus spent a lot of time at my home over the last five years. Right now, just seeing my own furniture brings up his memory. I’d been hoping to get rid of my threadbare floral print couch for months, but now all I see is him sitting on it during our First Issue episodes. At Movie Night this week, Will asked if we should leave his spot on the futon open, and the room fell quiet as the feeling of loss ran deep.

Likewise, I can dig online, like I just did, to turn up a myriad of memories. I know that on October 17, 2008, I introduced Marcus to Bryan Thao Worra, and they became friends. It was the same day I met F. Paul Wilson for the first time. It was the same day I ran into Bob Subiaga for the first time in six years.

Or I can look online at Marcus’ own social media entries, and read his own words like he were still here. Or I can see him, living and breathing, in all those First Issue videos.

Perhaps the strangest thing at the moment is that Fes Works hasn’t yet edited and posted all of the First Issue episodes yet. There are still four episodes we did with Marcus that are not yet online. It’s like the inertia of Marcus’ world has not yet stopped, even though Marcus himself is now gone.

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