I just found out today that a college friend of mine has died. I found out through a mutual friend.
He was terrifyingly brilliant. You could sense that anything was within his reach. Yet he also seemed a bit restless and sometimes you could see in his face a haunted look, like that of a man on the run.
In the mid-90's he tried to recruit me for one of his Internet companies. I didnt join him but he ended up making millions. Later, he lost those millions. Much later, he made millions again. He had that magic power as if his world obeyed a different set of rules than yours or mine.
Friends and I noticed that he seemed to be living life at twice the speed that we were. He struggled hard with addiction and substance abuse, problems which held him back from his own great ambitions. Whereas we saw a shining light, he was struggling against his own darkness.
I dont know much about how he died except that his body was found in a "hotel room in Venezuela" (according to one of his former wives) with all the imagined backstory that that conjures up regarding what he was up to in his final days. I was also told that he had collapsed to such a mental state that he was not the person "we once knew." It is clear that the decision to leave this world was his own even if that decision had the clarity of fog.
He was only 36. One of those cases of a life lived twice as fast but, unfortunately, only half as long.
Rest in peace, RD.