Scott Fuentes was a buddy of mine back in the old Dark Horse days, this was back in '92-'96. He was a designer there when I worked in the service bureau. he was a small guy who had this manic, somewhat menacing, energy about him. Like a pixie (bearing in mind that pixies and elves and fairies are all scary little folk in the original folk tales), but he was always quick to laugh if things were funny. We used to have conversations about movies and books and other things, too.
I remember him always being around in those days, the way all of us at Dark Horse were around all of the time; at parties; going out drinking; at work, of course. It seemed like I saw all of my coworkers seven days a week back then; an impression I'm sure is untrue, but there it is.
And, yeah, I'm speaking about Scott in the past tense. Last week Scott was in a single-car accident and he died. Apparently, he wasn't wearing his seat belt. Which is so sad and stupid it makes me furious. Furious the way you get with people who've died because they're no longer in your life and they're never coming back. I "found" Scott on myspace a while ago and kept telling myself that I'd contact him when things were less crazy. There's another brilliant plan that'll never come to fruition.
I have a friend, Bryan, and last Saturday night I got an email from him asking if I knew a Scott Fuentes who worked at DH. Bryan works in a funeral home and this kind of general question from him makes one suspicious. I even asked if his question was funeral-related. I remember that as I typed it, I felt uneasy. "Don't put a name to your troubles." When he got back to me, though, that was exactly what it was.
More than a few people very close to me have died in the last few years, and I'm not going to over-dramatize my relationship with Scott and say we were close. We weren't. We hadn't spoken in years, but it brought into sharp relief my tendency to leave things unsaid. Every one of those people who've exited my life should have heard me tell them things; things I was just too weak or afraid or selfish to say. I wish I could vow to be better about this. I wish I could say that from today on I will say all those things to my friends and family that I should, but I think I know better than to make those kinds of proclamations.
But I will try.
Here's to Scott Fuentes. I wish we'd had at least one more conversation.