I met Roxy in a way I guess I’ve met a lot of people: through the Internet. I was 16 years old and desperate to meet people with interests similar to the ones that had started to overtake me around that time, primarily indie rock and books. Roxy and I reached out to each other via a site called makeoutclub (like OKCupid but way more embarrassing, if possible) and began talking on instant messenger and obsessively reading one another’s Livejournals.
We were kind of our own support group back then as we tried to figure out what our identities were during our awkward teenage years, wishing we were anywhere but our current locations (suburban Connecticut and Santa Monica). We quoted The Hipster Handbook, introduced one another to new bands, books, and movies. She was one of the first people to teach me things about what feminism really was. A lifeline when I really, truly needed it.
In a way, I think we helped one another become comfortable in our respective skins, leaving drunk voicemails to one another when we got to college, in awe that we were finally in big cities, going to shows, making cool friends in real life.
Later, we’d mostly lost touch until a few years ago, when my good friend Caroline asked me how I knew Roxy. They’d met and were planning to start a body-positive fashion blog together. They’d name is Broadist and it’d be totally badass. It was around this time, after seven or eight years of talking on the Internet, that I very drunkenly met Roxy and her boyfriend Alexis at a show. It felt unreal, as did seeing her split a bottle of wine with my girlfriend two months ago.
What feels truly unreal, though, is the fact that she’s gone. I found out last night that Roxy has passed away and it’s crushing me. She was a beautiful soul, and I’m far from alone in thinking that. Our lives have run parallel for so long, it’s impossible to even imagine that this person won’t be around, that a person I’d seen transform so much won’t continue to do so, to be the badass everyone knew her to be.
It’s been a rough month for other reasons I’m still not ready to write about, but I’ve thought a lot about time, and about wasting it. Even with how much I’ve accomplished, how much I’ve changed, I’ve realized that I’ve spent the last few years afraid to care about anyone anymore.
Caring, I thought, just led to pain. You get burned for caring every time and we still do it anyway. My professor in college told me to “write what hurts,” and I got tired of hurting. I chose to not care. I’m done with all of that now, after this awful November.
Tonight I will go home to Connecticut and hug whichever family members happen to be there. I won’t roll my eyes at them, instead look directly at them and tell them how much I love them. There isn’t plenty of time, there’s never enough time. i’m going to seize everything, write about it all, work to do everything I’ve always wanted to do without fear of trying and failing. My beautiful girlfriend just moved into my apartment, and I’m going to cherish every minute.
I’ve avoided writing personal, navel-gazing stuff on the Internet, but losing someone I met by doing things like this ten years ago makes it all seem appropriate. I loved you, Roxy, and I miss you already. I love all of you too, whoever you are.