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Andrew Long, 1981 – 2014

By Heath | April 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

Our friend and teacher Andrew Long passed away on Tuesday at the age of 32.  I wrote for RPGamer not long after I got my start here on RPGLand, over 11 years ago.  Andrew hired me, then took me under his wing, as he did for all new members of the crew.   I was as green as green could be, and it showed as I made mistake after mistake.  I frustrated a lot of people, but Andrew showed constant faith and support, for which I am forever grateful.  For one thing he made me a better writer, and for another, his patience enabled me to work over there for two and a half years.  Had he not stuck by me, I wouldn’t have made it past that rocky first month or two with the site and therefore wouldn’t have had that experience.

For one brief day back in RPGLand’s prime, Andrew even came over here and answered our letters column with me.  You can read it here.  (The formatting is a little wonky due to layout changes over the years.  Sorry.)  It was part of a split where he crossed over to the Dark Side for a day, and I returned to a website I hadn’t written for in a couple of years.  It was fun.  We should’ve done it more often.

We still talked online all these years.  He was an excellent person to talk to not only because of his sharp wit, but because you could tell he valued the things you said.  That’s one of the things we attribute to “great” people when we remember them: how they made us feel about ourselves.  When I send email updates to my family and friends, it’ll be a little bit surreal to never get another reply from Andrew.  These replies at one point in time had potential to bloom into fun conversations.  Not anymore.  That’s sad.  Forgive my awful prose here; I’m just typing from the hip.

I couldn’t have guessed that a drive up to Toronto a decade ago would be the last time I’d ever see Andrew in person.  With the road of life taking me to Japan, I knew that visits would be few and far between, but come on, we were in our 20’s.  I had no reason to think it’d be the last time.

We caught a movie, ate Chinese, went to his house, and played some games.  Most of the night was taken up by some GameCube classics.  I gave in to exhaustion and went horizontal on his couch.  I faded in and out of sleep in between turns with the controller.  Last thing I remember is him turning off the system and shutting down the lights for the night.  I’d fallen asleep.  He could’ve gone all night, it seemed.  Smiling, he asked if I was gonna call it a night or if I wanted to try another game, take a walk, or do whatever.  I said I felt like I was good, and let myself fall asleep there on the couch.  I wish I’d stayed up.  I’ll always wish I’d stayed up.

Topics: Friends