An ode to RuFuS. A friend I never met.
I virtually "met" Rich Scott, aka RuFuS on an online forum populated by people who run marathons. Rich had the gift of being hilariously funny, while at the same time being completely incomprehensible. I mean, you never really knew what the hell he was talking about. On two separate occasions, he really offended me - that is, until I realized that I had totally misunderstood what he was saying. On both occasions, he privately messaged me, apologizing for offending me. Again, it wasn't until I went back and reread his comments that I figured out I had only been offended because I'd had no idea what he had said to me in the first place.
In the past couple of years, he and I had "talked" via email several times, and a couple of times on the phone. The guy was a tender hearted, good person. He made sweet comments about my family, and he and I had made tentative plans to meet at some future time (he apparently had some business in Atlanta - he lived in Iowa). I was alternately excited and terrified at the thought of meeting him in person.
Last few months, RuFuS had spent some time in the hospital. I never really knew what was wrong with him. He downplayed whatever it was as a stomach bug, although he was in the hospital for (I think) about three weeks. He was finally released, but I only heard from him a few times after that. I did check in with him to see how he was doing, and he always gave me some BS answer. A few weeks ago, I messaged him, but didn't get a response. About a week later I had this odd need to find out if he was ok, and messaged another imaginary internet friend. Well, she hadn't heard from him either. The next morning, we found out that he had been found dead in his apartment, supposedly from natural causes. Rich was 40.
There was quite an outpouring of grief from the online running community I am a part of. Rich was well loved, and Rich was evidently a part of many peoples lives, both those he had met in person, as well as those he had only met online. I've read more than one story of how he touched peoples lives.
I've missed his profane and head scratching comments on more than one occasion since his passing on April 11. I think that Rich is a person I would have liked to have known better. I think that the world is a duller place without him.