He had been trying to make the dream work for half a decade. Five years of his life at middle age competing in an arena filled with children who were more vital, more dedicated, and far more entertaining than he could ever be. But he had his justifications. He convinced himself that he lulled his audience to sleep, and that this was his key selling point.
He was only able to do it because his long-suffering partner was willing to put up with it. She supported him through hard labor at jobs she hated. It became even more difficult once she convinced herself that she was autistic and made that self-diagnosis a part of her personality. What had really happened was that their relationship had passed into a shadow realm of non-communication, with her working days and him “working” nights; if they never saw each other there was never a chance to discuss just how bad things between them had become.
The real failing was that he was, prior to his headlong leap into the empty swimming pool of livestreaming, an artist. And he had been given a golden opportunity to work on his art but instead squandered it on the intermittent dopamine drip of playing video games and receiving the occasional handful of change from strangers on the Internet.
When I think of what he could have done to hone his craft instead of destroying his health and love, I weep.
2023.08.12 – 2023.12.25