US and THEM Index
How I came to know Pink Floyd
The story of how I came to know Pink Floyd and my wonderful friends on IRC is a rather interesting one...more so then you might originally think. It began when I was 14. My life was just above the level of depression that was suicidal. Barely. I did not listen to any older generation music then. In fact, I listened to what I now consider complete garbage: bands like Guns N Roses and Nirvana (although I think I will always like the song "November Rain"). A problem had arisen in my life of rather titanic proportions at this time...a problem that I will not discuss here. This was the cause of my severe depression. I had had AOL for some time when this happened...but had not been using it.
I had not been on the Internet at all for almost a full year. But something dragged me back to it...possibly just the need for someone to talk to. I became familiar with all of it's features and began making some acquaintances (note that the word is not "friends", for at the time I did not know what friendship really was). In a chat room one night, I ran into someone under the Screen Name USnTHEM111. Somehow all conversation I was having in the room gravitated toward her. We eventually ended up talking in an Instant Message window, and completely ignoring the rest of the channel. I told her of the problem I was having, and she was an excellent listener. We talked for a very long time. I did not think much of it then. Not at all. In fact I only scarcely remembered talking to her at all by the following night.
As I said, I had no understanding of friendship at the time...being that I could never even socialize with my classmates at school or anything. Of all the luck, that very night the fake account with AOL that I was using expired, and I had to get back to my real account...so i had a different Screen Name. I went into another chat room...and within 10 minutes USnTHEM111 joined the same room, and asked if anyone had seen anyone by my fake account's screen name. I told her I was right here, under a different name, and she was shocked. This chat channel had been the absolute first place she had looked for me. And there I was. That was when something inside me stirred and opened one eye slightly to gaze out at what was there.
I spoke with her more than I had the night before...more fully. I discovered that she lived within 15 miles of my grandmother's house... and we visit my grandmother annually (my grandmother later moved...to within 10 miles of her house). That was when I was shocked. That was one big double-coincidence. Cheryl (USnTHEM111) and I became very close friends after that. She helped me thru all of the problems I was having, including that extra large one. She was the first real friend I had ever known, and she had awakened something in me...something that would later grow and evolve. Cheryl was a huge Pink Floyd fan. I had never listened to them, and she was always telling me about how great they are. She finally bugged me into getting one of their albums. When i asked her which one I should get, she told me "any of them". I went down to the local K-Mart and picked one in particular off the shelf for no special reason other than I thought the cover was awesome. And of all the albums there, which one do you suppose I picked? That's right, The Division Bell. It was the best CD I have ever heard.
I fell in love with High Hopes right away, and love it just as much to this day. I told Cheryl of my purchase, and it was at that time that she first told me of the Publius Enigma. Being a puzzle lover, I was delighted to try it. I stared long and hard at the pages of The Division Bell booklet, seeing only the pictures...nothing "strange", as I thought I was supposed to. I devised several theories on TDB's meaning...none of which seemed, well, important enough to be the answer. I was still in no position to solve it at that time. Cheryl later told me of a really kewl internet program called IRC. She said she had many friends there who would love to meet me, as she had told them much about me. At long last I downloaded and set up mIRC. That was when i first met everyone on IRC in the #pinkfloyd channel. The change that Cheryl had initiated in me began to gain momentum as I was drawn back to the chat channel night after night.
I did not hit it off well with Sandy at first, due to--ironically-- miscommunication. But with time and persistence she has become one of my best friends ever. By then I was buying Pink Floyd CD's like mad and had become relatively good friends with those in the channel. The friendships strengthened slowly as the change in me began to show through. Then there was the night on IRC when I first spoke with Dave. It was relatively unremarkable, of course, but there was something rather surprising about when Dave joined the channel that even Dave is still unaware of (unless he reads this). At the time I had kind of picked up that Dave popped into the channel now and again from looking at Rich's rare channel conversations. I was still using my AOL screen name as a nick back then, Revenge or Revenge5.
On this particular night just Bernie and I were in the channel for a long while. I suddenly got an odd feeling. I wondered what kind of first impression it would make if dave came into the channel and the first time he talks to me I am using the nick Revenge. I had been on IRC for some time by now and had never seen Dave...so the idea that he would come in within the next half hour (before I logged off and went to bed) was dismissed. However, it refused to stay down. It was an increasingly urgent feeling that I should change my nick in case he comes in. And it simply would not go away. It was to the extent that I began worrying about being overly paranoid. Finally, I changed my nick to Twister. And lo and behold, not 5 minutes later, Dave comes in. I did not say much this first night, but what I did say did not come out right. As with Sandy, my words were--ironically--misinterpreted. Miscommunication. Dave said something to me about it in the channel, in a scolding manner, and unwittingly came up with my alternate IRC nick in doing so...he was the first to call me Mister Twister. ;-)
From then on my friendships...and my understanding of them, continued to grow. Craig later solved the Enigma...discovered the message about friendship it delivered. I still do not understand it fully as I write this, but the more progress this change within me makes, the closer I come to grasping what Craig has already. I now have many friends on IRC... many inseparable friendships. The first and the best friendships of my life. The whole process has had an amazing impact on my life, I cannot even think what might have happened had I not met Cheryl that night. Truth is,I would probably be dead. This change is still ongoing and progressing, and so I cannot as of yet tell all of it's affects. But the amazing coincidences just keep racking up, and I suspect they will continue to until the change is complete. My ramblings here will have to be updated at some point. I feel that the hand of fate was at work here, with all that has happened. The coincidences are almost scary. And I think a good lot of people involved in this change will say the same. Coming Back To Life...