Stuart died today.
I can't believe I just wrote that.
I talked to Wyatt after getting the heads up about the posts on his Facebook. The only thing I could think to do was call Stuart's cell phone, and Wyatt picked up. How surrealistically morbid.
They'd gone to a birthday part last night, and everyone had a great time, drinking and gaming and hanging out. They both went to bed before midnight, and about 1:00 a.m. Stuart woke Wyatt up and said to get the neighbors because he was having a heart attack (apparently he'd had one in 2003 or so, before I met him). While they were waiting for the paramedics Wyatt was trying to keep Stuart calm, and apparently said something along the lines of it being his fault. True to form, Stuart said not to be silly, that anything he did he did to himself.
Wyatt said he did lose consciousness, and the paramedics had to resuscitate him, and then they were off to the hospital. They told him they needed to stabilize him and then they were going to take him into emergency surgery (bypass? pacemaker?), and the family had been notified so Wyatt should just go home. The nurse even said his chances were good.
When Wyatt went back later in the day, they told him he'd died around 6:00.
Wyatt said his mother is on her way to San Diego (I seem to recall she and his sister live in the Baltimore area), and his father may be on his way, too. She's going to stay with Wyatt at their apartment tonight. Wyatt also had friends over today to help him through this. I feel bad because Wyatt is now the de facto friends contact, so I told him I'd do my best to get the word out to as many people as possible so he wouldn't have to worry about it or deal with a lot of phone calls or whatnot (I've been there, and it's a horrible spot to be in). I'm posting to a lot of slash communities, plus I made some phone calls to some San Diego folks (Kevin, Corby, Daniel, plus Noel in the northeast) and have e-mailed a few people that I know knew Stuart personally.
So, yeah. I'm just stunned. I can't really process this yet.
I met Stuart at Gaylaxicon in 2004, and together we started San Diego Queer Sci-Fi. We had a booth at a couple of Prides, and he started a book club and the monthly movie outings. He came to Myke's weekly gaming night, and we had a pretty good gang going. I got him involved with Conjecture, and he used to scout out artwork at other conventions if he thought I would like it. He also dragged me (somewhat kicking and screaming) into slash fandom, even taking me to CON.TXT last year, which is the last time I got to spend time with him in person (although I would often call him when I felt homesick for San Diego, despite his impending move to Seattle). I found out a whole new side of him at the con - it turns out he's quite famous in slash fandom for not only being one of the few men, but also for his insights into m/m relationships that straight women never had a resource for before. It was a real treat to see his contributions to the community, and how much he was loved there.
Stuart was infamous for hating having his picture taken, but I took this one the night before I left San Diego in 2005 as all my friends were playing board games at a local coffee shop (he's on the far right):
It's still one of my favorite pictures, and now one of the few I have of him. Still, every time I see it, I can still hear him saying, "What's your damage, Heather?"
I will miss you, Stuart. I will miss you very, very much.