The long read: In the tight-knit online gaming parish Epic Mafia, Eris was an notorious celebrity. So when information of his suicide reached the forums, numerous participates were grief stricken. But in a virtual world-wide where it pays to lie, could it certainly be true?

Everyone who played Epic Mafia knew Eris, or at least known in him. In real life, he was a 32 -year-old computer programmer, who lived alone with his borderline collie in upstate New York, but in the tight-knit online gaming community of Epic Mafia, he was a personality, the impresario of the websites numerous meetings, incessantly flirting, philosophising, gossiping. In the seven years since the area had propelled, he had formed numerous intense love with parties he had never fulfilled, but who had come to depend on him. Eris had the offering of easy intimacy. He asked real questions. He wanted to know you. And excellent of all, he was always right there when you needed him: online.

Many parties is very likely to wonder why Ive decided to do this, spoke the beginning of the suicide note that Eris had scheduled to appear on his Tumblr on 27 April 2015, 2 day after his death. I was sexually abused as “childrens and” have dealt with the results of that my entire life. Imagine going through life with an ever-present darknes hanging over you, fretting if you too might be like the ones who destroyed your childhood and life.

Eriss suicide note was uncommon for a number of reasons. For one thing, it included an justification to the many players he had abused online over its first year. Eris was one of Epic Mafias most popular members, but he was also its most notorious troll. Most of his crimes were juvenile. He liked to post innocent-looking associates that led to a photograph of a My Little Pony doll he had yanked off on. He could also be malicious and vengeful. On the Epic Mafia forum, Eris once responded to a upright by an African-American player by posting a picture of King Kong. In the heat of an online squabble, he had been known to hacker into peoples accounts and remove them. And he routinely doxxed other players, expending his programming knowledge to divulge detailed information on their offline identities their weight, their age, even photographs of their home.

His defenders insisted that Eriss works were innocuous. Most of these discoveries never left the forums; they were more a sign of his affection he cared sufficient to dox you! than the various kinds of happen that would damage people honour. But others felt he went too far. After a lengthened proof with one of Epic Mafias game moderators and the other player, Eris submitted their Skype places to AddMeContacts.com, so they would be flooded with contact askings from strangers. The other player was a 17 -year-old girl, which fuelled accusations of sexual abuse. Eris claimed it was a harmless prank, and precisely retaliation for the pair logging in to one of his websites without permission, but numerous musicians were not sure who to imagine; in the world of Epic Mafia, lying will not only be part of video games, lying was the game.


Compared with the webs most popular multiplayer games, Epic Mafia is not all that epic. Although 400,000 histories have been registered, the number of participates rarely rises above 4,000 per era. The websites founder, a software engineer who goes by the handle Lucid, holds a full-time task at Uber and describes Epic Mafia as only slightly profitable.( He did not want to disclose counts .) Yet it is based on what is probably the worlds most well known modern parlor recreation. In its 30 -year history, the original Mafia game has spawned a television series in Latvia, a series of bricks-and-mortar gaming squads in China and a world championship episode in Las Vegas.

Mafia was created in a Soviet dormitory in 1987, by a psychology grad student reputation Dimma Davidoff, but today it( and its sci-fi spin-off, Werewolf) is a popular pastime with the entrepreneurial give particularly those involved in tech and venture capital in Silicon Valley.( It has infected almost every significant tech occasion of all the countries, said a 2010 section in Wired. During lunch at San Franciscos giant Game Developers Conference, or in the bars after closing at ETech, plays of Werewolf break out spontaneously .)

There are no boards, dice, or cute moulded articles in Mafia, merely one players parole against anothers. The parlor game begins with people being randomly divided into two groups: Mafia and Innocent Civilians. The Mafia are known to each other; theirs is the strength of knowledge. Civilians are naive of anyone elses role, but brace a large majority; theirs is the strength of numbers. An omniscient moderator extends musicians through the two alternating phases of video games day and night. During the working day, the players interrogate each other until majority decisions ends upon a Mafia suspect to send to the gallows. At night, the civilians must close their seeings, while the Mafia reveal themselves to one another by abiding awake and mutely indicate to the moderator who they wish to kill. A musicians true identity is only revealed upon their demise, and video games resumes until the civilians succeed in springing out all of the mafiosi, or the mafia outnumber the remaining civilians.

As the death toll rises, so too does the feeling of paranoia and anguish. This is by design. When Davidoff was growing up, most Soviet tournaments were inspired by the us v them dynamic of the cold war, but Davidoff craved Mafia to serve as a metaphor for the darkest years of the communist regime, when anyone your boss, your neighbour, your fan could be an informant. The real enemy, he believed, was to be found within. Change the word Mafia to KGB and you have life under Stalin, summon small.

It is hard to imagine an immersive event like Mafia, with its elements of improv theater and courtroom drama, working online. To admirers of the live competition, Epic Mafia might seem like a frustration. Unlike the high-powered tech whizzes who play the parlour activity, the ones who play Epic Mafia tend to be high-school and college student looking for a good way to waste time. Players are represented by raisin-sized avatars permitting calls like Hipsteresque and MrStealYoGrill. Deathblows are gave or deflected via a live-message interface. The aesthetic is aggressively Web 1.0; it might best be described as Craigslisty.

In 2010, two years after video games propelled, Lucid initiated a webcam facet so that online musicians could lastly knowledge the face-offs of the live activity, where the slightest twitching or misplaced gleam can give players away. He was sure it would be a huge strike, but the webcam went primarily rejected.( It had now been been disabled .) For numerous Epic Mafia musicians, anonymity was a plus. Your torso are no longer able to reveal you; Mafia was distilled to its purest form.

Anonymity also increased video games already paranoid atmosphere. It became easy to chisel: players could organize secret partnerships, disclosing their characters by casting each other off-site letters. And it opened the doors to the usual internet swindlers trolls and doxxers, catfishers and con artists. For the 50 or so most hardcore actors, who wasted hours every day on the locate, outing the personal identities of these camouflaged miscreants became a athletic. They uncovered scams such as a humankind who was pretending to be a teenage girlfriend, and a woman who claimed to have suffered a distressing psyche hurt but offered multiple interpretations( auto crash, electrical upsurge, illness) on different meetings. Soon, nonetheless, Epic Mafias vigilantes initiated to cast their cyberspace wider. The focus changed from beings telling potentially hazardous lies to those telling commonplace ones, like the participate ostracised for claiming to be from Australia when she in fact lives in Florida.( They retraced her IP address .) Eventually, the slightest gaffe being friends with the incorrect participate, leaving a comment that was regarded annoying could land one on the hitlist. Life on the locate was becoming more like video games itself: no ones identity was trusted, and no ones identity was safe.

I knew this mistrust firsthand when I first contacted a musician who, having been doxxed, asked to be identified only as Home Slice. Is there any practice you can provide incontrovertible have proven that youre you? wrote Home Slice in response to my interview seek. Id ask you to craft a particular tweet in real age or take a picture of yourself holding up a piece of paper with something written on it.

But rather than scare participates away from the locate, Epic Mafias peculiar culture merely realized it more addictive. This sounds outrageous and melodramatic, but I think there is some truth to the concept that EM becomes a second reality.( Clearly, for some people, it turns into a surrogate social life .) Compound this with the rationale for why which serious participates presumably take interest in Mafia deception, detective work, etc and the mannerisms you need to be good at the game charisma, cunning, analytic horsepower and you get person with a proclivity for political/ interpersonal drama.

Eg, Home Slice wrote, Eris.


Eris had long been the most powerful mischief-maker in Epic Mafia. He was a computer prodigy. He began programming at age 11 on a hand-me-down Commodore 64, an early home computer favourite in the 1980 s. By age 16, he had educated himself half a dozen programming languages. Within the world of Epic Mafia, Eris quickly became known as a programming ninja and the mods would sometimes ask him be used to help link cheats. He generated a discrete website which provided them with better access to more detailed user data, allowing moderators to track all of the accounts a participate might have created under alternative names.

But Eris who took his username from the Greek goddess of chaos, quarrel and schism too exploited his skills to punk the mods, manipulating the areas many defence loopholes. He transformed participates against moderators he didnt like. He boobytrapped emails with obscured scripts that effected moderators to unwittingly unban penalised musicians. He hijacked mod notes and turned the results of games. And throughout all this, he continued to pole private informed of participates personal identities. He remained enough lies running that we are capable of never certainly be sure what was true and what wasnt, one former place head said of Eris. To him it was all a big game.

In belatedly autumn 2014, Eris was permanently prohibited from the site for locking all the mods out of the areas forums for a era. The activities forums were more than merely a situate to socialise they were the main venue for moderators and players to transmit, a kind of open-air courtroom where grievances were aired and decided. Many of the mods still admired Eris, but now he had bridged the line from nuisance to outright menace.

Of course, at the time they had no way of knowing potential impacts such a forbid would have on him. 6 months later, Eris was gone.

Illustration: Paul Blow

Even in demise, Eris could not quite let go of his preoccupation with the game, its participates and their real-life identities. His note included the following coda 😛 TAGEND

Ive left all my skype logs and other personal data, after expunging the absolutely innocent, to a third party I can trust Im reluctant a great many of you will be ruined should the things I knew see the light of day, especially several of you who are doing things that I find the authorities would be deep very interested in, you know who you are.

Protecting your secrets is no longer my problem, the note sustained, Whether or not your sins come to light-footed is barely relevant to me at this spot, but I do know that if there is a blaze, Ill be seeing many of you there, Ill keep the fires stoked.

To seasoned players, it seemed as though Eris had grown his suicide into a posthumous round of Epic Mafia. Was he a civilian trying to pennant legitimate jeopardy? Or was Eris actually mafia, throwing shadow on innocent musicians by showing the latter are secreting dark secrets?

Shocking circumstances had happened to members of the Epic Mafia community before. On 21 November 2011, a popular Epic Mafia participate 22 -year-old Lauren Susanne Smith, who went by the epithet Pafff( a portmanteau of flannel-cakes and waffles) vanished after being ceased off by her cousin at a residency in the urban parish of Leon, Virginiafor what she said was a house-cleaning enterprise. She carried with her various thousand dollars in cash and a small handgun. The Madison County Sheriffs Department launched an investigation, and Smiths family set up a Help Find Lauren Smith Facebook page. Smith has all along been found.

In 2014, however, her Epic Mafia detail abruptly came to life. Someone who had Pafffs password but who did not act like Pafff at all embarked posting disjointed and agitating words to her note page, happens like, feed me pls, im all bones, and I am the christ. The impostor managed to play a few recreations of Mafia under Pafffs name before the website executive was alerted and fastened her account for ever.

Still, when the link to Eriss suicide note was posted in the forums , no one mentioned his dark insinuations. Perhaps the Epic Mafia community had simply grown immune to drama, or maybe no one believed that Eris, known as a notorious rumor, was capable of taking secrets to his grave. The only circumstance that mattered was that Eris was dead. Even members of such Epic Mafia community who never knew Eris personally acknowledged to being affected by his death. For four-and-a-half times you two are a father figure to me, one musician wrote. You was exactly the older brother I never had, said another.

Eriss adversaries were finally contrite Not gonna lie, a former hater identified SirAmelio wrote, i didnt looks just like you at all, but no one deserves this and his shortcomings burnished. Eris was one clever f* cking dude, gross and out of wrinkle, but ever hilarious and one of best available trolls of the 21 st century.

His sidekicks, meanwhile, were left to grapple with the randomness and ineffectivenes of their final encounters( its pretty weird was of the view that the last conference i ever had with you was about constipation ). They tried to come up with a fitted monumental. Can we start some sort of fundraiser in his reputation? wakemeupxo showed the day after Eris death was announced. He was brilliant at doxxing. Maybe start a small scholarship for computer science majors or something?

How does one commemorate a troll? No one had a good answer to that.


In the wake of Eriss suicide , past interactions took on a appalling new significance. One participate with the username GordonRamsay, in a post on the memorial thread, described a telephone conversation he had times earlier in which he talked Eris out of killing himself: I felt like, in the matter of less than an hour, I had made a real impact on their own lives. But Gordon said that he had flaunted the accomplishment, diverting Eris into an anonymous character in fables Id tell people to brag. Now his pride find scandalous; he disliked himself for never following up.

Others horror they might have actually played important roles in Eriss decision. One such participate was the builder of the site, Lucid, a polymath who had launched a startup and deserved a bachelors degree in electrical engineering and a graduate degree in medication, all before persons under the age of 30. When Lucid learned that Eris had been banned, he was concerned. He told me that hed “ve had enough” experience with people whose lives are so involved with the internet that its their only social life to fear what might happen should he be permanently cast out into physical reality.

To the frustration of the website executive and the dozen or so moderators, Lucid had always been fond of Eris, who he considered the locates honorary fool. Two weeks before Eriss suicide memo showed, the two spoke by phone. I could already tell he was very sullen and depressed, Lucid recalled. I knew[ Epic Mafia] symbolized a ton for him, and if I could just get him back on the website everything[ would] be fine. So Lucid offered the mods a slew: he would do some coding on the area, closing the security flaws that Eris had employed, and in return, they are able to lift the ban. But the moderators were tired of playing whack-a-mole with Eris; if Lucid insisted on shielding him, they threatened to quit en masse.

A few periods before word of Eriss suicide transgressed, Lucid had promised to call him with an updated report on the negotiating try. Lucid was still self-confident he had been able to get the ban switched, but he requirement more hour. The bawl never happened. Lucid does not recollect why; maybe he was too busy, or perhaps he simply did not is intended to be the bearer of bad news.

Then Tuesday came along, and I went to work, and that morning I received a phone call. It was a close friend of Eriss, a musician identified runwithfire, calling to say he was dead. His co-workers watched Lucid become pallid before he condoned himself from the part. Of course I experienced awful because my thought was that I didnt do enough for him, Lucid said.

But the executive whose decision it was to permanently ban Eris from the area seemed neither guilty nor responsible. Vancy, a blue-haired university student from Canada, had long considered the suicide coming. They had been Skype-chatting about Eriss depression for months, like in this conversation on the morning of 25 October 2014 😛 TAGEND

Vancy : Are you okay?
Eris : I am not
Eris : okay
Eris : I am
Eris : rather suicidal today
Vancy : Whats wrong?
Vancy : ah
Eris : and this area
Eris : isnt helping me
Eris : at all

Eris told Vancy that he had been taking antidepressants for years, swapping from Prozac to Welbutrin, but the doses left him numb, and though drawn to the idea of rehabilitation, Eris was too much of a cynic to believe it would do him much good. Like I recollect I actually spoke to the psychologist medical doctors recommended to me, Eris wrote in a Skype chat with Vancy, and I mostly told him psychology is similar to, witch doctory for westerners and I might as well get sacrifice a chicken or a goat and pray to the loas or something.

In a direction, Vancy said of Eriss death, I thought he might eventually be at peace.

Even though Eris had never met any Epic Mafia players in the flesh, he developed intense its relation with many of them. In his suicide observe, he addressed a number of musicians instantly, including runwithfire: Know when I said I loved you I entail it. The 20 -year-old college student from Kansas disavows ever having a nostalgic tie-in with Eris, even when they did laugh about having newborns. She does admit, however, to being emotionally dependent on him. He was, you are familiar with, my diary, she told me. They Skyped incessantly. I dont recollect what we talked about or anything like that. We simply maintained each other sane, she said. In a way.

Runwithfire knew about Eriss childhood abuse and his sadnes, but unlike Vancy, she was dazed to learn of his suicide. When a mutual pal, a participate appointed Probably Not Rose, called with the news, she immediately burst into tears. Like many other participates, she Googled Eriss real mention simply to find an obituary in the Sullivan County Tribune stating that the time of his cremation had already extended. She didnt going to see college the next day.Or the day after that. Instead, runwithfire barricaded herself inside the dwelling she shared with her mothers, spending hours crying and Skyping 😛 TAGEND

[ 4/27/ 15, 11:34: 04 AM] maybe not rose: i cant stp announcing
maybe not rose : i threw up
possibly not rose : twice
Katie : I dont know
Katie: What extend do
possibly not rose: im ljust rocking backward and forward
likely not rose : and hoping its not reall y happening

For three days, runwithfire collected memento mori. She pored over Eriss old textbook themes. She expected mutual sidekicks to cast photographs of him. She even announced his mobile phone in the hope of getting listening his voicemail content He merely has such a specific voice and I loved it but it have since been unplugged. She did not know if she was going to be able to pick herself back up. Life, runwithfire had come to feel, was a very dark lieu without him.

On the Tuesday following Eriss suicide, runwithfire had just finished having lunch with her leader, the first time she had ventured out of the house since she discovered the information. They were talking outside his office when she received a text theme and embarked hyperventilating. She organized an excuse and ran outside. I was just heaving and I couldnt inhale, she said. There was a man countenancing nearby who was looking at her in open fear. I leaned over in a thicket. I recalled I was going to throw up.

I couldnt not talk to you, the verse said.

It was Eris.

Illustration: Paul Blow

It had taken Eris two days to create an entire imitation report website to host his bogus obituary. The suicide observe wouldnt be enough, he realised. What if his pals thought he had just overdosed on pills, and was alive somewhere, half-comatose? Without persuasion proof that he was already dead, they might try to save him. So he made up a appoint, bought the Sullivan County Tribune URL, and seeded it with articles from other word stores. He took care to mention that his stands would be cremated( no organization , no tomb ), and fudged some of the details about their own families( who had no thought of his death ), and his exact orientation( he said he had died in a nearby municipality ).

In Epic Mafia, there is a word for the purposes of the act of searching people meanings for clues as to whether they are mafia: scumreading. Careful inspection of the Sullivan County Tribune website might have revealed that listed among the newspapers personnel was one Nikita Petrov a Russian historian acclaimed for his notebooks about the Soviet secret police, who Eris was known to admire. But no one scumread Eriss suicide memorandum. Or his obituary. His evidences were never found.

Over the years, Eris had grown tired of his toxic online persona, even come to abhor himself. He realised a lot of his activities on Epic Mafia could be classified as mildly to reasonably dickish. As to why he was such a dick, he wasnt sure there is. He had always adoration pranking parties. That photo of the ill-used My Little Pony? He hadnt genuinely jerked off on it; the seman was merely guar gum, food ingredients commonly used to thicken toothpaste, mixed with a little egg and flour a recipe he found on Reddit. Besides, manipulating Epic Mafias insurance loopholes was also a route of reporting them, a win-win. As for the doxxing, it only ripened out of wanting to know parties better. Its rather odd to me that we live behind all these fake identities, Eris told me via Skype chat. I was just curious, more than anything, about who people were behind their treats. Soon, nonetheless, trolling and doxxing became a anatomy of self-medication, a route to ease some of my bad feelings. Then even that stopped toiling. He developed increasingly stressed out and depressed.

There was one other reason for Eris to forge his own extinction. After Eris was prohibited from the site, some of the mods, fearing Lucid would rehabilitate him, came up with their own notion to seeing how to keep Eris away from Epic Mafia. They would trawl the web for his personal information and placed it up for public look; they would eventually dox Eris. When a sidekick tipped him off about the story, Eris panicked. It was impossible to know how far such awareness-raising campaigns might move, but he had given the mods little cause for boon. Mainly, he worried about their own families. I grew up in a fairly small town with more moo-cows than parties. Not “says hes” dont know something, but it would still freak them out to have random strangers from the internet calling them. His antagonists seemed to have boxed him in, unless he could find a way of announcing Game Over.

I genuinely hadnt intended to be myself for some time, but its preferably hopeless to discontinue being yourself in real life, said Eris. I figured Id precisely beat them to the pierce and dox myself via phony suicide. His obituary would disclose certain personal information that he would rather keep private, but it would also stanch the worst of the damage by dishonor his enemies into abandoning their hunt. After all, what kind of ogre would dox a dead man?

It never arose to Eris that he had chosen the trolliest entails possible to quit being a troll. Now it just seems, exceedingly bizarre and a tad messed up, Eris admits, but forgery his suicide manufactured gumption at the time. His real life and his virtual life were completely separate. His socialising has just taken place almost entirely online; in real life, he had few friends and preferred to be alone. Even if he exploited his legal name in the obituary , no one he interacted with in person would detect it.

If I had to be surrounded by books or parties, Eris admitted to me, I suspect Id take works. And yet, Eris still implored human interaction. He came to Epic Mafia for video games, but he abode for beings like runwithfire, whom he describes as the best friend a person could have. Some of these friends wanted to meet in person, sweeping the subdivide, as Eris makes it, but he always denied. To be honest, the idea is still a tad strange to me.

Eris also ascertained it hard to believe that report of his suicide would have often of an effect on parties Ive never met before. And so he posted his obituary, undid his cell phone and watched his project unfold. Then he promptly went back to playing Epic Mafia under a new name.

Paul

Illustration: Paul Blow

Faking your extinction, coding an entire bogus newspaper, posting a dramatic suicide note full of scheme ideologies these concepts all seem extreme. And hitherto, being a fly on the wall at ones fucking funeral is a cliche fantasize. Now Eris was experiencing that fiction in real era, a living gentleman moving through stunned reactions to his own fatality. As he did so, he discovered he wasnt the only fantasist recurring the forums.

Cloudminion said Id transported him some kind of packet like with a stuffed rabbit in it? Eris said. I was like WTF? And likewise ummmm He claimed stock exchanges had never happened. Nor, he said, had GordonRamsay talked him out of killing himself. I would say it was some sort of guilt reply, Eris told me, but neither of those people had any reason to feel remorse.( Neither Cloudminion nor GordonRamsay responded to my interview solicits, and neither used has logged on to the place in the next six months .)

Eriss own remorse, nonetheless, had started to grow as he realised the mental fee his death was taking on the individuals who cared about him. I met parties were having editions dealing with it, Eris said. It was very strange, likewise stroking. I didnt realise Id had an impact on so many lives. Plus, well, i cared about them.

So five days after killing himself, Eris picked up the phone to induce his first summon. I dont think he perceived to what level it would upset me, runwithfire said of Eriss revelation. Are you serious? she remembers speculating. Weve been friends for years.

At firstly she had disturbance accepting the fact that Eris was really alive. In the days that followed Eriss belief suicide, she would burst into rends thinking about him before realising that he was no longer dead. Even now, when discussing him, she still catches herself lapsing into the past tense. There was, runwithfire told me , no model for the singular process she was undergoing: the five stagecoaches of ungrieving. Sometimes she tried to work through these complicated flavors with Eris 😛 TAGEND

runwithfire : okay
runwithfire : this is really weird
runwithfire : half of me is still sorrowing >.>
runwithfire : you literally ruined my top
Eris : sorry
Eris : i love you, please stop mourn for me, boys in their own families live forever unless we expire disastrous deaths Eris : by terrible i intend like getting stabbed by an immigrant in their saloon and hemorrhaging out

Nonetheless, runwithfire, whose Twitter bio speaks, Just a shattered party trying to adoration Jesus and other shattered parties better, are determined to forgive Eris. When God gives you two seconds hazard in life, she said, you dont squander it over anger.

Lucid, who acknowledges to becoming a soft-hearted person was also more alleviated than anything to learn that Eris was alive. And the tech-nerd part of him cannot aid but admire Eriss skill. I knew I was conned, Lucid chuckles. I think its crazy, but Im happy.

Not everyone was so understanding. A close friend referred Sach whose own uncle had killed himself a few weeks before Eriss suicide hung up on him when he contacted her via Skype. Hes done some fairly dickish material, Sach told me, but this is the worst. Vancy, a good friend of runwithfire, likewise refused to forgive Eris for toying with her emotions.

Most of his pals were simply indignant and confounded. They told him they had taken time off from wreak or school as a result of his actions, that bulletin of his death had left them experiencing break-dance. But beyond the sites inner circle, the majority of players still had no thought Eris was alive.( Epic Mafia coolness is measured by how soon thereafter you were informed that[ Eris] forged his death, one actor afterward joked on the forums .)

Three months after his death, Eris was outed. He had been up one night Skyping with a player called Clandestine, when she confessed that she had just immersed a handful of capsules. Because Clandestine would not give up her street address, Eris contacted an Epic Mafia head, who could only be persuaded into accessing Clandestines account information after he divulged his true identity. But, is in accordance with Eris, when the police arrived at Clandestines house, she told them she was fine and moved them away. The next day, news that Eris was alive spread through members of the forum. So that, he said, was sort of the end of my pseudocide.

In the discussions that eventually followed, actors seemed more weary than surprised that Eris had tried to record himself out of macrocosm. Maybe nothing on the internet astonished them any more.

Yo can someone fill me in on the last three years? one long-absent participate positioned on members of the forum. All I know is that[ Eris] left a suicide mention but didnt kill himself.

Everything suctions and nothing matters, responded person referred ScubaSteve. The end.

Almost nine months have transferred since Eris counterfeited his death. Since then, both Vancy and runwithfire have ceased the area. Last-place time my notion of volunteer work was extending a website full of unappreciative overdramatic teenagers, Vancy said. Now its facilitating minors with special needs at the neighbourhood YMCA. Runwithfire started graduate school this autumn. I ultimately went busy, she said, with some measure of relief.

As for Eris, he is feeling better a change he ascribes to a brand-new regiman of antidepressants and returning to church. Not so much better for the God-worshipping part, but because its nice to sit and listen to a sermon and perhaps talk to parties afterwards.

A month ago, Eris also encountered a brand-new girlfriend, the status of women he met through Epic Mafia and who he describes as being as nighttime, morbid and kind-of screwed up as he is. When I told her about[ my fake suicide] she thought it was kind of joke. They have not met in person hitherto, but she lives in Pennsylvania and Eris hopes she will soon become the drive to New York, so he can take her out on a proper year. The old-time directions are the best, he said.

Hes thinking dinner and a movie.

Illustrations by Paul Blow

Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here