Death Valley California

I used to chat occasionally with this older guy named Daniel Collinelli when I was 16. He found me through livejournal and we bonded over our love for campy horror movies. Unlike most middle-aged men on the internet who seemed to be constantly trolling for tweens, Daniel was almost aspie-like in his knowledge and obsessive categorizing of b-grade flicks. His pictures, when he posted them, showed him as the thinnest man I had ever seen, with a sunken-in face. He wore a black leather trench coat. He lived in the desert. He lived alone.

One miserable frozen night in Fargo, unable to deal with the fact that I was about to be expelled from college, I asked Daniel to call. I told him I had decided to run away.

"You’re pretty young," he said, "but smart. I can’t tell you to do anything but I think you’re smart enough to come back."

And after everything was done and over with, all the shameful tears and griping, he was right.

A few years later, I was lucky enough to find myself transferring to a new school and was determined not to waste my second chance. It was around this period of time I was contacted by Rose. She was a friend of Daniel’s and was going through his list of contacts to share the somber news: he was dead.

She sounded troubled, obviously, but relieved. It was through her I learned that Daniel had been born with severe hemophilia which brought a lot of severe medical complications into his life. She explained how much pain he had been. Daniel passed away from complications due to his hemophilia.

His livejournal is still there. I visit it sometimes when I think of him, but I remember him less and less. His already scarce pictures are now gone, his hosting account taken down by his loved ones. I don’t have much to say about Daniel Collinelli. I didn’t know him, and his death did not particularly affect me, but I liked him well enough. Maybe it’s just that I think his memory is worth remembering.