Ode to Froge
Froge is Dead, Long Live Froge

Froge Died on May 20, 2021

Froge is dead.

I learned Froge is dead when I checked Frogesay to see why he was being so quiet in the activity feed.

For this eulogy I have decided to steal all his shit. His css, his favicon, everything. It's not homage, it's theft. I like to think he would appreciate that, but since it's impossible for us to understand each other I reckon he would be equally likely to hate it. 50/50 odds on love/hate. I'm comfortable with those odds. Flip a coin.

You know, I always liked Froge. I read his work as well as I read any other writer's work, which is to say, sporadically and imprecisely, because the only writing I truly read carefully is my own. His writing resonanted more often than it confused, but the confusion was always the sort I have when I gaze back at myself over the years and wonder who the fuck is that guy? I never really understood either of us.

I primarily liked Froge because he reminded me of my younger self. I suffered under the burdens of a similar energy. His farewell post resonates on many levels. Forge understands what it's like to be a laboring writer. Not a working writer--a laboring writer, as in, one who labors out of love until the love fades, as all things do on this dying, whirling planet, and the pen is dropped and the writer, having shed the thankless carapace of artistic vision, simply walks away.

I talked to Froge two or three times, always with the intent of annoying him. It was precisely because he reminded me of myself that I felt the urge to needle him and be a bit of a cunt about it. You should edit more. You should have more cohesive argument structure. Etc. I honestly don't even remember what my beef was the last time I emailed him, except he'd written something kind-of-but-not-quite brilliant and I was just like, Jesus Christ dude ("dude" translating to "past me," never forget it's all about me) get it together, hit the ball out of the park, rocket to the moon, so at least one of us can get famous. For fuck's sake.

None of us are getting famous, though. That's not how this game works. I'm a failure, so I would know.

If you want to be a writer, an honest-to-god dying with a pen in your hand lifelong writer, you have to love it so bad when you fail it doesn't matter. It doesn't actually register as failure. It's a cliche to say you should write for yourself but it's true. You must. So when no outcome materalizes, well, you have... what? The memory of all that blood and sweat? The memory of your pixellated labor? Look back and think, wow, I wrote 1,000,000 words, it took hours upon hours, and 12 people and/or bots looked at it. Thanks for all the meomories! When the memories stop being enough, the writer must move on to some other form of existence.

Since Froge was a younger me from a different multiverse, we would never understand each other, but we could have never understood each other anyway. Every pseud I have is an honest version of myself, but each only acknowledges a limited facet of my identity. The romantic in me likes to believe in the purity of our digital self-representation, that this version of us is the closest to the truth and therefore superior to the meatspace presentation. This isn't true at all, and is an assuredly problematic concept if you care to waste five seconds parsing it out, so don't bother. As digital neighbors we would be forever doomed to misunderstand each other, but that's not really the point. The point is the trying.

Froge actually reviewed one of my games on Froghand. I fucking loved it! I never told him so. I should have. It would have meant something in the moment, I think. He would have forgotten later, but that doesn't matter. All that matters is I would have sent something positive hurtling out into the cyber to a fellow writer.

One thing I am absolutely certain of is Froge has no idea who I am and does not remember our brief conversations at all, and I like that. I like that a lot. I like that I was nothing to him. I thought about him, in passing, a lot more than two or three annoying interactions and the occasional mention on my blog would warrant, and I like that too. I like it because the scales are tipped like this in many human interactions. A blip to me is a memory to you, and vice-versa. I was a blip to Froge, if even, and he is a memory to me. But as fitting as this is, according to the intricate internal ruleset that governs my sense of justice, it's also sad. As a fellow writer, I understand how important that tiny interaction is, even if we don't remember it later. That tiny ping exchanged between reader and writer does matter. I wish I'd sent out a few more pings for him to forget about.

So long, Froge. Thanks for reviewing my game. Bless for all the bytes.