A month or so later we were sharing a suite - better for parties! - at Connexions, in Baltimore (the last Connexions, and Stuart was, in his subtle way, helping a group of us with the initial plans for organizing the first con.txt without ever being "officially" involved). I was in one of the bedrooms, checking email. Stuart waltzed in the door, grinning, flopped down on my bed, and told me he'd just come from a room party where "on the right there were girls kissing on the bed; on the left there was gay porn - I didn't know which way to look!" It was so Stuart - overwhelmed by an embarrassment of riches, so pleased with life at that moment, so happy to be where he was.
Later he wrote in my livejournal, about that con: "Don't you wish you could get file notes on everyone you met? Will talk forever about football - don't mention sports! or Pretends to know celebrities. It would save so much time and effort (grin)."
There are so many more memories. At my second Connexions, our third roommate painted his fingernails sparkly silver before the banquet - he drew the line at the face-glitter, though. At every con he was the "official" photographer of all of us in our con get-ups, posing us in all sorts of wacky positions - but my great regret is that, unsurprisingly, none of those photos include him.
I loved how much he reveled in fandom, and fans; how much he loved boys in love; how unashamed he was of his schmoopiness and his love for the happiest of happy endings; how much he laughed - I can still hear that laugh; his snarkiness that was never nasty; his hugs.
God - I just adored him. I never even conceived of a fannish world, any world, without him in it; he was such an integral part of it for me. Last year there was a chance he wouldn't be able to make it to con.txt, and the thought of that one con without him was bad enough - but I thought, we thought, well, there'll always be another con (he did make it after all, and brought esprix with him - spreading the joy as always). But now - and I still can't believe it, I can't - all the cons will be without him. I'm going to miss him so much.