The last time I saw Nathan was Tuesday the 16th of January 2001,
when he came to my apartment to change my ISP from Netzero to AT&T
Worldnet. I heard his truck coming shortly before 7pm while I was in
the middle of brushing my teeth. So I unlocked the door and left it
ajar. He walked in, and said, "Hey, Dude." And I responded "Hey
Dude," with my mouth full of toothpaste.
Abruptly I noticed the CD I had in my computer ( Ella Fitzgerald:
Priceless Jazz Collection Volume 1) stopped, and I asked him why he
shut off the music and he said, "I had to change the CD." I replied,
"Oh, D'oh ! silly me..." Then I walked into the living room and he
was at my computer. I said "Oh that reminds me I have the latest
Simpsons on tape.." (January 14th ; Marge befriends the convict,
while Homer becomes a chiropractor ) Nate said, "Ooh I haven't seen
that." So we put it in the VCR. Then noting the bad picture he said,
"Is that the best picture you get ?" and actually fiddled with the
antenna. I said, "Yeah especially when I haven't been home to adjust
the picture. Besides it's on tape." he said, "Oh yeah."
Meanwhile AT&T Worldnet was loading and we were having some problems
getting the email to work. Nathan had set up the web based option of
AT&T Worldnet, and we couldn't get it to send mail for some reason.
I was a little frustrated. We thought this was very odd, so we
logged off and called their 800 service number. Now I can't remember
how the problem was fixed, but Nate called the number and whatever
it was that needed fixing was fixed. I don't think it was anything
Nathan did; I think it was something technical I honestly don't
remember. He talked to someone, but I don't recall the conversation.
Then I asked him if he'd set up the pop server, because I do not
like webbased mail. He went into Netscape and pulled up the mail
servers page. He said, " Let's see if I remember how to do this... "
but of course he had no problem.
Simpsons ended and I shut off the TV. The pop server was set up, and
we got the email working. So he stood up and said, "OK dude. I gotta
go." Suddenly, I had this feeling that I didn't want him to leave,
but could think of no logical reason to detain him. He looked up at
the ceiling and said, "I gotta go get some Vodka and beer." I had
this thought that I should go to the store with him to get some beer
also, but I didn't have the money, and I didn't feel like drinking
beer anyway. I replied, "Ugh..dude..you don't want Vodka. Vodka's
nasty. I threw up more Vodka than I ever drank." He said, "I think
I've got enough Vodka... OK dude. I'll see ya later." I said, " OK
I'll see ya later. "
Nate closed the door behind him and I thought, God, I hope he
doesn't drink and drive....he wouldn't do that...." Then there was a
knock on the door and a familiar falsetto "Housekeeping..." I opened
the door and I said, "Yeah, what, dude ?" Nate came in and said, "I
forgot my keys, I can't go anywhere without my keys." He took them
off the table by the TV "Yeah those help." I said. "OK I'll see ya
later." Nate said, and then he left. He closed the door and I locked
This time I stood by the window and watched thru the blinds as he
pulled out of the parking lot and drove away. Two hours later, we
spoke via the AOL IM, we had set up a chatroom with my mother and my
younger sister LCPL Becky. I remember feeling relieved; I was glad
to see him on line. It was good to know he had made it home, and I
dismissed my earlier concern of the evening as my own paranoia. I
spoke to him again via AOL IM individually on Friday, the 19th of
January 2001. at @ 10:30pm. The following is a transcript of that
JoshADay : Dude
BadAss Taco VA: What up ?
JoshA Day: I'm downloading the new version of Quicktime Pro
JoshADay : ack
JoshA Day : nevermind..its not free
BadAssTacoVA: ah. note the pro.
JoshADay: ah well
JoshADay: Have you ever read Simpsons comics ?
JoshADay: I read several issues at the Chapmans they're pretty good.
JoshADay: I think its going to snow this weekend.
BadAssTacoVA : Snow ? oh no ! I'm tired of snow I want warm weather !
JoshADay: yeah we got an event coming up this weekend. I hope it
doesn't cause travel problems for people.
BadAssTacoVA: Where is the event ?
JoshADay In VA
Bad Ass TacoVA: Anywhere in VA ?
JoshADay : Dude I gotta go and get up early in the morning for the
BadAssTacoVA: OK I'll see ya later
I logged off and then thought of something, so I logged back on.
JoshADay: Dude, don't worry about the event. I have a way to get
there. Its in C'burg
BadAssTacoVA: OK g'nite
JoshADay: g'nite talk to ya later
The very last time I saw him on line was the 22d of January, 2001 at
@ 8:45 pm. His away message was on. It said, "Makin' brownies." My
phone bill had come in that day, I knew how much money I was going
to have left for the month.
On Christmas Day Nate and I had talked about going together to Red
Lobster and using some gift certificates that Dad had given us for
Christmas. Since he wasn't available I didn't leave a message but
made a mental note to call him soon. I thought we might be able to
go there the weekend of the 27th and wanted to see what his schedule
On Tuesday the 23d of January I woke up early and began to notice
the begining of a sore throat and slight fever. I determined that I
was probably getting ill, so I proceeded to use my usual method for
curing such an ailment. 100% Florida orange juice, jalapenio hot
peppers, and other various hot foods. For lunch that day I made some
chicken picante flavored ramen noodles, crab stuffed flounder and
asparagus stalks. But as the day wore on the sore throat became
progressively worse and I began to take cough drops as well. By
evening I began to think I would probably have to cancel my
Wednesday volunteer work at WVTF public radio, I called both my
parents and told them I was probably catching cold. Dad said, "Maybe
not." Mom said, "Nathan's sick too. He's been sick for a couple
days." I said, "Uh oh." and thought there must be something going
around. It reminded me to make a mental note to call Nate about Red
Lobster. But I didn't want to call him if he were sick as he might
be sleeping and determined if he were sick he may not want to go
until he got better.
By late evening I finished some chapters in The Federalist Papers,
took a couple of shot glasses of Crown Royal before bed and went to
sleep. On the 24th of January, I woke up about 5:45 am, which is not
so unusual for me..that has been my pattern generally for years. But
my sore throat was getting pretty bad and I couldn't sleep. By the
minute it was getting worse and worse and it became difficult to
swallow. I got out of bed and stumbled in the dark to get to the
cough drops in the kitchen. Yet, before I even opened the cough
drop, the sore throat suddenly went away, as did my problem
swallowing. I thought abruptly, "I don't really need this." However
I opened it and let the cough drop dissolve before going back to
sleep. I thought "Maybe I will be able to do a show for WVTF today."
I woke up at 7:45 am..my first thought was to talk to Nate..I
thought "Good I have time to catch him before work." While I was
waiting for my computer to load up, I broke with my usual routine of
listening to NPR's Morning Edition and went right to my CD rack to
play the Bon Jovi record Keep The Faith (this contains the song of
that name) I was feeling pretty good because my sore throat was gone.
Nate was not on line, which I found odd, but then I remembered that
Mom said he was sick, so I reasoned that he must be sleeping extra
late. I wrote some emails to a couple of friends, started to get
dressed for the day, and logged off about 8:30 am.
Shortly thereafter I recieved Mom's phone call with the shocking and
terrible news. Joshua Day 2001