The image was too hard to comprehend; there was a dead man in my pool and he was floating, half-naked, face down, along with thousands of dollar bills scattered in the water.
So I stood half-frozen in the middle of a warm, yet indifferent Florida night that felt confusingly surreal; the domain conference cocktail party had ended a few hours earlier.
In my bloodstream ran an unknown amount of alcohol, having consumed it like everyone else did – men and women, domain celebrities and domain wannabes, traffic and SEO gurus, portfolio peddlers and minisite developers – the creme de la creme of the domaining industry, all of them conveniently gathered in one place.
Among them, some very attractive camgirl entertainers – what a euphemism for “prostitutes” – eager to drop their clothes to advertise the premium generic names of rich, balding domainers, whose dot coms were painted across their naked torsos that bulged with multiple silicone enhancements.
I took a few slow steps towards the edge of the serene pool, lit up from the inside by warm, round lights that mirrored the full moon from above. Keeping my eyes closed, I reached for my smokes and lit a cigarette mechanically, taking a deep breath that I held in – then let go slowly, opening my eyes in anticipation of a change in the imagery; if only that could happen at the mere thought of a wish.
The body was still there, almost asleep-looking, surrendered. Dead.
Kneeling down, I felt the adrenaline inside my veins battling ferociously against the milligrams of nicotine I had just inhaled; the urge was there, to turn the vision around and run away from this fateful scene. And yet, having won the battle of the neuron commands, my arms did the opposite thing; reaching down into the warm pool water, I turned the dead body first to its side and then on its back.
Slowly, it came to face me – reality, that is – my worst fear mocking me from the depths of my mind, the hippocampus materializing ether into vision, into flesh. Dead flesh.
A dead domainer at a domain conference, but why him? He looked Asian, mixed with Caucasian; short, dark hair and half open eyes that still spoke of a night of hope and wonderment, having experienced the presence of other domain professionals – all while lost in a sea of alcohol and tasty hors d’oeuvres.
Around his neck, wrapped like a medal declaring an Olympian’s accomplishments was a lanyard with the conference’s logo, bearing his name tag. Soaked in the water, ink running but clearly etched underneath the cheap plastic cover, was the name “Guy Wakasaki” – and below it the words “Typo Domain Specialist“.
And then, like an ancient Greek tragedy at its peak moment awaiting the final catharsis, these words delivered the equivalent of a Deus ex machina arrival; the divine intervention that fully absorbs the agony accumulated inside the protagonist’s psyche.
I let go of the tag, let it back into the pool water, floating by the side of the man’s colorful shirt; like a “Diver Down” flag in the tropical waters of the Florida Keys.
Poor bastard, I thought, bringing myself up from the edge of the pool and back towards the bar which was now closed, but still echoed the laughter of the night’s social activities.
Pouring myself a drink from a near-empty bottle, I took a last look at the dead man, a typo-squatter all the way to the bitter end; unworthy of a true Guy Kawasaki fate, but still, genuinely happy among his peers, in a pool full of warm, chlorinated water and typo-traffic money.
Copyright 2009 Acroplex – As originally published at DomainGang.com