error 404. That’s my name, and there’s a reason that I chose it as such. Here’s the history behind my name and you’ll get a little bit of my history and why I like to write about the things that I write about in the process.
All the way back in January, 1999 I was asked by my wife [at the time] for a separation and I unhappily gave to her. She had asked for one on a couple of other occasions and I refused to give it to her because I didn’t want my marriage to end in a divorce, something that I was sure would happen if we were to separate. To make a very long story short I’ll simply say that the separation did end up in a divorce over a year and a half later and I had become a statistic that I hadn’t dreamed of ever being at the age of 30. Divorced, broken and lost I had suddenly found myself without purpose or direction in my life.
Well, “suddenly” may not necessarily be accurate. During the separation I was perpetually moving from one place to another while my wife and I figured out what we were going to do. I moved out when I gave in to her wishes and moved in with my sister-in-law’s ex boyfriend. Erik was a friend of mine from college and he lived right down the street from me so the move was easy, and it also kept Lynn (said ex-wife) and I close so that we could try to work things out. But after 5 months of living there and a divorce inevitable I was forced to move once the lease was up. From there I moved in with my one and only “true friend” Bryan. He knew that I had to move and he offered to have me stay with him and his family rent-free until his folks moved to their new home and left us guys to our bachelor pad. I couldn’t refuse because I had known him for 15 years and he was my only friend left standing after my wreck of a marriage.
Bryan and I had been friends since high school and he was a year older than me, but he still lived at home with his mom, dad, and older brother. His family was a family of alcoholics who had only recently begun recovering from their various stage of addiction, and I had no idea that living there for the net five months was going to be as trying as it was. I don’t take part in illegal drugs and I very rarely drink, and that made for what I thought would be a good combination. As addicts, however, there tended to be a fair share of projecting that was aimed at me and the one time I came home with beer on my breath was grounds for kicking me out. Well, almost. Bryan stood up for me and told them that I wasn’t drunk so he saved me. There was another incident where they thought that I was smoking pot and was trying to hide it with scented candles. I don’t know what happened there, but whatever.
The final straw to that friendship was a misunderstanding over money. Things ended tragically and on the day that I was to start paying rent I was going to end up homeless. Bryan kicked me out and I moved what I could in to a storage facility until the next morning. For two nights I stayed at my grandparents home until I could move in to the basement of my coworker’s townhouse. I resided in that basement for two weeks as I tried to recover from the loss of the last friend that I had, and that was a very hard two weeks.
Eventually I moved in to the master bedroom in a townhouse a couple of miles away, and maintained my close proximity to Lynn and our dogs. It was an uneasy friendship that we maintained, but it ended up being just fine. This move turned out to be the fifth move that I made in less than a year and people were quickly losing track of where I was. My family were joking that I’m trying to hide my address from them because I’ve moved so much. Nobody could find me and my only constant source of communication was my cell phone. I felt misplaced and totally transient because I was so lost in my sense of direction and purpose. One day when I was on the internet I came across the frequent “error 404: not found” page and all I could do was smile and say out loud, “that figures”. ‘Not found’, just like me”. From then on that was my name.
After moving to California a few years later that name and the reason for getting it in the first place still hold true. The longest that I’ve lived in any one place out here has been just under three years, the shortest amount being 7 months. The average is about a year in any one place and I am currently in a place that I will likely be in for some time. With any luck it will be until I get a girlfriend that I’ve fallen in love with and can’t wait to move in with. With any more luck that will happen some time within the net year or two. That is far less likely than getting struck by lightning on a clear winter day in the desert.
As time moves on and 2010 becomes shittier and shittier I find myself wanting to become more and more like an actual “not found” individual. Deleting myself from all known social networks that I’m a part of and changing all existing emails, phone numbers, and AKA’s seems so welcoming.