Rest In Peace, Carlo Flores

Carlo was the type of guy that everyone seemed to know. Whenever we went somewhere it felt like he saw someone he knew, or at least recognized. He was always giving people a wave or a hug. Sometimes we would walk into a bar and everyone would cheer. I'll tell you right now that it wasn't for me.

He was always talking to people on the street. Always willing to stop and share a cigarrette and shoot the shit. I remember him coming to work one day, excited about this guy who had come up to him Downtown and said "I'm going to rock for you today!" before he ran off to catch a bus. He said, "That guy gets what it's about." Then he looked at me earnestly and said, "I'm going to rock for you today, Thomas." He broke into giggles as he swivelled back to his computer-machine. This turned into a running thing for us. He definitely shared it with other people, but I don't know if anyone really thought it was as funny as I did. It wouldn't come up for weeks or months at a time, but then he would stop by my cubicle and announce that today was a day for rocking and it was dedicated to me. I tried to rock for Carlo on my fair share of days too, but looking back he obviously didn't get as many as he deserved.

A weird thing happens when I think back on stuff I did with Carlo, because sometimes I'll remember something he did and it shifts and I remember that it wasn't actually him. It was someone else saying something really Carlo-like. I think it was because Carlo was the type of person who could shape the environment around him. He was fearless about sharing his emotions, and famous for telling people he loved them. Straight up just saying, "I love you." He did it in person, and he did it with text, and he didn't hedge by dropping the "I" the way I often do. When he spent time someplace the frequency of people saying "I love you" definitely went up.

He was, and remains, so well loved it's hard to really put into words. This was a guy who couldn't build a nutrient calculator without a community rising up around it. People from around the world offered to translate it into Dutch, German, Japanese, Brazillian Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish. (And almost all of it is numbers!) He had such a great presence at Barcade, and had such a knack for running the jukebox, that they gave him his own DJ set. He didn't just play chess, he ran a chess night for anyone interested to play downtown. Like everything he organized though, he always had time to help people who were just starting out. I remember how willing he was to play chess with me even though I was a terrible competitor for him. It's almost unfair to call our matches games because he spent so much time giving me advice and explaining strategy to me. And then there were the meetups. I spent today looking for pictures of Carlo, and I thought it was going to be hard since he didn't have a Facebook or a Flickr account. It turned out to be pretty easy. I just went to the JS.LA and Dev Ops meetup pages and he was all over the place.

There is so much left to say that I can't quite bring myself to do yet, but I'd like to share a memory of Carlo the last time I saw him when I was in L.A. for Christmas and he was on sabbatical. He'd been showing off all the home automation stuff he'd been hacking on, and he started cleaning alongside his little roomba-like robot. He told me about how much he liked having the company while he cleaned, and how it motivated him to do something because he couldn't just watch his little robot friend do something while he did nothing. Carlo was the type of guy who could love a black box on wheels and empathize with it so much that it could guilt him into working.

I can't even imagine the pain he must have been in to seek a way out, knowing that it would make all of us miss him this way.

I love you Carlo. I'm going to rock for you today.