However, when I sat down to think about it, I realized that I mourn Jack because he was a good friend to me, even if he did not know it himself. And he influenced my life in uncountable ways.
I will never forget the first time I met him. After over a year of knowing lolitasir, and her telling me story after story about Jack, I still had not met him. It became almost comical - I would tease Lolita that I didn't think Jack really existed. That she was making him up as some sort of imaginary boyfriend. I edged her on for months about this, brushing off the resulting bruises whenever she would pound me for it.
Finally, I met him because she brought me along for a trip to DC. We entered his pretty house in a quiet Northern Virginia suburb, and there I laid eyes on Jack McGeorge for the first time. While I'm hazy about the year, I couldn't have been much older than 21 at this point. He and I shake hands... he smiles and says "Great to meet 'ya!" in that exuberant style Jack always had... and then he grabbed Lolita and dragged her into the other room.
She filled me in on the resulting conversation later. "Um, Lolita, what in the world are you doing with this kid?!"
Despite my age and suspicion that his gal was a chicken hawk, he welcomed me into his home with open arms. I met the entire family that weekend... Jack, their boy, their girl. I stayed in his son's room, and was given a tour of his amazing basement dungeon. And then soon enough, I kept returning. Almost once a month I'd accompany Lolita down to DC to stay at Jack's house. And I was greeted every time like family.
It was in Jack's dungeon that I discovered my love for handcuffs.
The ceiling of his basement had exposed wooden beams throughout. And hanging on these beams were hundreds of handcuffs. Over 300 pairs, if I remember the count correctly. All different sizes, shapes, makes and models, modern and ancient. He would tell me stories about them, like the pair he walked out of a Nigerian prison with. I was in awe. I remember once laying down on the floor for what seemed like an eternity gazing up at those cuffs... and right there in my impressionable young mind came the decision that I wanted to grow up and be like Jack.
I blamed him years later for the poverty resulting from my handcuff collecting. I think he got the joke.
Where Jack really impacted me was as a teacher and in my play. He was just so jovial about SM! So out, so proud... it was infectious. It was Jack and Lolita who inspired me to teach... they pushed me and showed me what it meant to be a good presenter. He supported me when I started to teach, encouraging me all the way, showing true excitement when we heard I was on a schedule. Jack taught me how to clearly communicate my topic, how to inject it with humor and life, and the most important thing of all - have a handout! In Jack's world, it just wasn't a class if there wasn't a handout.
He taught me that the mind was so much more important than the body. Anyone who has attended my Surving Corporal class has heard my story about Jack and his knife (ok, some of you have heard it dozens of times.) But allow me one more telling of it here.
Jack's knife class was and is the best I have ever seen. And I've seen it at least 9 times... maybe more. He used a knife that he had made for him by a blacksmith. I know this knife - I have felt it, I have played with it, and I've had it used on me. It is as blunt as a hammer. You practically couldn't cut butter with it - knock it on your neck, and all you're gonna get is a thump. Totally blunt knife. The other wonderful thing about Jack was that he was predictable. His knife play class followed the same path and structure every time. I knew that the first thing he would do every time, while talking about the psychology of the knife, the scariness of it, was that he would take his demo bottom, come up behind them, grab them by the neck, and then as hard as he could he would thrust his knife into the abdomen of the bottom, raking it hard and slowly across it as if he was gutting them.
He did this every time. And every single time I sat in on the class, he would grab me as the demo bottom for the first part. I knew what he was gonna do. I knew that the knife couldn't cut a fly. I knew all of this. I knew what was coming...
...and every single time, I would look down frantically afterwords expecting to see my intestines unraveling to the floor. Every single time.
Jack loved to fuck my brain with that. He would laugh and laugh and laugh.
These are just small bits of memory involving Jack. I feel lucky that I have many others, some that I will hold close to my heart.
For those of you who have had the chance to know him, spend time with him, sit in a class with him... treasure those memories. Because I truly feel that we will never see a man like Jack again. He was in a class all to himself.
I miss you already, Jack.