I went to Richmond, Virginia on Amtrak on September 30th, 2008 one day after my 49th birthday to spend some extended time with him as we did not see each other too much that summer until Dragon Con on Labor Day Weekend and really missed each other alot. I got off the train at Richmond Amtrak Station on time for once hoping to see him there waiting for me. I got my luggage and waited for him in the waiting room for several hours. Called his cell fone, work fone, and car fone leaving messages on his voice mail. Even called his Vonage home phone and left voice mail.
After several more hours and calling someone to send an email to Ben's various email addresses esp the work address to have him call me on my cell fone and let me know what was going on, I took a very expensive Taxi ride from the north side of Richmond to the south side of the James River to the section of richmond, Va where his home was. I spent the rest of the day outside the house waiting for him to get home. Hid my luggage and computer bag under the back porch. Checked various windows and doors to see if there was a way I could get into the house, there wasn't. He had changed the locks, doors, and installed burgler alarms which he hadn't given me the key and passcode to. He did this because of security concerns living in an urban area, and concerns for my safety if I was alone in his home for hours when he went to work. He more or less matched the security I have in my own home in suburban NYC.
I talked to a few neighbors asking them if they had seen his SUV parked in the driveway. They did not remember seeing it for a few days. His next door neighbor was kind enough to let me use her bathroom, gave me a drink of water, and was very concerned herself. She called me a taxi to take me to a very cheap motel so I was not stuck outside in the dark very far from the bus or train stations.
I stayed at a cheap motel about one mile from Ben's home. I left notes taped to the front door and back door telling him where I was. At least I had access to a phone and internet. I thought maybe Ben had an emergency at his job having to repair computers for a large nationally famous bank that was undergoing a merger that month with another nationally known bank. Specifically, Ben did software network stuff for stock trading and mutual funds side of the bank functioning not savings, loans, or mortgages. He was considered a bank officer also, a person of much responsibility. I could understand if job demands kept him from his personal life for some time.
Work was important to Ben, and he took it seriously as he did parenthood of his daughter. He put much of his personal desires and wants on hold until his daughter was out of high school and well into college ready to start her adult life. He stayed in what seemed an unhappy marriage to be the best parent he could be to his daughter and do right by her. He seemed to be as close to his daughter as I was to my own father. He came from a big family that lived in the same home for generations in Brooklyn, NYC. While many of his peers from his neighborhhood may have gone the way of the gangs and prisons, he had a good education, and was friends with a large variety of people and went out of his way to help them whenever he could.
When he loved, he loved deeply. If he cared about you, he cared all he way. He felt pain in his life when his marriage was troubled and without love from the mother of his child. At least that is the way he communicated it to me when he met me again Memorial Day Weekend of 2005 in Baltimore at a science fiction convention after not seeing each other since helping a mutual friend move out of a Brooklyn apartment to Manhattan in 1991. I supplied a car to help our mutual friend move her things along with many other people of our science fiction circle in NYC. My own marriage was falling apart emotionally and becoming a relationship of resentment not love. We just happen to need each other at the same time. Our relationship may have started out as one of neediness, but it grew to one of deep love for each other along with really great sex. We gave each other much of what the other needed and wanted. The only thing we did not have was a full time relationship with each other.
We figured it out once. We spent an average of 1 to 4 hours per day talk with each other via phone or computer everyday for 3 and 1/4 years. We a total of 3 or 4 months together face to face spread out over those 3+ years. The longest time we ever spent together was almost 4 weeks. During that time, I showed him the Pacific Ocean, taught him to swim, and showed him the desert, mountains, and fires of southern California. I showed him where I lived, worked, and played for a year in1987 when I kissed New Jersey good bye for what I thought was for good. We made plans to buy a camper and take cross country trips to see wilderness areas and spend time in the great outdoors. I have not even shared this with the man I have lived together with for 18 years and married for 11 who has only stayed with me to give me health insurance and have place to live for himself. The man I married stays in a horrible job so I can stay alive. I am very medically fragile right now. I had a heart attack and some major surgery right after Ben disappeared.
I stay alive only to wait for my love to come back to me some day or some word of what happened to him to appear.
If he decided he couldnot take the pain of his life anymore and walked away from it and me, I hope he reads this and sends me a post card or email telling me he is okay and either wants me or does not want me. Now I will wait for the rest of my life on every birthday until the day I die of natural causes or by my own hand.
We did not want to hurt anyone with our relationship. We only wanted to love each other and spend the rest of our lives together. He wanted his girl to have her college education, find a career, and set off to live whatever life she wanted to. I never would have come between father and daughter. I only wanted him to be as good a parent as he could be and get her started on the path to adulthood as best he could. I don't know what her relationship with her mother was, but she lived with her father after their divorce when she was not at college. My husband knew about Ben and liked him as a potential mate for me. He said we went good together. Ben and I were in our 40's and made mistakes hopefully learning from them as the years went by.
Ben's SUV was found located in a Richmond area impound yard having been towed from a shopping center near his house a few days after I had talked to him on Sept. 28th while he was driving on the highway on his car fone. He said he would call me when he got home in an hour or so. We confirmed the time of the train he was picking me up from on Sept 30th and wished me a happy 49th birthday which was Sept 29 of 2008. I was busy packing and getting my stuff together for a long stay at his house in Richmond since his daughter was living away at college in her senior year. We were planning on spending at least a month together for this trip so I could be a bit more at home at his place. He had arranged things to my liking and finally removed the rest of the junk his exwife left behind when she moved out.
After his disappearance for the last two years, I have been waiting to hear anything about him. Had some chats with his daughter online, but they stopped. Trying to explain a relationship you have with another adult, the whys and wherefores of it, is very hard to do with the adults child even though she was in her early 20's. Ben's mom hopefully is well as his brother, the one that came to Richmond to deal with the police authorities when he was finally believed to be missing. I have not been south of the northern part of the Baltimore Beltway since his disappearance because anything south of that reminds me of Ben as do certain conventions. The pain and sorrow I feel is great. My life has almost fallen apart since Ben is gone. I am barely holding it together and remaining functioning. I feel like I am going thru the motions of life.
I am at Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City, NJ on this stormy September 30th day in a comped hotel room that Harrah's gave me to win back my business after having not been to any casino for years. I have a winning lottery ticket that Ben gave me. Our first bunch of riches together, $3.00! I never cashed it in. I miss all the music CD's we acquired at conventions together and going to the filk concerts to hear great live music together. He bought me a new guitar so I could start playing again. He was trying to writesome lyrics. He could sing good. People liked him. He made me and many others happy with his presence whether in real life or virtual. His presence and life being gone is like a piece of my soul being torn away, worse than the death of my mom in 1992, the year I met Ward D Griffiths who was also a lost soul like I was at the time. and worse than the death of my father in 1999. Ward is the guy I still live with now for 18 years, married to for 10, and approved of Ben being with me. He misses him alot too. Ben loved Ward's chili and also liked to cook. They would talk books, tv shows, movies, computers, and politics for hours. The three of us might have been happy together. Though BEN is now gone whether voluntarily or by force. He will be missed greatly by me especially as summer comes to a close and the leaves turn firey colours. He always looked for that one last warm sunny autumn day to go to the park and dip his feet in the soft soggy mud and feel it envelop him as he liked to go sinking in the park near his house. I will make a trip there to Virginia when I am finally up to it physically and can walk more than 50 feet to remember him and maybe feel his presence or see something he left behind like his old water bucket or camp chair. i could feel the sun shine on my face and sink my feet in the same bit of mud that he like to play in. We all need to play somewhere and feel our childhood happiness sometimes in our life as we get older.
I know I said alot about Ben. I miss him and want him back so much. I stay alive just to think that maybe he will come back or someone somewhere will know what happened to him and tell me. Did he end up like another friend of mine did with a brain stem stroke with only the shell of a body left on a breathing machine? Did the pain of his life and decisions he had to make get to be too much that he had to step outside his life for a while and become a ghost of himself as a homeless person? Was he stolen away by someone he had agreed to meet from the internet for some fun? Did an act of violence snuff out his beautiful life for a few dollars, watch, shoes, and wallet? If so, why wasn't the late model expensive SUV mostly owned by the bank get taken for a joyride then abandoned? Did some secret government or banking agency take him away to keep him from sharing secrets of stock market trading software? Did he run away from home? Did he kill himself? Is he being held against his will? Please, who ever you are out there, if you knew what happened to Ben. Please let those of us left behind who loved him know what happened. Is he in pain or is he happy somewhere else? Did he die for nothing? Why, that is all I want to know is WHY!!!!!!!!
I know why my some of my friends and relatives have died. I know that some of them are alive but do not want me to be a part of their lives or want contact with me because of something my mom or dad did or said when I was a child and I get to be victimized as only an only child can be after her parents have passed away. No contact with even the few relatives that I know about because the other relatives that know their address, phone numbers, or email won't share them with you. No one will miss me when I am gone. Most people do not even like me or want to talk to me. Maybe I am smelly, weird looking, like the wrong things, or some other thing.
Don't worry. I am not alone at the present time. A friend of mine who is going thru a strong period of loss also is with me.
My husband does not understand the deepness of my pain for he drinks his away and never lets it out. If I choose to end my life, people will know why, when, and understand the loss I feel much of the time.
All I want if Ben to come back to me!!!! it is just not fair. Where did you go, what happened to you? Why?
I love you, Benjamin Lott, FOREVER!!!!!! No matter where you are, where you went, or what you did. I will always love you!
Lisa Rogers sailgersor AT A (*&)( O *&^(*&%(& L dot C(*&(* O)(*&^ M)(*(*&(&