I also discovered that Mon has some pretty cool natural architectural ability. He showed me his private Minecraft world, and the design of his various houses and the sculptures he made out of whole mountains just blew my mind. The monkey skull with lava falls coming out between its teeth was my personal favorite. I wish I'd taken screenshots.
He was also very sweet, giving me gifts that he thought I'd find useful in the LAN world: a nearly unbreakable sword, a kevlar vest, a book and quill for noting coordinates, a horse and saddle. When I asked him why, he said it was because I kept dying, which I took to mean that he cared.
He left for school just a few days before I did, and playing was a lot lonelier without his and Mikko's constant joking and trash talk. Here in my grandmother's house in Makati, before my flight to Singapore tomorrow, it's even lonelier without them both. I actually find myself wishing for their pranks, like the time they filled my house with cows. I had to wreck a wall just to push them outdoors, and since I lived in a dense forest, there were cows in the trees for days. I've set up my own private world to explore and build in, and I've built three houses already, but it's almost no fun without my brothers' offers of housewarming gifts (i.e. lava).
I found myself in the desert the other day and thought I'd try going for scale. Maybe a huge arch. I liked the idea of an arch in the middle of the desert, the sign of travel and civilization in the middle of nowhere, now witnessed only by skeleton archers, zombies, and the occasional witch. Designing and building it was both soothing and challenging. Afterward, I flew and walked around it, doing nothing except watching the shadows change as the sun and moon rose and set.
I don't know how he knew, but Mikko seemed to know what I had in mind even before I left home. "What are you going to do now that Mon's gone? Probably build your temples and stuff," he'd said.
I wish he and Mon had been there, even just to laugh at how sad it was, building an arch in the desert — a monument to builders who were no longer there.
(For scale, a player-character is two to three blocks tall.)