This is an essay I wrote on September 10, 2001. It was written mostly as a response to hearing about the death of a well-known member of an online community of which I am a member. I reference this essay in the piece I wrote on September 11.

My mom makes really good shribble soup.

It's an old family dish from somewhere, and I've never been able to duplicate it. I can come close, and those who've never had it made by my mom don't know how good it "really" is, even though they like my soup. But then I wonder if my mom's mom's shribble soup was better than hers, and if I'm only getting a pale imitation the way my culinary experimentees are getting one from my kitchen?

I think that this is how the world is getting shittier and shittier.

I'm the kids' department head at work; other people can find books there, because I've got it organized, but I'm the resident expert. After I leave the job it'll take a long time, probably more than a year, to get someone to do the job as well as I do.

No one will ever live my life that well.

Every time someone dies the world gets shittier and shittier. Sure, we all have our values and can apprentice people to our talents, but we always end up with that shadow of imitation, that "not quite as good" syndrome, until said apprentice has had time to grow into the occupation, whatever it may be. Or it might be as good but in a different way. There is no replacing any one of us.

So who's going to maintain my website after I die? Or will it just be erased? Who's going to try to publish my novels if I die before I can? Maybe they will never be read. Who will tell my friends? I think about this.

And it makes me sad beyond belief that I never knew Hermetic, because now I never will, along with the thousands of other people who left the Earth just today.

And one day, there will be hundreds of millions who will never have the chance to know me.

I feel lonely.

Any comments left here are PUBLIC. If you are not comfortable with that, mail me directly.

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Comments from others:

Mikey: First you are not alone, and as unfortunate as it is death is a door that we all must take in the due process of time, or by unforseen circumstances, as we all must travel the road and yes some things can not be replaced no matter how good the replacements might be.