Far be it for me to say what I think dannye
would have wanted to be written about him. Worse would be for me to create something and submit it as "what I think he would want."
If there is a thing to know after you die, our dannye now knows it and nothing I can say can change that or add to it, or take from it. It is. Simply.
But as we know, definitely, there is life after death. For dannye is gone and we are still living.
As it will be for each of us.
Inevitably the stuff you write about losing someone is stuff you write about losing someone. That makes it writing about yourself because at the end of it maybe all you can do is write about your loss. No one alive is good at saying what it's like to die. We don't know what he went through, but we hope with every fiber of our soul that it wasn't awful. Because Danny just paid the cover-charge to life that we all will pay.
From now on everything I write will be post-dannye. No more msg comments from him. No more C!s. No more corrected misspellings.
None of my words will enter his mind. Nothing I say will be subject to his processing and opinion.
There may be another out there who would substitute, but he won't be "our" dannye. There was ever only one.
When I think about dannye I think about manly things. I think about approaching this world as a male of the species with specific boy-indicators and viewpoints and positions. I think about an approach to the world subject to all the confusion and ridicule and frustration men live through.
I consider the many privileges enabled simply by male birth - those we truly have and those we believe we have. Fictional truths. The fallacy in fact. Wanting power we could inherit explicitly by being right. To be right, in public, awarded the status and position of those who are not wrong.
I think about our dannye - OUR dannye and not some poser - and how I am exactly the same person, a decade-plus-some younger (which seems to be an ever smaller number as I grow older), an easterner rather than a southerner, an liberal-leaning centrist rather than a ever-so-slightly left leaning conservative (I offer Satan Sucks as evidence), a technologist rather than a humanist, agnostic rather than well, probably agnostic, less likely to growl. Equally likely to smile. Equally desirous of love and approval. Therefore absolutely identical in all respects.
Maybe that's why all our communication was civil and supportive. We are cleaved from the same soul but wrapped ourselves in different skin. But we are part of a self-selected group, visiting with each other daily for many years. It took one, to know one.
We could have been brothers. We are.
Evidence is that it was important for him to be dannye. He had an internalized version of himself that what critical to maintain. Examples of this in modern literature/media would be Walter White or Tony Soprano or James T Kirk or to get into our mutually favorite author, Mark Helprin, Peter Lake or Harry Copeland. It's what happens to some of us that in the quest for some sense of purity and success we refine a self image from nothingness and strive to become it. Because we are imperfect beings, that golden, purified image seems the pinnacle of godliness to us - the apex of superhuman morality and goodness and value - and we cannot understand and choose not to put energy into calculation of why it is not that to everyone. We can't fathom how we are not appreciated for being on the path to that human goodness. How is it that someone could disagree with our behavior as we walk the path to what is clearly the blatant glaring purity of heroic human existence?
Because the value of a man - indeed our value as men to ourselves - is in what we can provide and is evidenced by the health and success of those we have cared for.
We are all flawed, each of us, even as we strive to become flawless. As the philosophers have said, it's the trying, not the attainment, that counts.
That's what's true - right?
dannye wanted the best for e2 and its inhabitants. He wanted for E2 to be on a path to greatness, and its people to be inspired to attain better things. The very idea sounds silly to internet-age people. The internet is infinitely available, and therefore trivial to us who have it in our pockets on our phones, on our iPads in bed, in our bluetooth headsets as we walk city streets, in our cars, on our TVs. It is everywhere, so its value is diluted infinitely. And we treat it as such. To many E2 is a place to blather or interact, or be commodious, or to exert our will on others. But to dannye, who saw the internet and E2 as an important resource, it was impossible not to try for some version of heroism. How could it be trivial, this thing that connected us? How could people with so much innate talent allow themselves to be undermined by the innate chaos of the internet? Isn't life about striving in the face of adversity? Isn't this just one more hill? Isn't it the same challenge in different clothes?
How could we therefore not try to improve it and ourselves at each opportunity?
As a guy who grew up with the internet, I never held out much hope for it. To me the internet is chaos. And if there is any aspiration to E2, it was to maintain a chaotic position within the chaos. And thus he brought forward to this bastion of trivial utterance the learned concept of raising the bar which any good professor would put before his students, both because he wanted it for himself, but also because he wanted to be an agent of improvement. It was how he could provide.
Some of us are born with the will to put energy into things. And some of us learn the hard way. Maybe the error we make, we fathers of children, is to think we are helping by not allowing others to learn their own hard way.
I find my own father's voice coming from my mouth sometimes. I heard it in dannye. And you will someday hear it from yourself.
"Ok, sure. But will you not try?"
These things are not truths. Only what dannye meant to me - and I say dannye and not Daniel Wildman, because I'm speaking of the electronic form. I did not know the man, only his imposition upon this electronic universe. And they are two different things.
So I wish for all to know that what I take from the electronic works of dannye is companionship, a direction, and genuine passion for writing. He was better at it than I am, more passionate. And he was much more passionate about this internet backwater we call E2. Of all of us he adopted it completely, shepherded it faithfully, right up to the last heartbeat.
Let it be known he was here.
Let him remain.