I started writing this node hours and hours ago and it was very difficult because it was hard to clearly see the screen.
Big, heaving, wretched sobs.
But the eyes dry out and the jaw aches and there is nothing else to do in the middle of the night and I can't sleep. And if I did, what should I dream?
(If what follows is all very discombobulated I apologize. Such is 5 AM.)
Here is the awful truth: I have a half-written node on my hard drive which I started to write when I saw his own last node. I don't know how many people noticed, but it was terribly confused when first posted, only clarified through many edits over the day. I realized then that there was a terrible danger we might not have him long. I started to write something that he would have time to read, I wanted to tell him the truth — that he had enriched my life, that by living, he had made my life better, and I will be grateful to him always! — but I felt like it would be a morbid, unwelcome thing for him to see, so I chickened out.
It took pretty near exactly a month to realize exactly how much of an idiot that makes me.
Dannye was one of the best writers ever to put anything on this site and probably the best editor, especially in the proper sense as opposed to the local secondary, »writeup tidier guy«. Besides all of which he actually gave a shit about the site per se, unlike many others I might mention, who left and, caring only about their own hurt feelings, took their writeups with them when they went. He sneered at these people and did so justly.
Is it right that someone should pule and mumble when telling you what's wrong with your work? Scrape their foot in the dirt and mutter something apologetic? Of course not! They didn't fuck up; YOU fucked up. You. It was your fault, you did it, and whoever helped you didn't owe you shit but you got help anyway, so act grateful, dammit. But, of course, no, many of you didn't do that, because you think you're entitled to be treated as though you're goddamn Marie Antoinette along with your free improvements, and a slice of strawberry cake too, no doubt. That's all pretty bad already, but then to act like he was just inscrutably cantankerous — haha, no reason! — that just takes the cake. (Which you're not getting, by the way. You get shown the head of Madame de Lamballe, that's what you get, and that's what you deserve for building a little fake hamlet where you could hide from the world.)
O world that has no home for sanity! O mankind that likes the semblance of good better than the good, that prefers sycophancy to honesty, or even truth! Every loss like this one is a terrible injury. We have so many egotists with thin skins; we had so few like him already. It isn't right that we should lose him; he should have lived to be a hundred. He should have golfed on Mars. (If he damn well felt like it.)
But here we are, poor souls, and poorer now.
Our brother has gone ahead of us into the other world. It is my sincere hope that when we meet him there, the bar will be terribly high, and this time you will all be wise enough to love him for it.