December 11, 2007

For Anita

Photo: February 10, 1998.

The words are there, pixels turned friends, it's what we've always done here. This web of stories is beginning to outlive its early weavers.

The compounded loss - there are no words for this.

Loss is multiplied by the number of people we've fallen in love with here.

Where do we put their words; freezing them -- that is what books are for. So what do we do with voices written across time and space, now quieted - reverse chronology, archives as punctuation, their stories from now on written backward in time.

Hushed to rest, I ache for their voices, wonder how to traverse the land of the living and dying Web in real-time.

How do I grieve the absence of a voice: silence where her words should be, his wit not linked to, the missing objection I've learned to anticipate.

Where do I put the missing piece of someone else's day that has so long been a piece of my own day? Where do my friends go, the ones I've come to know from the inside out? How do I say goodbye to you when I have never brushed your skin, no scent, no surface?

No one knows you better than I do,
And I have never known you at all.

That remains the paradox of the web.

That is what makes the sadness of losing you so much more.