A Galactic Lament
I’m hovering at the edge of a newly formed black hole. It’s located in the Milky Way Galaxy, somewhere in a spiral arm (don’t believe them when they tell you they exist only in the center), third planet out from Sol, North American continent, central coordinates approximately a centime
ter to the squishy side of my sternum.
And I know whence it came.
My friend has died–Robert Harkness, affectionately known as Dr. Darkness, unrelenting purveyor of truth. His biting wit with a marshmallow-y center and a mushroom cloud avatar is gone. I float out here at the event horizon watching the replay of past scenarios. Or are the events forever trapped here in an undying present? They say that all data exists forever at the event horizon of a black hole where time breaks down and space gets compressed with all the nothing squeezed out of it. I can testify to the squeezing, for my heart feels like it is being crushed to a tiny nugget of its former self, and my lungs feel too stiff to expand.
Gone is the Master of Rant, Doctor of Physics, who held no truck with stupidity. Such a uniquely brilliant man of such reserved and nerdly demeanor whose head was filled with such expansive ideas. With whom shall I discuss the devolution of society into cannibalism with the coming eco-apocalypse? Or the impossibility of explaining rational thought to the irrational? Who will entreat me with child-like delight to view the latest photographs from space?
He’s left us and left behind a black hole whose immense gravity sucks out all the tears and will not let them escape.
One of his final comments was something to the effect that it’s amazing how fast everything can turn to shit. Truer words were never spoken as these before his speed-of-light plunge into illness and his final demise. I think this is the perfect Robert-ism to take away when I finally regain the strength to resist the gravity of sorrow. I want to remember how fast it can all change so that I may live my life every minute as if it were about to be consumed by a black hole.
I’ll remember Robert with fondness–his rants where he exclaimed, “It’s all pointless!” I never backed down. I told him, “That’s the joy–you get to make your own point. You get to decide what makes a difference.” In the end, I win, because Robert’s life made a difference to me. Dr. Darkness brightened my life.