What do you miss about Michael Masiello?

I miss missing him.

I bonded tight with the Magister when I first alighted on this site, and so did he. (I named him that, after all.) He was my confrere and I his. We challenged each other, and we learned from each other, and we fought in the same trenches.

And then, I guess, Robert Maxwell’s peacocks fell on both of us. (Nick Nicholas’ answer to What revelations about fellow Quorans did you discover which surprised you?) He reacted with venom, I reacted with rabble-rousing. And as first the peacocks roused him, and then the Greater Jihad of activism, and then the Greatest Jihads, of helpmate and child and teaching once more—I watched as he gradually, wearily, proudly sloughed off this place, and looked to higher things than this. And I, meanwhile, have stuck with the Lesser Jihad; to admire a well-turned phrase, while the barbarians and the peacocks lay siege.

I’ve farewelled Michael a few times, and I think I’ll be farewelling him a few times yet. This place is not just an Existentialist Parable, it’s also a Buddhist parable, on the impermanence of all things, and the severing of all attachments.

I’ve missed him, il miglior fabbro. I’ve missed his superior discernment, his wider erudition, his wiser soul. And then, I’ve gone back my way; and by the time I posted his quietus, I frowned to myself that he was already long gone. Gone to more fulfilling things, yes, dropping this distraction like a bad habit. Dropped like smoking, his helpmate tells us. We’re the poorer, not him; he’s just fine.

But long gone, really. Months before that quietus was made official.

I miss missing him.

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