Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

I made someone disappear yesterday.

Late last week, my father-in-law's girlfriend died suddenly. Heart attack. One day she was there, the next day she wasn't -- blam. I went to the funeral, but that was the first time I had ever seen her, lying in her casket.

Yesterday, I helped clean out her apartment. It was a small place, a studio, and the work mostly involved stuffing things into plastic bags for Goodwill to come pick up. Shoes: bag. Clothes: bag. Bedding: bag. Books, knick-knacks, art: bag. Every material possession she had: bag, bag, bag. In two hours, it was all gone. Wiped clean. Erased.

There were little things all around -- a mug that said "My Next Husband Will Be Normal," an ab workout tape, a styrofoam box of leftovers in the fridge -- that whispered the same lie that each of us tell ourselves every day: Of course I'm going to be here tomorrow. Of course. I've got plans. Where would I go?

We are all nothing but fools.

Because we do go and we do die and none of our plans make any difference in that. Poof. Gone. Even the things that get kept -- the material things -- will eventually rot away, break down, be stuffed into plastic bags. Erased and forgotten.

Memories are all we can really leave behind. The words; the thoughts; the secret, private moments -- they're what last. They're the only things that last, really.

I made someone disappear yesterday, but only because I never knew her. To those that held some part of her that couldn't packed away, she still exists, and she always will.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is I'd love to hear from you!

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