Aaron Hawkins wasn’t someone I knew well, even by blogospheric measures where someone you’ve never met in person can be a close friend. He and I reside – “resided” in his case, dammit – in the same general neighborhood of blogtopia. You know this neighborhood; it’s where you find lefty political blogs that aren’t so much about the swift boats and the election horserace as they are about race and gender and wealth and culture and the like. Heck, if you’re a blogger and you’re reading this post, odds are you live in this neighborhood too.
(Aaron and I also shared a geeky interest in comics and in Buffy – Aaron’s blog is a place where several different blogospheric neighborhoods overlap).
But although we blogged in the same broad neighborhood, we weren’t part of each other’s daily routes. We linked to each other’s posts a handful of times over the years – passing each other in the street, nodding in friendly recognition. I was more than normally pleased when Aaron linked to me, because he was so much better a writer than me and because he made it seem effortless.
What can I say? He was a damn good neighbor, and a better than good writer. I didn’t know him well – hell, you could make a good argument that I didn’t know him at all – but I envy those who did. The world is better off because he passed over it, and worse off now he’s passed beyond it.
P.S. If you’re of a mind to leave condolences, this thread on Aaron’s blog is the place.