Without warning, a co-worker- friend, school mate- is struck down in the prime of life by a fast moving truck or mystery virus and we are left stunned by the impromptu fashion of the demise. Wait a minute. That person is younger than I am, if only by a year, but still, they’re dead as a doornail and they had so much press in their favor. Only last month they won that award and had their picture on the front cover of that popular daily news media site. Wait a minute. So what does this mean besides a glowing obituary, front and center column, the photo, the spectacular funeral procession comprised of celebrities with generous words and the specific gravity of their grief….famous grief, monied grief, the grief that comes with the loss of lifestyle indulgence. The recently dead can no longer attend the MOMA or Met openings, can no longer sip the best champagne with other pre-legends in the best places, and oh, the lusciousness of those pre-death hearths, the sacred isolationist hubs of the monied or beautified. Already in a heavenly sphere, death, to these glorificated minutia, is a real bummer, a true loss, a future permanence of noshow status, which leads, of course, to a fading, and being discussed, if at all, in the past tense. Have they lost the game or won the war? Are they the first or the last? In the end, we must turn our backs and continue on our quest for social immortality, that is to say, a permanent invite to the best of the show, before our own sudden disapearance, without a just excuse. I”m so sorry I can’t attend my coronation, i am not of this world. The burden now falls squarely on your living head, you, still functioning, must take over and organize a proper eulogy for the person you despised and wished dead in the first place. The sudden death of a co-worker leaves a void, a void easily filled by you and your constituents, and if they contained greatness, you will over come it, because nobody really thinks the grave is a good place to be productive, although worms would disagree. You, the dolt, can limp on in their place, thumbing through their file cabinet of truths, re-marking them to suit. You are the winner. The surviving Dead Head, ahead of the game due to your continuous breathing out and in, heart still beating, your mediocrity fueled with random luck that only longevity may bestow.