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<dear friends>

This morning I dreamed Nick Nolte came to a video store where I worked. Somehow in the dream I knew that he was the director of the FBI. Nolte asked me to explain what was going on in the Middle East. I escorted him to a rack of Middle-East-themed videotapes and began telling him what happened in Palestine after WWII. He cut me off by dumping all the tapes into a duffel bag and dragging them to the checkout counter.
        As the cashier began ringing up the tapes, Nolte clamped his hand over my mouth and dragged me into a corner.
        "Time was firebombed this morning," Nolte said. He sounded hoarse. He always does.
        "Time Magazine?"
        "I guess some subscriber didn't like the coverage," Nolte said.
        Tough guy joke.
        "Was anyone killed?" I said.
        He regarded me as if the question was too stupid to answer. After a beat, he said: "We still don't know if the explosion was intense enough to cause an earthquake."

Cut to a women's restroom at Time Magazine, the assassin's point of view. A young black woman is washing her hands when she catches a glimpse in the mirror of someone who should not be in that room. She turns, her hands still wet.
        She says: "What are you doing he—?"
        She never gets to finish. The dream goes blank, as if the bomb has gone off, obliterating everything.

They told me I would have strange dreams when my mother died.


Joan and I will be in Pittsburgh until Wednesday, celebrating my Mom with the other people who loved her best: my brother Pete, my Dad, my Uncle George. And a few of my parents' closest friends.

I know she has been released.


Our New York apartment resembles a florist's shop. There is no room for another flower. Not even a daisy. Not even a fern.

I wish my brother and father could see all these flowers, could feel all the love that has come in from you people. In her last years, my mother was not aware of anything. Now I believe she knows all. She sees every bouquet that's come in, from people I've never met in person, yet who are part of my life and now of hers.

I believe she sees the hundreds of letters in my email inbox, though she never saw email in this life, never understood what my father meant when he said he was "logging on to the Internet" during the years she was still able to live at home. When I read your letters, she reads them, too.

She has even seen this page at Dreamless. In the last years at home, my Mom could not understand how to work a stereo, and she certainly would not understand what all these web designers do for a living, but she knows what is on this page and what it means. She knows it's for her though she'd say it's for me. She was like that.

In Pittsburgh we will say some words and we will console each other as you have all consoled me. Joan and I will bring the love you sent. Not to my mother, who already knows, but to my brother and father, who are stuck in this life with us, and not yet omniscient.

Back in New York, I will speak at the conferences where I'm supposed to speak. Then go to Miami and speak there. My Mom would want me to go ahead with these plans. Not for any business reason, but because these conferences are about connecting with people, and that's what she taught me to do. As you have connected with me, through hidden wires behind our walls—connecting, not one computer to another, but one soul to another. The web is a manifestation of our connection to each other, which was programmed long ago, by someone even smarter than Tim Berners-Lee.

If you wish to send a card to my father, Jo has volunteered to hook you up. I have never met Jo in person, never bought her lunch, never even given her a stick of gum. But I love her as I love the friends I hang out with, knowing her through her works, her words, and this miracle behind our walls.

We are a tribe. We are connected. In our genes, in this life, in the virtual life, and in another we can scarcely imagine.

God bless you all.

The author and his opinions.
Copyright © 1995–2002 Jeffrey Zeldman Presents
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