Tom Disch is dead, due to complex causes, but mostly from suicide. He was in poor health, but sane and in control of his talents, which he exercised by posting poetry and essays on his blog. Tom had been unhappy since outliving his partner, Charles Naylor, and made no secret of his feelings of marginalization and impending dissolution.
I met him once and knew him mainly through his great writing and his blog ENDZONE. It was obvious that ENDZONE was one of his daily amusements, posting and waiting for the replies. I tried to keep my tone light, going for the fast laugh instead of the deep answer. Many of his posts were obvious 'trolls,' just begging to be taken seriously by someone who needed their ass handed to them.
I looked at all the sympathetic and agonized posts there after he died, imagining how he'd hand us all our asses if this turned out to be a great hoax.
Oh, for a time machine! I'd collect everyone who posted to his blog, everyone who came late to express regret, and the whole mob of us would go knock down his door and drag him out into the cheerful sunlight, away from the shadows in his contested apartment, and go sit somewhere where the food was good and the wine was cheap, and say all these things to his face. Then he'd hand us our asses, probably one by one and in great detail. And maybe he'd go right ahead with his plans, but at least he wouldn't go out thinking he'd been forgotten or was unloved.
It's just not right somehow to wish a happy afterlife upon an atheist, so instead I hope that he and Charlie are reassembled by highly advanced aliens in the far future, and that they get a better apartment.