Over the next several years spam exploded. I think the first spam e-mail I remember was a plea from someone from another country, for my help to access a fortune, for which I would earn a hefty percentage. Then there were the sex and porn-related spam messages. This past year the amount of spam made e-mail maintenance a major chore. It was like trying to weed the Amazon basin.
Then I switched to gmail. All traffic to my multiple mail accounts come in via gmail's spam filters. Where I had been getting dozens, if not hundreds, of e-mails a day, now I was only getting e-mail from people with whom I really wanted to correspond.
I was thrilled.
But now I have the habit of touching my e-mail several times a day (required in the spam days).
Usually nothing new is there.
I realize that spam gave me a mission, it was a dragon that needed slaying on a constant basis.
Now the dragon is dead. Scaly and uncouth as he was, I feel the lack.
There are other dragons I need to slay. But spam was the dragon that crouched at a critical gate to my world, the dragon I could not lock behind a door or cover with a sheet. Spam was a dragon that implied humans outside my own circle, who I could revile freely. My other dragons are either caused by me or people I like to love, so I cannot loathe with utter abandon.
There's no parting phrase that I can use, since they all signal a desire that the departed return or be blessed or go with God.
So here's to spam, gone now. To the dragon I loved to loathe.