Despite the mountain of profanity that most of these accounts offer — admittedly a pretty big part of @MayorEmanuel’s playbook as well — none of them capture what really worked with the account: the fact that the story existed in the same time and space that the reader was in. If it snowed in Chicago, @MayorEmanuel was complaining about it; if it was early and you were dying for coffee, chances were @MayorEmanuel was too. For an account that had multiple hallucination sequences, had its characters live in a

Dan Sinker. If you weren’t following @MayorEmanuel as it unfolded, it will be hard for you to understand just how cool it was; how much joy it brought. I have a remarkably vivid memory of following those last few installments of the story — someone (Tim Carmody, if memory serves) tweeted that we had all better get over to @MayorEmanuel if it wasn’t in our timeline because something amazing was happening — and then we understood that the tale was coming to an end, and doing so perfectly, even as we tried to convince ourselves that it wasn’t necessarily over. A widely shared moment of what the poet Cesar Vallejo called trilcetriste + dulce, sadsweet.

Yes, trilce: I have a particularly vivid memory of sitting in the Duke of Perth on Clark Street with my dear and now so-lamented friend Brett Foster, eating fish-and-chips and drinking ale from Scotland, while I tried to explain @MayorEmanuel to him. It didn’t work, so I pulled out my phone and showed him the account, and even as we were scrolling through it a new tweet arrived! How miraculous it seemed! For a few minutes we giggled our way through the timeline, and when our server brought us more beer she commented that that whatever we were looking at it had to be pretty darn funny. We briefly described to her what it was, but she gave us a blank look; I don’t think she had heard of Twitter. Never such innocence again.