When a blogger dies, does anyone notice?

There are many parts of my life I can’t remember and there are many reasons for that. I’d like to think of my brain as a well-organized refrigerator: I can reach in there with my eyes closed, and know where to find things. And if it’s not serving a purpose anymore, it’s just taking up space and getting in the way.

If I can’t remember what happened, did it? I used to struggle with this when I’d drink too much (it didn’t happen that often, as I recall). The scene would replay itself in the morning, when others had to fill me in. It was like a murder mystery, and I was sure to be the prime suspect.

As a control freak, it bothered me deeply that I was responsible for actions I couldn’t remember. And then I started to care less. That’s one thing I learned from my favorite high school English teacher, who had a lazy eye and a bad smoking habit. It sounded like a form of growing up: stop caring what others think about you.

I tried to track him down many years ago, but couldn’t. I don’t have any pictures, maybe some comments he wrote in papers or poems, encouraging me to write. And I remember the day he came into the drug store where I worked, asked me for a carton of Winstons, then smiled after I chided him about it and said, Someday you’ll stop caring too.

There was a girl I got set up with but her friend got in the middle of it somehow and this friend fancied being with me rather than her friend, and so one epic night I stayed on the phone with her until the sun came up, and we left the plastic mouthpiece between our mouths and the pillow, occasionally checking that the other was still there, breathing mildly erotic wishes on each other and wiping the spit off the mouthpiece. It was perfect because I liked her voice but didn’t know what she looked like, so I formed this picture of her in my mind that was…perfect.

My grand-dad had a stroke around 9/11 and my dad thinks it’s because the news got him stressed out. He retold a story about his dog Scotty, how they left the dog on the other side of the lake and drove away, and the damned dog came running after them, all that way. He told the story to us many times, but I still can’t remember the details because I was distracted by the fact that he kept telling it, and couldn’t remember he’d told us already. We pretended it was the first time, every time.

I form a picture of people through their voice, their thumbnail, their comments. People come and go, that’s life. One day they stop posting. My emails pile up in their in-box. So it goes.

Categories: death, humor

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

23 replies

    • I kind of got tired reading that line over and over, and now I’m doing the same to get it out of my system.


      • It drives people crazy, I know. But I like the fact that it becomes a drone, so frequent that you start to ignore it. In other words, death and horror become so common that you become numbed by it. And just when you become immune to it, he surprises you with the context of it, like when they kill off a bottle of wine: so it goes.


      • I did not get that nuance…that’s great. I think I read it too fast, like a really good bowl of noodles or something. Really inspiring book. I’m playing over the images still.


    • Reblogging this, if you don’t mind.


      • Wow, thanks Ross! I love the nice note you wrote too–thank you. I should make some eggs now. You have a good day!


  1. Reblogged this on Drinking Tips for Teens and commented:
    Bill @ Pinklightsabre’s Blog on existence and whether it’s only real if you remember it. Always an evocative read, a dreamscape puzzle, a refreshing dip in the stream of consciousness.


  2. A blogger friend of mine died a few years back. His posts became fewer and fewer with more time in between. He posted about these suddenly recurring throat problems and then his diagnosis with cancer. The posts were so difficult to read towards the end. He was documenting his end of life and perhaps he knew that, perhaps not. And then one day I returned to his blog to read a post by his wife that he had passed away. You get connected even if it’s through words on the page. It’s inevitable.


    • Hi “SDS” and thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. I bet those posts were hard to read…the format allows for some interesting connections, for sure. Thank you for sharing your insights; it’s sort of new to me. Best, – Bill


  3. Like SDS above, I had a blogger friend who developed cancer and died, and his wife let folks know. It was sad, but I guess it is always better to know. Some folks just do fizzle out of the sphere, too. It is only their blog that goes … But I do worry when I stop seeing those emails in my box.

    I liked this reflexive combination of memories and images.


    • Hi Elyse — sorry to hear about your blogger friend. Part of it for me is the illusion of intimacy through the connection, but then you don’t really know what happens to people or who they are…perhaps I’m green and have to get used to it. Just find it a bit odd sometimes. I’m glad you liked it and you’re right, “reflexive” is a good word for it. Thank you for visiting again. I’m glad we got hooked up through Ross!


  4. I stop by your blog and all my favorite bloggers are commenting here. This must be where the party’s at! Your post and the comments that follow made me wonder if I needed to adjust my will. Instructions to my husband: When I die, look in my draft file and publish the one titled ‘And So She Goes’.


  5. i think that whatever exists for you in any given moment is real. bloggers that disappear, without explanation, like others who come and go without reason, leave us wondering if they were ever there. great post ) beth


    • Hey Beth! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts…it’s fun to tinker in these deep thoughts from time to time. Seems the season brings it out in me! Thanks for visiting and enjoy your evening. – Bill


  6. Do you understand how difficult it was for me to read this?


  7. People move in and out of our lives all the time, and I think that this occurs even more often now in our computer connected lives. As we mature, our interests change. We meet new people and so do our friends. Through those new people, we meet other new people, and they become farther and farther away. It just continues in an ever expanding circle, just like the expanding universe. Soon we become so far removed from each other that we probably never connect again. However, sometimes our expanding circles will overlap and we can reconnect with someone.


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