Friday Firesmith – The Internet Dead

When I first got started on the Internet, I had no idea that it would be something that affected my life, forever. I first logged on back in the late nineties, and had been on other people’s accounts, but finally decided this internet thing, it might be worth it. I met my first, and likely last, wife on the internet. I adopted Lilith online. The story of Tyger Linn, Bud, and Wrex, as well as half a dozen fosters, all came from the internet. I send text messages to people at work rather than call them. I send out at least a dozen emails a day at work. Most of the processes that I must attend to at work are done online.

Back in 2005 or 2006, I went to a party at a friend’s house and met a woman. We had a good conversation, we talked about art, and I got her phone number. Her boyfriend took exception to it, but she and I traded texts about art for a while, she ditched the boyfriend, as we dated.

Literally, this was the last woman I have dated that didn’t start online.

Dog Rescue doesn’t exist in its current incarnation without the net. There are people who watch Craig’s list to make sure dogs adopted from the Humane Society aren’t being sold. There are people who keep up with the people constantly looking for dogs and cats, because these people might be involved in dog fighting or abuse. There was a case where a woman returned a dog to the Humane Society claiming the dog was simply escaping from his fenced in backyard, but the truth was the woman had a new boyfriend, and the dog was loyal to the woman’s husband, who was deployed overseas. One of the people in our group was a bartender, where this woman and her boyfriend liked to drink.

When Gayle Hardman died a couple of years ago, it was a death that was personal, even if I had never met the woman. Gayle was a native Georgian, met a man in Seattle and they lived together for a while. He found another woman and Gayle was out into the street. Everyone assumed it was temporary, she didn’t want to leave Seattle, and suddenly it was two years later, and Gayle was dead. She crafted homemade jewelry, really nice stuff, and I bought several of her pieces. Gayle never gave up on the idea of clawing her way back up from homelessness and getting an apartment or a house. Sleeping in a car, or just sitting in a car, for most of a day and night killed her.

Gayle’s death was personal, even if we had never met. So was the death of other people whose demise came in a text message or an email, without a real face to connect to the person’s life. I’ve lost writer’s, poets, drunks and drug addicts, dog lovers and cat haters. Just like they were all real people with real lives.

They were, you know, and it’s okay if you grieve them like you lost a friend. I have and I will again. I miss Gayle.

Who have you lost that you never really met?

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.