The Eternal Smallness of East Coast Big City
Everyone knew everyone in the corner of East Coast Big City where I grew up--and if you didn't know them yourself, they went to high school with your brother, or you went to high school with their brother, or your brothers went to high school together. Since we moved back, even though we live in Town, not City, we still move in those circles, but S and I now both work in East Coast Big City proper, and we are discovering circles we had no idea existed, in which everyone knows everyone. So the smallness persists, even as our circles expand.
The Dilemmas of Facebook
When to unfriend? What to do, practically and emotionally, about the ex-boyfriends you are actively not friending, but who are apparently just as actively not friending you? Whether and why to update how often? How much you feel like a ridiculous high school student, except that the high school students don't think twice about any of this, because it's just like breathing for them?
What I'm Not Writing About
How A's suicide threads through the East Coast Big City circles S and I now seem to be part of. How I worked with her; and my friend S, who I work with somewhere else, grew up with her; and S's ex-girlfriend used to babysit her; and she lived in the new building down the street from the restaurant, upstairs from the new restaurant; and the main investor in the new restaurant was the one who found her, cut her down, and tried to do CPR; and he spent that afternoon drinking at the bar, but S didn't know why until later; and my friend S knows him too, because she knows absolutely everyone; and the teenagers, my god, I can't even talk about the teenagers.
How a Facebook page becomes a memorial as bereft friends pour out their grief into notes on the wall.
How unfathomable the unexpected, unexplained suicide is.
How banal it feels to write those words.
How presumptuous it is to appropriate the ragged grief of others, and how determined I am not to do so.
How I can't sleep at night.