I am devastated.
A few years back, l started following a blog about the Grateful Dead. Thoughts on the Dead. TotD for short. I can’t even begin to describe how the anonymous author approached his project. He created a semi-fictional fantasy universe out of the history and mythology of my favorite rock and roll band that let him comment not only on the band, but on the insane world we live in. He wrote in a way that was cutting and hilarious: the Hunter Thompson influence was obvious, but TotD had his own voice.
A community of virtual friends came together around TotD’s Twitter account. Nerdy Dead fans with a sharp sense of humour. My kind of people. One of them hooked me up with fifth row tickets for a sold-out Neil Young concert.
Right around the time l got my diagnosis, TotD got his. I learned about it, as would only be fitting, from an absolutely HILARIOUS blog post in which an incompetent doctor explains to our hero that he has cancer.
If you don’t like black humour, don’t click on the link. On the other hand, if the thought of a doctor telling a patient “Hey! Stop that! You must be positive! You have cancer, not can’t-cer” puts as big a smile on your face as it did mine, well, that’s probably why I like you.
I reached out to TotD. We corresponded about our experiences: we were, I pointed out, in the same boat together. “A ship of fools,” he replied. Traded chemo stories and survival tips. Screamed into the void together. If you believe people can become friends solely through the written word, we became friends.
You all know where this is going. There are very few happy endings in a story like this one. My friend checked out today and l am absolutely devastated.
Tonight, read something that makes you laugh and listen to your favorite rock and roll band. It’s what I’ll be doing.
I am devastated.