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Tuesday
Aug152017

Strange Connections

I connected with a total stranger on the other side of the world – and then he broke it off with me.   Whatever ‘it’ means.  And yes, I know this all sounds a little weird.  It is.  But that's what meeting people online is like. Trust me, I was on eHam for years.  

We ‘met’ through a poetry community on Instagram.  It’s a space where writers share their work, support each other and give advice.  It’s a great forum and full of interesting people.  Everyone has a different story with individual writing styles. Some writers are really popular and a few starting out.  I’m somewhere in between. 

DG writes angst filled poems about pain, death and sometimes, sex and drugs.  His posts are dark and he talks about poppies (heroin), evil fairies and wanting to die.  Fun stuff, eh?  I was drawn to his work because, although some of it is pretty macabre, there’s also a sense of sadness in what he writes.  He sounds tormented but his poetry can also be quite beautiful.

At some point he wrote that it was his birthday in April and how good Aries people are.  I commented with “Yes, We Are!” and he private messaged me to ask when my birthday was and what was I doing to celebrate.   We chatted (online) about music, parties and cake. He said he has decided to eat cake every day if he wants to.  Because life is short. 

I told him I’d noticed his poetry was quite sad and thought he was grieving someone or something as he often wrote about nightmares and demons and losing the love of his life.  He confirmed that his fiancée had been killed in a car accident two days before their wedding day and he was still struggling with it.  Well fair enough, that would be hard.  No wonder he wrote the way he did. 

He then went on to tell me that he didn’t have long to live.  He had three massive brain tumours.  Stage 3, grade 4 brain tumours.

Whoah.

I don’t know this guy.  He lives a million miles away.  Maybe that’s what made me ask.   “Are you angry at the world?”

He went on to tell me it was the exact opposite.  That when you don’t have much time left you appreciate it more. 

We chatted a little more and he said he needed to catch a flight to LA but that he’d enjoyed talking with me and would write again.  He was heading to the hospital for a treatment and would be offline for a few days. 

I burst into tears.  I sobbed.  I’m not sure why. It might have been that I understood how debilitating grief could be.  The thought that he was going to die soon.  The harsh reality that sometimes life sucks and slaps you in the face with more bad shit than you can imagine.  He got under my skin and I couldn’t stop thinking about this total stranger on the other side of the world. 

I continued to follow his page, commenting on the pieces I liked or could relate to (not that I have a brain tumour or dead fiancé).  He responded most times.

One of his poems had a country song feel to it.  It was rhythmic, rhyming and rolled along like a song.  I remarked that it sounded a little John Cougar Mellencamp to me.

Suddenly he private messaged me.  The first time in weeks.

Were you trying to say I copied some poem from John Cougar Mellencamp.

First of all I’m not that old.

And secondly I don’t copy anything from anybody.

Before I had the chance to write back and tell him I was only joking and that I thought the imagery was similar and I really liked the piece, bang, he had blocked me.    

WTF?

I’ve never been blocked on social media before.  It’s weird. You try logging into different accounts to see what’s going on like a person knocking on the door trying to get back into your house.   Yes, he’d blocked me.  Yes, I was annoyed.  Yes, I laughed. 

Now I follow him on my personal account.   He’s still writing the same dark, pain ridden poetry and has more followers than ever.  He talks a lot about dying and I wonder how long he has left.  I’ve thought about sending him a DM to say how hilarious it is that he blocked me because of a comment about an aging country / rock star, but really what’s the point.  Little Pink Houses and Hurt So Good are lyrical benchmarks so who am I to coach him on John Cougar Mellencamp’s legendary status?

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