08/25/2006: "Friends in the Machine"
I consider myself a pioneer of online friendships. I remember back some 14 years ago when I first discovered live chat…I was hooked; I recall Rick’s plaintive request to ‘come back to you “real” friends!’ but (let’s call him “Sunflower”) was my *real* friend. Of course, he turned out to be into polyfidelity and tried long and hard to convince me to move into his commune in the Ozarks but still…a friend.
I guess the medium made more sense to me than to those who only value the meaty goodness of actual face-to-face relationships. I read recently how Marja-leena had met her first blogger friends (blofends?) IRL and how great it was. I got me thinking of how soon I’ll get to meet some of my blofends IRL as well. These are people who, despite the fact I’ve never actually “met” them, I care about.
Of course, it could be a little like online dating…a lot of feverish email exchanges that go pfffft the second you actually meet…but I doubt that because friendships don’t require the elusive element of “physical” attraction to thrive.
So, these were my thoughts this morning when I took my monthly jaunt over to Granny Gets a Vibrator to see what she’s been up to and…it turns out she’s sick. Possibly *very* sick, as in, the big C. This woman who is so incredibly smart, funny, and a health-nut body builder in her 50s with a sexy painter boyfriend and a life anyone would be envious of…and it all happened so fast. One day “my asthma has been acting up” and the next, scary hospital biopsy. I was shocked by how hard I took the news, how sad and powerless it makes me feel. My heart goes out to her but I know if anyone can kick Brenda's (she named her tumor) ass, she can!
And speaking of health, I have two check-ups next month, one that is on the scary side, what if they find “something”…? Would I still go off to a new job and a new state where I don’t know anyone? I mean, cyber pals are well and good, but they can’t pick you up from a chemo appointment or check in on you to make sure you haven’t died in your sleep. (thank god I have paranoid co-workers who check in on me if I'm even slightly late to work)