Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ed is Gone

A friend of mine died this past week. He was a few years older.

I met him in a local chat room in the early 90's. In fact, he was well known amongst the women who frequented the room for being the fellow who attended group lunches, and if you were the lucky girl that day sitting next to him, he'd have his hand on your knee. I called and told a friend about seeing the obituary and she reminded me of this habit of his. I recalled it was true!

This was that brief time when AOL was the a friendly internet service, before Google or Facebook. People had profiles that could be searched for age and location. Local chat rooms were popular. The way you check into Facebook now, you once checked in with your local chat room and your habits became known by your other chat buddies so much that if you did not check in people worried about your health!

When I became widowed and when I finally disentangled myself from the train wreck that was Roger, I met and made all my friends through the local AOL chat. Ed was a fixture there.

The obituary mentioned a loving wife and a herd of children with an even bigger herd of grandchildren. He had been a good provider and retired from a good job at a plant that went out of business a decade ago. These facts about his "real' life were news to me, proving that it is possible to live a virtual life completely removed from your real one.

I know both parts were real, come on!

We AOL buddies won't attend the visitation nor the funeral. We have the memory of Ed and that's quite enough.