Monday, August 23, 2004

Blogger World

His name is Kevin and I’ve been stalking him.
He blogs about his place of employment, a “gentleman’s club” (AKA strip joint) in the USA’s mid-west.
Somehow, his site has become the “Mother Blog” in a community of amateur writers. It’s like a party in the comments section, and I’m the one on the outside with my nose pressed up against the window. Watching. Taking notes. But never going in.

Kevin is a nice guy.
I can tell.
He rarely uses swear words in his writing and his responses to all the comments are always kind. He makes a point of visiting his visitor’s blogs, and compliments them in his comments section. He writes about the strippers tenderly, as if they were his sisters. The waitresses? They could be his cousins. He is respectful of everyone in that sleazy industry, somehow humanizing the whole skin trade.
I’ve been checking his site daily and have witnessed a sense of “family” amongst his readers. And even though I haven’t commented, I’ve been touched by some of his postings.
He has taken up residence in my fantasy world, where he lives in between Johnny Depp and John Cusack in a lovely brick house with topiary trees on either side of the garage.
Excuse me for a sec while I retreat to my dream-like Happy Place.
The point.

Kevin usually posts a story every 48 hours or so. His blog is regularly updated, there is undoubtedly an abundance of bloggable material in a nudie bar.
But a few weeks ago, there was a lull.
In fact a whole week went by and there was no new narrative from the sweet guy who runs a triple X nightclub.
The comments section was full of questions from strangers asking each other if anyone knew Kevin’s real identity. The blogging world is as large as the real world… there are bloggers from Europe, China, Australia and Langley each using their eensy teensy slice of the web to log their journals. Mostly we don’t share too much personal information – our mothers taught us well. So while we might share intensely personal observations and pictures of our loved ones, we never reveal our own true identity.

Anyway, like I said, he hadn’t posted anything in over a week, and his regular readership, myself included, was starting to get worried. Where’d he go? What happened?
And then. Late one Saturday night, someone named Bob C. posted the following comment:
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Kevin passed away in his sleep on Saturday night. His friends and family were devastated. I’m sure the blogging community will miss him as well.

My stomach dropped to my feet. Which isn’t really such a long drop, as it currently sits on my thighs… but still. It landed with a thud and I had an ugly empty feeling deep in my gut.
Kevin was dead?
No more postings?
The party was over?
I felt sick. Nauseous. Queazy. Cold and drained.
I broke my self-imposed rule and left a comment in Kevin’s blog:
“Who are you, Bob. C?”
He answered, I was Kevin’s friend.

Chaos in the comments section after that. No one believed he was gone. Thought it was a huge scam. Other bloggers wrote about the incident in their blogs, accusing each other of posing as Bob C.

It was like living in soap opera hell.

Drew was royally annoyed with me. “What’s with you mom? You keep going on the computer every few minutes. Just leave it alone. Can’t I have it for one hour without you always kicking me off? I’m supposed to be allowed to be on for one and a half hours a day… so let me. Go do something else. I think you have a problem.”

Finally I told him the truth. That I have friends in a parallel dimension and someone from that other world might be dead… someone I cared about. It was imperative that I kept an eye on his life line, just in case there was any news.

Someone I cared about??

Drew was the understanding considerate son I knew he would be, and let me check on Kevin’s status regularly, even if it did interrupt his msn-ing.
And that night, him and I prayed for Kevin. Yes we did. Because I am unemployed and have far too much time on my hands. (No. Clint and Max wouldn’t have been as compassionate, so I didn’t share my grief with them. Mock me they would.)

Turns out he was just taking a break.
His blog, which originally was a simple lil creative outlet for him, got to be a big thing. I mean gargantuan. Over 100,000 hits (visitors) and a huge community of bloggers depending on his postings as a starting point for daily interaction. Too much pressure for a nice guy from Iowa or whatever state is famous for growing corn.

He’s back now, but only posts once a week or so. And lets us all know when he’s going to be away for an extended period.

My “Write Away” writing group buddy Jenn has just updated her web site: and linked me.
Nah yo.
What if her 100,000 friends and relatives come over here to visit my pathetic little menno blog? And like, have a party in my comments section? What would I do? Pull a Kevin? And go into hiding while I figure out how to host a celebration with strangers in my family room? Or take off my clothes and join in the fun?

If I don’t update in awhile, I’m not dead.

Don’t worry.
And if Bob C shows up, ignore him. He's a jerk.


Three things I’m thankful for:
1. sunglasses
2. parents who have stayed married to each other for 45 years
3. down filled blankets and pillows

Not so thankful for:
Spastic printers that spew out partially printed pages of garbled alien codes.

Take care,

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