Thursday, July 25, 2013


The question had been a simple one: "Is Cancer a "Gift?" Although the author's answer had been no, I had expected that someone in the comments would take the opposite view and answer, "yes."

But not quite in this way.

"I would consider it a gift. I cannot take anymore of this wretched life but am too cowardly to commit suicide."
It's hard to know what to do, when confronted with such obvious pain from a total stranger, but sometimes, it's just as hard to do nothing. So, I did the only thing that I could. Even with throwing proofreading to the wind, it felt like painfully slow going. I am an indifferent typist at best, and, unlike so many other Things on the Internet, this wasn't something that could simply be dashed off and entrusted to the "cloud." It felt more important than that, and so I measured every word, and considered it carefully (And even so, I made some missteps.), before clicking "Reply."

And finding that I was too late.
The post you are trying to reply to has been removed by a moderator.
Why the moderator had removed the post, I don't know. There was nothing else under the user's profile. No trolling, no flames, no cynical and malicious political baiting. Only the single lie, "[User Name] hasn't commented yet." And the forlorn "1" for her "Comments" count. Whoever she had been, and whatever her intentions, she was gone, her digital presence persisting only as long as the window. Clicking a link, clicking "Back" or refreshing the page would scatter what was left of it to oblivion. And so, I scattered her, destroying her ghost. Mostly. An image remains, plucked from the screen and frozen in place. Forever unchanging, a still life of reaching out, and finding no-one there.

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