Death in the Modern Age

3 Sep

Back in August, on one of those days I didn’t post, I had a really horrible experience.

My mother had been trying to reach a friend of hers for awhile, to no avail. Finally she asked me to go over to his building and talk to the doorman; she had a bad feeling. It took me a week to do it. You know what happens next.

The doorman told me that our friend was found in his apartment, dead. He had apparently been there for a few days. This had occurred a month previous so my delay in checking didn’t affect anything, thankfully. That would have moved the story from terrible to a completely and utterly debilitating one for me. As my mom went through a whole guilt-trip about how she hadn’t been a good enough friend and I went through my oh-my-god-I’ve-just-seen-my-ghost-of-Christmas-future, Steve Jobs stepped down at Apple.

Like everyone else in the universe, his announcement upset me. But as the accolades and assessments turned into premature obituaries, it started to freak me out a bit. How can that possibly feel to read all your obituaries while you’re still alive? Basically everyone in the world is telling you you’ve died already.  That has to be weird. So his ‘perceived death’ and our friend’s actual death couldn’t be in more stark contrast as far as impact on the world, but they both are strange and sad and surreal to me.

I’ve spoken of my psychic iPod before, and during this time, it struck again. Just as I was musing about all of that, Babybird’s “I Didn’t Want To Wake you Up” was my Song-o-Scope of the Day. (As I walk to work every day, I hit shuffle in the morning as I ask it for a message for the day.) Oh iPod, how in tune you are with me.

I’m a huge Babybird fan. For those of you who are unfamilar with his massive output, please rectify that. Babybird is essentially Stephen Jones and he’s a master of DIY deliciousness. Well, usually. This track actually comes from his only major label release and has a band and stuff. He did have a couple of bona-fide hits, namely “You’re Gorgeous,” and they were from this album as well. But pretty much everything he does is worth getting.

And I guess the moral of this story is appreciate people while they’re around…which is to also say, don’t bury them alive either.

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