My cousin, a librarian whose social calendar is filled by drinking in a bar with her latest boyfriend, dropped by to see me because he was “at a training session” out of town.
She wanted to go to a bar.
I mean it is impossible. I don’t drink. I can’t drink. I take meds that preclude drinking. Meds that could kill me if I drink. Meds that people take to commit suicide. I am liberal with my meds, and have always sympathized with House, but overdosing on drugs and alcohol is a “no.” Thank God for relief from pain, but why don’t they invent a pill that allows one to drink?
The last time I had a beer was 1993, the day I rode the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls.
At Thanksgiving and Christmas we drink sparkling non-alcoholic wine. It is really terrible.
“But don’t you have something to drink?” she asked despairingly.
I offered her a drink of green tea.
“Don’t you have anything to smoke?”
“Are you kidding?”
“Isn’t marijuana legal?”
“I haven’t any idea, but I don’t smoke it.”
She turned on her phone. Who you gonna call? I listen to my messages later, much later.
I understand cyber-addictions. But not phones.
The only thing that worked for her when not drinking was a little cyberstalking. She started talking about Twitter, and showed me her boyfriend’s tweets. He didn’t answer her tweet, and that upset her. She’s cyberdrunk@cyberdrunk, or something like that. He’s cheatonyourmate@cheatonyourmate, or something.
Maybe he’s in a meeting.
Then she cyberstalked some authors.
Did you know that Gail Godwin has a new book coming out this spring? That Amy Tan has a new book coming out this fall? That Ann Hood is giving a reading in Massachusetts? That Brett Easton Ellis is gay? That Karen Thompson Walker is not on Twitter? That Peter Stothard has a new book out this summer? That Jennifer Weiner has a giveaway? That Penguin Books has a giveaway? That…?
We waited for more tweets.
Then she found a picture of her boyfriend with “some whore Lancome clerk” somewhere, possibly at Facebook.
“How does he know some whore Lancome clerk? Don’t let it bother you.”
I do understand this kind of cyber-addiction. Cyber-life blurs with real life. I used to get very bored when I started to write the same articles on the same subjects again and again, and I was online while I wrote. I still check my email too often.
But I don’t like real life to interfere with my cyber-life. I have cried over old friends after googling them and discovering they are dead. I have repeatedly googled my old friend, Linda, hoping if I do it often enough the obituary will be a fake and she will be alive.
Linda is survived by her mother. That struck me as tragic. Did she ever marry? Was she gay? What happened? Why didn’t she write the damned book?
I thought about writing to her mother, but in the end one doesn’t.
For me, finding Linda’s obituary was the equivalent of my cousin’s finding that picture.