Oh the miracle of our wired world: I just heard from Carole, one of my blog readers who lives in England. She wrote to ask what has happened to my friend Chris, whose blog appears here to the left. I follow his blog through yours and he hasn’t posted since last week, as he was feeling unwell and he posts every day I am fearing the worst. I’ve never met him or yourself, but I feel I know you both. The connectivity of social media. I do hope Chris is okay.
Isn’t this a wonderful thing? A stranger across the ocean feels connected enough to two strangers in Canada to write an anxious note.
I too was worried about Chris. I called but he didn’t answer his phone, so I called our mutual friend Bruce in B.C. and asked him to contact Chris’s friends on Gabriola to find out what was up. First, he tried Chris’s home number again. It was answered by Shelley, one of Chris’s neighbours, who must have been there to see to the pets; she told Bruce that Chris is in hospital in Nanaimo. He went on Thursday to his local doctor, who insisted on getting him into hospital on the mainland immediately. They thought he was having a stroke, but that turned out thankfully not to be the case. He will soon be taken by ambulance to Victoria for more tests and probably to have a pacemaker installed. Bruce talked to him briefly; he doesn’t want to talk to anyone but knows we are thinking of him and sending love.
Another advantage of a blog for people who live alone: readers notice if suddenly you’re not there burbling about your life, and they care.
I don’t know anyone who has had more disastrous life experiences or health issues than Chris, including three heart attacks, HIV, and a nervous breakdown that led to muteness. A most dramatic man, the most creative person I’ve ever met, every nerve end quivering without stopping. I just tried to upload an essay I wrote about him in the Globe in 1997, but it won’t work; I’ll try again later. It’s a fascinating, unparalleled story. We are thinking of you, Chris, you amazing man. Get well. Come home. We need to read more about your adventures in island living at Pinecone Park.
Nothing new here in the metropolis, except the good weather has gone for the week, a cloudy grey day. Anna’s cat Naan is here beside me. It’s so difficult; she has a tumour or something that causes her to throw up her food regularly or attempt to, with much heaving; sometimes it seems the end is nigh. But her fur is luxurious, her eyes are clear, and she is fierce in her relentless concentration on acquiring more food. According to her purring, she enjoys life a great deal. What to do?
Luckily, for once, it’s not my decision.