Just when life seems completely settled, just when you think the transition blog has died and shows no sign of life or activity, something odd happens.
Like this email I received out of the blue this morning from Slade Taggart (and this is the total text—no subject line, no salutation, no signature block):
Please remove all your blog posts referring to my middle name. I find it reprehensible that you would write about me using my name on that blog. Also, please transfer your business to another firm. Finally, please don’t call, text, or email me.
I’m not sure what he’s been seeing on his emails, texts, or phone records, but I can assure him (and Slade knows this well) that I haven’t called, texted, or phoned since he cut off communications way back in August of 2008. I’m guessing he was Googling his various names, and ran across his middle name in a search engine and then, much to his surprise, read about himself as a character in my blog.
In any event, you’d think that pseudonyms would be sufficient, wouldn’t you? I’m certainly not removing the blog posts, but have further anonymized his character by changing it to Slade Taggart.
I would point out, however, that all the anonymizing (or pseudonymming, or whatever else one wishes to call it) in the world doesn’t change the fact that a dear friend had (and continues to have, apparently) a visceral reaction to my existence, and that this reaction and its accompanying rejection constitutes a major event in my story. It’s a psychic, social, personal, and historical explosion that cannot, and must not, be erased if this story is to be told accurately.
And blowing a gasket about a pseudonym I use in this blog, and then calling it reprehensible, strikes me as pretty hypocritical. If we want to talk about reprehensibility, why don’t we talk about abandoning your life-long friend when she needed support, shall we? Or how about holding on to some sort of deep anger or fear for four and a half years, only to write, out of the blue, this absurd email? What kind of psyche does it take to push distasteful things this far away from your history for the purposes of keeping up the facade of togetherness? I’m an empirical thinker, as you know, and the hard facts that Slade doesn’t want to acknowledge is that virtually everyone who cared about me before still cares about me now.
So, applying Occam’s Razor to this data set, which is the more likely hypothesis?
H1 — 99.5% of Joyce’s friends are fools or dupes or deluded
H2 — 0.5% of Joyce’s former friends, including Slade and perhaps no one else, is correct in desperately holding on to their their rejection, fear, and anger.