Got back to my hotel room. Saw this tweet:
So then I looked up the guy, read about him, saw that he lived in Chicago, and then, when I saw his Twitter page come up in the Google Results, clicked on it, morosely wondering what his last tweet was. While the page was waiting to load, I thought to myself, “How strange, that one’s inane tweets about anything can take on such sudden and unexpected weight.”
And then the page loaded, and I saw that he had tweeted something about a bar on Diversey and Lincoln, and I thought, “That’s so weird, that’s exactly where I’m staying. Those would have been meaningless streets two days ago but now I know it exactly, it’s right here.”
And then I clicked, just out of curiosity, to see who he was responding to.
Sarah, my last interview of the night last night.
Sarah, who didn’t know Lincoln Park very well, so she took to Twitter to ask for bar recommendations. And he answered.
The very last thing this man I had never met, never even heard of until ten minutes ago, tweeted, was a bar recommendation to a girl that I had never met who was looking for a place to meet me, in a city that is not my own.
I guess you hear about strangers dying every day, and you read about it with disinterest, and it takes something like this, some tenuous connection, for you to realize it could have so easily been someone you knew, that you’re not as comfortably removed from other people’s tragedies as you’d like.
I hope you rest in peace, Alex Okrent.
Very sad and thoughts to Alex’s friends and family. The internet is strange.