Yesterday, not 4 miles from where I live now, two people on a motorcycle were killed.
I’ve ridden on motorcycles off and on since the age of 4, and consistently since I was in my mid-20’s. These deaths are tragic.
More interesting to me though than the loss of two strangers, whose lives never touched mine, or anyone close to me, was the response of the friends I have made since moving here nearly 3 years ago. I had not considered any of my friendships here particularly close, and still don’t. They are something more than acquaintanceship, but not the kind of close friends I would reveal my secrets to. That’s what the internet is for, after all. The blessed intimate unfamiliarity that allows me to pour feelings out to you readers, without the fear that you actually know me.
I was in a movie theater when the news went out over local media that a man and a woman had been killed on a motorcycle near my home. Apparently, I’m not the only person who immediately thinks their friends are likely to be dead and attempts, rather frantically to reach them with minimal cause. My (turned off, remember, movie theater) phone begins to fill with messages, first from one friend, then from all the others she calls/texts/messages on Facebook in an attempt to reach me. Two hours later, when I turn on my phone, I get the rather enjoyable mission of calling all these acquaintances and friends (many of whom I see maybe 3-4 times a year) and hearing them weep with joy at the sound of my voice (which I have to say, is a humbling and somewhat odd thing.)
It made me wonder though, if I judge too harshly. I’ve felt that as I have no living family, and few close (by my standards) friends, that my death would have minimal impact on those around me. I now am wondering how accurate that perception is. People care. I don’t know why, especially when I’d characterize our relationships as rather superficial, and to be honest, based largely on the fact that my liquor cabinet is a) decently stocked, and b)free. I may have been misjudging my value as secondary to the things I bring to the relationship.
It’s worth the thought after all.
In closing, my sympathies are with the families of the fallen riders.

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