I HAVE a good friend who, like countless others, is addicted to Googling ex-boyfriends. Instead of coffee breaks, she goes on periodic search sprees where she looks up old lovers, passing fancies and mere crushes.
More Modern Love ColumnsWhen her interest in her own history flags, she encourages me to look up mine. One of her recent e-mails read: “I wish there were more boys!” Meaning that since we both have been married for 20 years, our backlists are running low.
The men of my past, search-engine-wise, are mostly unremarkable. The outcomes seem happy, and there have been no real surprises. Except for one from (gulp) a quarter-century ago, a boy with literary aspirations who had once been a kind of mentor to me. On a lark one morning I typed his name, pressed return and hit a gold mine.
As it turned out, he was the keeper of multiple blogs, some of which he’d been writing for years: opinion pieces on books and music, musings on race and religion, and one blog devoted to his workplace (he was a teacher).
As I read over his various posts, it became clear that he was struggling with finding a way to gather these mini-essays together in order to write a book. That part of his life, writing books, apparently was a dream deferred. But the rest of it (a good marriage, children, work that was valuable) seemed like everything you’d hope to find when looking up an old friend.
Except his blogs weren’t all they seemed to be at first blush. Buried among the philosophical musings and literary exegeses were struggles of a more intimate nature. Somewhere in the course of creating his blogs, my ex had slipped into the role of diarist.
If he were a teenager, I suppose there would be nothing new here; millennial teenagers seem bred to leak their lives online, to air their private relationships, depressions and frustrations.
But a guy in his 40s? It was surprising to find that amid a cogent dissection of “Infinite Jest,” he had included an account of his outré dream from the night before. There was dirt here.
With just a few clicks, I had entry into an ex’s most-private life, and I didn’t have to suffer through the boring parts. I could skip around the postings and suss out what I wanted.
2011-08-25 14:06 编辑：kuaileyingyu