Recently, for the one billionth time in my life, I
was sorta dumped came to the end of yet another relationship. Don’t ask… it’s a long story.
Anyway, the sorta-dumping happened at the worst possible time because I had to make a lot of public appearances in the days after; I had two job interviews, I had errands to run, I had a social event to attend, I had a sick friend I had to visit and other minor things that took me out of the house. So basically, the sort-of-dumping happened in the middle of life.
I didn’t have the luxury of two or three days that I could spend curled up in bed, feeling sorry for myself, watching old episodes of Modern Family all day and crying myself to sleep every night…
There was no time to enlarge his picture and use it as target practice…
No time to create a secret Twitter account from which I could send him anonymous death threats.
I had been sort-of-dumped but life was taking place around me and I couldn’t press ‘Pause’. I had to hold conversations like a normal person, laugh at jokes I didn’t really find funny, force myself to not smash every radio that was playing any song that even remotely reminded me of him and during my job interview, when I was asked my short term goals and where I see myself in five years, I couldn’t reply, “In jail for 2nd Degree Murder of a boy”. I HAD TO LIVE LIFE!!!
Of course I realize that my sort-of-dumping is highly insignificant compared to real life misfortunes some people have had to face or are currently facing, but it made me think…
And that’s how, in the middle of my search for a pause button, I met a dead guy (more like the story of a dead guy) called Aaron Swartz. He hanged himself a couple of days ago.
Apparently, he was this computer genius and software programmer who, by the age of thirteen, had done things that most of us would never even dream of. The first thing that struck me when I saw his picture was how handsome he was (so sue me… I’m a newly-single girl). He had a really cute smile and wild dark hair.
He was an internet activist who was arrested in 2011 for illegally accessing and downloading 4.8million academic journal articles from JSTOR so that people could have access to them free of charge. I discovered JSTOR three years ago in my final year in school. While I was working on my dissertation, more than two dozen rats lost their lives because I had no idea what I was doing… Some I overdosed and the others died of hunger. One of the rats even mutated to something that looked like it belonged on X-men. Why? Because I simply couldn’t afford the fees for downloading scientific journals from the JSTOR database. If I had access to the journals, it would have guided me and all those rats wouldn’t have died and gone to rat-heaven or mutant-rat-hell.
Anyway, contrary to what we see in The Sopranos, it seems the FBI has a lot of time on their hands so they somehow got involved in Aaron’s case and eventually, he found himself facing up to 35 years in prison and a one million dollar fine. For someone who was already struggling openly with depression, as he was, I can imagine that the prospect of prison was enough for him to not want to go on.
He’s dead now, and the world has one less brilliant mind, yet still too many Honey BooBoos.
Too bad there’s no such thing as a ‘pause’ button that gives us a break from all our shit. Maybe Aaron woulda used it… but the saddest part is, even if we “pause” personally, the world around us will move on and when we press ‘play’, we’re still going to have to deal with whatever.
Cheers to all the people dealing with shit in their lives…
ps: Please does anyone know how to open a secret Twitter account?