Thursday, 8 April 2010

a mixed blessing

This morning I found in my email messages from two old friends.

Jasmine and Remi.
Our friendship has weathered the best part of forty years now.
I met Jasmine when she was a promising young student and, accordingly, she became the youngest dentist in Holland.
Remi was starting out a career as stained-glass artist, an extremely talented painter.

Both their messages have to do with internet contact.
Remi tells me he read my last story and how he could relate to that. He struggles with what we call here 'mensenvrees', fear of people, and explains how it is crippling his social life. He lives only at night, has difficulties doing simple things like shopping, public transport, a visit to the doctor.
You can manage a lot on the internet but for some things you still have to leave your house.
He finds some solace in chatting late at night, but he wryly adds, there is no chance of him ever meeting any of his cyber-friends.

Jasmine has sent a common mail to all her friends, apologizing for the inconvenience, someone has hacked her hotmail account and is sending out stuff to her contacts, in her name.
She hopes we are not now infected by a computer virus.
Can anyone explain to me the point, the fun in interfering in someone's life in such an inane way?

I hope to see Jasmine soon, before I leave for France and onwards. She and her family moved away from Amsterdam years ago, but in spite of the distance, we make an effort to meet; a kiss, a smile, we walk and talk, eat and drink a little.
As friends do.

Remi? I haven't seen him for a while. But we keep in touch - by email.

The World Wide Web.

Remi lives just a few doors down from me.

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