I recently received a vitriolic diatribe from a friend who died of cancer four years ago. In her will, she ordered her diary entries transcribed and sent to each person she wrote about. Her executor was, I guess, legally bound to follow her wishes, but should he have, knowing that this would more than likely hurt the recipients? — Susan Jackson, San Francisco
Pretend for a moment that your (amazing) friend (who is the best) were still alive. What would you do? Obviously, you would challenge her to a Thai rules street fight, demolishing her face in a flurry of elbows and knees. But such a response does not end at the wrought iron gates to the graveyard. As both Flatliners and countless Sarah Michelle Gellar remakes of popular Japanese horror movies have taught us, grudges can be carried into the next life. If revenge is a dish best served cold, afterlife revenge is a dish best served with a side of creepy flesh-eyed shadow children in elevator corners. Hurry Susan! There's no time to waste! Kill yourself and clear your name.
Although, I'm not sure that I actually see what the problem is. As Oscar Wilde once said, "I love sucking dick." But right before saying that he said, "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." I would love to hear what my "friends" are saying behind my back. I would fucking love it. Seriously. And if what Susan's dead friend wrote in her diary really did hurt her pedestrian feelings: Well Susan, you can at least take comfort in the fact that she died a horrible death and you're still alive, complaining about it. Small victories, Susan. Small victories.
Of course, in a few years your situation will be a quaint reminder of a disappeared world. Unless someone includes a line item in their will for the release of all password protected blog posts to be distributed accordingly, I'm pretty sure Harriet the Spy has made the transition to Livejournal, and the inevitable murder of Jessica Fletcher will mark the world's last hand-written diary.
As a sidenote, your letter did remind me of a movie I want to make. It's a shot-for-shot remake of the movie Pulse starring a cast of well-known bloggers. I admittedly did not see the original, but I know that it is about haunted email. Box office silver. Seriously, though, you would pay top dollar to see VHI1's Alex Blagg scream "THE COMMENTS ARE COMING FROM INSIDE THE BLOG."
When I was an undergrad, a group of four students was widely known to cheat on tests in our organic-chemistry class, a course that weeds out weak students from the premed track. To the frustration of their fellow students, they were never caught. Three years later, while interviewing for grad school at a large medical center, I saw three from the same group, now medical students. What should I do? — J.W., New York