Just after I outed myself to my friends earlier this year, I heard from a couple of you about how odd it can be to read what someone else writes about his life. While there are a lot of entertaining blogs out there, you also tend to feel a little voyeuristic, and depending on the content, even a little creepy.
I’m not sure that’s quite the feeling I got from reading Greg Mergen’s blog last night. Greg was a fixture in Athens when I returned to school, and I got to know him just well enough to stop and chat when we walked past each other on Court Street. Greg was heavily involved in campus politics, to the point where he actually ran for Athens City Council a couple of times (losses both, but pretty close). I remember him as being a smart and pretty funny guy, and his blog reflects the same. There’s the day-to-day tedium: Exchanging his broken iPod for a new one, bitching about riding his bike to work in the heat. There’s the political rants, a natural for Greg. Lots of computer-related stuff, because he really knows what he is doing, to the point where he did support work for several offices, on both Mac and Windows platforms. Applying for jobs. Almost getting run over by a pissed-off Metro bus driver. Funny shit about pets, relationships and Coke Zero, which he was surprised to find that he liked.
Nothing weird there. Except for the fact that I found Greg’s blog about a week after someone found him dead in his apartment in D.C.
I still don’t know what happened. I know what conclusion I reached about the death of an apparently healthy 35-year-old, but it after reading Greg’s blog, it seems less likely to me that he committed suicide. He seemed happy with what he was doing at the moment and excited about some new opportunities on the horizon. Suicide rarely makes sense, but in this case it seems even more unlikely than usual.
Of course, Greg’s blog just stops, after a July 27th entry about how freakin’ hot it was in D.C. on that day. If you don’t read the comments, you obviously don’t get the sense that anything has happened. (If you do check the comments for the last entry, you see a message from Greg’s younger brother asking a few friends to get in touch with him as quickly as possible, and then you see the reactions as people who really knew him.)
Blogs are funny things. Someone who stumbles across Uncle Crappy is going to get a decent idea of what I’m about. But the picture is definitely incomplete. That’s what I found myself wondering while reading Greg’s blog last night: What’s missing? What isn’t he saying? Is there anything hidden in the posts that would indicate what happened? It’s a hard thing to know, because while I didn’t know Greg well, the Greg Mergen in the blog is the same Greg Mergen I remember from Athens years ago.
Hm. I’m left with lots of questions. And there probably aren’t many answers out there.