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The world shrinks, contracts. With every gloomy year you lose more people. Everyone you have ever known spirals down. Eventually single digits. You try to stave it off, reach into the world, pull someone out. And they are special. You consider yourself lucky to have found them. But it doesn’t last. The friendships you tried to cultivate wither on the vine. And you’re forced to look at yourself and wonder if you ever stood a chance. Other people get married, divorced and still find someone.
But other people are not you. What people specifically want is not you.
You can’t make people like you. Imagine the bliss if you could.
You’re on your own, kiddo. As you always were.
Existence. That’s all you have left.
Every now and then I think of her. She was @littlemunchkin on Twitter.
We began chit-chatting, I can’t remember what about, but she and I just got on immediately. She used to call me Vince Mince. I loved her for that. It made me feel like I was her special favourite toy that she’d play with whenever she felt the need. I felt like I belonged to her and I was so very proud.
She seemed to be on top of it, though. I was never worried about her health because she was always cooking, always sharing her recipes with me, well, the world. Nobody who can spend that much time with food can be at risk, I thought.
She was so vibrant on Twitter! She had a fine, witty mind. I never tired of her tweets. She’d leave us with intelligent, wonderful things to ponder on as she signed off each night. I loved her (with a small ‘l’) and hoped one day I’d meet her.
And then one day a mutual Twitter friend told me she’d died. She’d been plagued by an eating disorder for longer than I’d known her. I think this is what took her, I don’t know for sure. I was devastated.
She was a good ten years my junior, I believe. You can’t just die at that age. A car accident, a shark attack, yes, but you can’t just die in your sleep. It’s not right.
She died in the last week of 2011. Thanks to Twitter you can experience her thoughts, wisdom and friendliness. You can agree with her, laugh with her, listen to her taste in music… enjoy her, as I did. Her favourites are still active, you should read them. If nothing else, it’ll give you a new respect for Will Carling. I know she would smile at my flippant tone here, so don’t judge me!
I’ve deleted my accounts a few times over the years, and so, my tweets to her are long gone. I’m saddened to see now that hers to me have also been erased by the passing of time. I now can’t relive our relationship and this has made me weep so much tonight. I miss her.
There’s a lot of people out there with eating disorders. You can’t fix them, you can’t make them eat more. If you try to pressure them they’ll run away. But you also shouldn’t say nothing. Be gentle, but push a little, from time to time. Show you care.
She was called Lucy Taylor. I never thought of her as that. In the world of Twitter handles she was always… will always be to me, @LittleMunchkin. She was my friend.