Like a telephone but for strangers

Maybe three years ago, during a random clicking-around session, I found myself reading a blog that I'm not going to name. It was written by a young schoolteacher who'd moved to a town where she didn't know many people. She wrote about the difficulties of teaching, and how much she missed her friends, and the ways she filled her time. She was a good writer and more specifically a good blog-writer, funny and harsh and immediately trustworthy, and she wrote as though she were talking to a small group of close friends, which for the most part she probably was. But she was also talking to me.

I checked this blog regularly, and I learned more about this person than one usually learns about a non-famous stranger. Once, writing about (I think) babysitting her neice, she wrote that, at times, it made her glad that her womb was a rocky place where seed can find no purchase. I thought about her sometimes. I was rooting for her.

It's a strange relationship that we can now have, over the internet, with people who don't know we exist. Choreographed self-revelation is a particular and very specific skill. It has nothing to do with what I'm trying to do on this blog, really, although I guess there was an element of it in my restaurant reviews. Emily Gould can do it while writing a media-gossip blog, and glenn mcdonald could do it while reviewing records, but this person I'm talking about did it uncut.

Then she wrote something about how the kids she taught had discovered her blog, and purged everything related to sex/drinking/drugs, which was probably between 40 and 60 percent of the content. A little while later, the site went dead. A while after that, the URL turned into linkspam.

It troubled me that I wasn't going to find out what was happening with her. It was like having an old friend, someone you don't see much, go into the witness protection program: they're still out there, but now you don't know where. I don't think I ever knew her last name.

I was thinking about her this afternoon for some reason, and I got curious, so I Googled the name of the website, and I found the blogs of a bunch of people who seemed to know her. (She has a very bloggy social circle.) And I poked around on their blogs for a while, and I discovered this, which is clearly hers. It's less than two weeks old.

It's about her students, rather than her. It's a bit too kids-say-the-darndest-things for my taste, not that anyone involved has any reason to care about my taste. It doesn't tell me much about how she's doing, except that she's still alive and still teaching and keeping her sense of humor in the face of everything. But that's better than nothing.

Update: See the comments.