Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch


So, as I'm heading back to the security desk to reclaim my driver's license after visiting the ICU, someone calls out to me from behind and comes running up. I place the face, but it takes me a second to register the hail. "So this is where he is?" It's one of my favorite former students, someone I haven't seen much of over the past few years, but whom I am always delighted to run into. And he's wearing hospital scrubs. "How's he doing?" I explain that, though my father-in-law is still in ICU and therefore remains in critical condition, he's doing a little better. "A lot better than on Friday and Saturday." My former student and I exchange a few more words and then he rushes back to his station. As I'm putting my license back in my wallet and then walking out to the car, I wonder at the way the pronoun functioned in his initial comment. "So this is where he is." Even though our conversation was a product of multiple displacements, prised loose from the context in which we were used to encountering each other, this blog provided a substitute context sturdy enough to make the antecedent to "he" self-evident. I find that comforting, somehow, despite my lingering anxieties about the dissolution of the line between private and public life. It's odd to think that this former student is still reading me here, but I'm pleased by the discovery, not only for reasons of vanity -- I'll freely admit to taking pleasure in being read -- but because it made our conversation tonight feel like a supplement to previous conversations, part of a continuing story, rather than a random, one-time occurrence. If I have to confront the possibility that my LJ serves as a sort of dwarf "reality television" for the people who read it, that's a price I'm willing to pay.
Tags: autobiography, blogging, everyday

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