If you like to read non-fiction by snarky, middle-aged male journalists, you’re likely already familiar with that particular twenty-first century character quirk in which Specialized Trivia is king of the castle. I’m talking about music and the people you know who rave about Teenage Fanclub bootlegs or Bob Dylan bootleg bootlegs and spare no scorn for FM Radio. I’m talking about Trekkies. I’m talking about film students and career comedians and collectors of many kinds. I’m even talking about sports fanatics, but I mean the kind who can spout off specific plays in specific games which specifically occurred in the year 1966. Really, I’m talking about pop culture at large, and the people who believe that one media above all others is either the most practical or the most worthwhile way to be a human in the world interacting with other humans. But, to distill: I’m not talking about everybody who just really likes some genre of something. I’m talking about those friends–and you know them, in your life–who will scarcely leave their own dork corner in a conversation, and may judge you inadvertently for not knowing as much about their Thing as they deem suitable. You know–insufferable snobs (IS’).

I’m

connected to a dead man

on LinkedIn. In real life

I met him only once.

Talked to him on the phone thrice.

He was nice. He

was also old. 80, I think.

Drank coffee and

wore gray trousers. He smiled large

with nearly perfect teeth framed

in plastic pink.

If I disconnect from him, cut him free,

somewhere in the Great Beyond

(where he currently resides)

will he feel the sever of my

digital disloyalty?

Will he blur and spark

as he begins

to

f  a   d    e

an aged Cheshire

indentured to our memory

as in Kevin Brockmeier’s

The Brief History of the Dead?

And what if he has something to say

from the Great Beyond? “Sure,” you say,

“If he has something profound to say

from the grave, why would he choose LinkedIn to do it?”

Well, why wouldn’t he?

*snap*

Will he haunt my bedside, asking,

“Why

did you give up on me?

What –

What did our connection cost you?”

Will I stutter and clear my throat, mumbling

something about how my LinkedIn profile

is only for real people,

and will he stare

and tap his foot

and point his ghostly cursor to my outstanding invitation to

Kevin Bacon

who is clearly not the real

Kevin Bacon,

Independent Entertainment Professional,

but an equally faceless smirk-bearing entity

of superstar SizzleLean

allowing me

someday

to jump the queue

from 6 degrees to a mere

1?

I’m connected to dead man and

I do not know what

to do with

him.