So today’s post was supposed to be about how delighted I was to see Matthew and Kathryn and Sumana and Leonard again, and the amazing meal we shared at WD-50, and how even when you love your coworkers as much as I love mine, a little volitional human company can do wonders for the rigors of a business trip.

But it’s not. You remember how I said that Leslie Harpold and James Kim were both friends of friends? Funny story about that! And by funny I mean achingly sad. Leslie Harpold has died as well.

R: So I was at the conference in New York when I found out, and I went blundering out of the room in tears. And my colleague X was the one who came after me, and when I’d stopped crying I remembered to ask about his wife, because, did I tell you she had thyroid cancer?

S: Right, that’s one of the curable ones, right?

R: Yeah. Most of the time. But not for her. So they’re trying to decide what to do, and they have an eight year old boy, and they get him a dog so he’ll have something to love while his mother is dying, and – get this – the dog dies.

S: No.

R: Yes. And I said, ‘You need to get him a robot.’ And X said ‘It’d just malfunction.’

S: God.

R: Right. So I went to get the taxi to the airport, and I shared it with a stranger, right? And he was really sweet, and I said ‘I’m so glad of the company’ and told him what had happened, and it turns out his next door neighbor just hanged herself, and her ten-year-old son found the body.

S: You’re joking.

R: Wish I was. And I’m thinking that the common thread through all this is that it’s just unbearable when little kids have to grow up without their parents, or parents have to bury their children.

S: It’s enough to make you want to put a bullet in your head.


R: …or not.

S: Right! That’s what I meant.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.