Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Two Professors and a Classmate

Have I entered the Twilight Zone? I fear I’m starring in a modern-day, couch potato version of “The Purple Testament.” No, I’m not looking into men’s faces and seeing ethereal glows that portend their imminent deaths on the battlefield. Instead, I’m innocently searching people from my past’s names on the Internet and finding them all right—as the leading men in very recent obituaries.

What’s unsettling is that it has been three for three for me. And it all began so innocently when I was thumbing through some old folders of mine that were chock-full of college papers and blue-book exams. This stroll down Memory Lane, in fact, inspired me to write an essay that is being held in abeyance until tomorrow—May 1—because of its timely subject matter. But this return to yesteryear also led me to search for a certain professor—the wind beneath the wings of that essay—who was alive and well the last time I checked. This go-around, however, I discovered he had sadly passed—and only last month. Yet another sliver of college ephemera prompted me to search for one more old professor of mine to find out what he’s been up to. And he, too, passed away last month.

Fast forward several days—to today, as a matter of fact—when I encountered a certain surname in a totally unrelated news story. It was a somewhat unusual one, and I recalled a classmate of mine in college with that same last name. He was a good guy—kind of bohemian—and I liked him. I distinctly recall him quietly saying, "Who's this dick?" when our seemingly nerdy microeconomics teacher walked into the room on the first day of class. Anyway, I searched his surname coupled with his first name. There couldn’t be too many people with that name combo, I reasoned, and I was right. He passed away last month.

Is it all a coincidence—everything in threes, maybe? Or am I really in the Twilight Zone? In fairness to all others from my collegiate years, I’ll not Google anyone’s name—for the time being at least, until I’m one hundred percent certain I’m not an angel of death, sitting in front of my computer, in the Twilight Zone.

Granted, in order for this “Purple Testament” theory of mine to hold water, the deceased folks mentioned passed away in anticipation of me Googling them down the road. A reverse “Purple Testament” sort of thing, I know. Nevertheless, I fear what searching my own name might unearth right now.

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