I don’t listen to much current music, subscribing to the theory that listening to fossil rock and pretending it’s still the 1990s keeps me young. Therefore, I have no idea what Fiona Apple has been up to since releasing her debut album, Tidal, in 1996, which included her omnipresent hit, “Criminal.”
But I was touched when I read that she had cancelled her latest concert tour to be with her dying pet dog:
“I just can’t leave her now, please understand.
If I go away again, I’m afraid she’ll die and I won’t have the honor of singing her to sleep, of escorting her out.
Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed.
But this decision is instant.
These are the choices we make, which define us.
I will not be the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship.
I am the woman who stays home and bakes Tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend.
And helps her be comfortable, and comforted, and safe, and important.
Many of us these days, we dread the death of a loved one. It is the ugly truth of Life, that keeps us feeling terrified and alone.
I wish we could also appreciate the time that lies right beside the end of time.
I know that I will feel the most overwhelming knowledge of her, and of her life and of my love for her, in the last moments.
I need to do my damnedest to be there for that.
Because it will be the most beautiful, the most intense, the most enriching experience of life I’ve ever known.
When she dies.
So I am staying home, and I am listening to her snore and wheeze, and reveling in the swampiest, most awful breath that ever emanated from an angel.
And I am asking for your blessing.”
In itself, this beautifully expressed sentiment is touching. But even more so is the reaction to it.
I ran across this story on UpRoxx, a network of crass, cynical, and snarky blogs that I discovered because of its satirical sports stories.
The regular commenters on the site seem to be constantly trying to outdo each other with scabrous expresses of disgust, intermixed with a genial crypto-misogynistic pervertedness.
And yet in the comments for the Apple story, these archly ironic hardasses admit their feelings and open up about their own experiences with their dogs.
Often, critics of modern culture see the internet as a cesspool of ignorance and hate (and that’s just YouTube comments). It’s easy to believe that the bad will always drive out the good. But sometimes, the internet surprises you with its sensitivity and grace.