How do you look for a missing person in London, England when you live in Denver, Colorado?
I have a friend, here on Medium. His name is Jon Scott. But perhaps I should start in the beginning.
I started writing on Medium soon after I started reading people on Medium. Once in a while I write a blog about everyone I love here, and pretty much one writer tops my list — Jon Scott.
Jon Scott is English. He works in London. He takes two trains to make it to work and lives in a house older than the Reformation. I, and anyone who’s ever read Jon, becomes his fan. His style is effervescent. And that is saying something, especially for someone who writes on the platform he created as the Manic Depressive Handbook.
Except that he’s not on Medium any more. Once you’re not on Medium, you are disappeared from Medium. Everything you’ve ever written, even commented on, is erased. Nothing is saved. All is gone — poof, you vanish into the ether — just as if your name happened to be Keyser Soze.
Ordinarily, not being able to read one of my favorite writers would just depress me. But, I think of Jon a friend. Or, at least, as much of a friend as I can be, considering that I can pass him on a street and not recognize him, since there was just a drawing of him, and not a photograph accompanying his profile. I know he has a young child with his wife. I know a little of his dating life, a little of his friends at uni, and of his job. I looked for his responses to my stories first, because I greatly valued his feedback and opinions, and I used to save up his stories and read them at a sitting, when the world became too much and I needed to surround myself with better. Better writing. Better world.
But the last time I saw his writing, I read about Jon thinking about suicide. Like a straight punch to my stomach, I immediately left my number in the comments to that story. It wasn’t the last story he’d written, but it was the last story I’ve read of his, and by the time I came back, he was nowhere to be found.
What could I say if he calls? Don’t do it, Jon! Please. This world would be so much worse without you in it. I’m so sorry you’re in pain. Please get help. Please.