This has been a brutal winter for us closet paranormal fans. Linda Godfrey died in late November and now I’ve just learned of the passing of Aaron Dabbah, known as EsoterX to many of us. As with Linda, I never met Aaron but we had corresponded over his excellent and unfailingly well-written blog. About a decade my junior, he posted sporadically—sometimes manically—and grew a sizable readership. There was no esoteric topic he wouldn’t take on and his style was consistently so light that I suppose I was secretly jealous. At one time I toyed with the idea of suggesting to him that we write a book together, but I was simply too impressed by his writing ability to broach the subject. He kept his identity secret, only recently letting his name become known. I miss him already.
I don’t fly my freak flag too often on this blog—guess I’m irrationally hoping an academic position will open up and I’m no Jeff Kripal— but I do find the weird to be of interest. I have ever since I was a kid. One of the reasons, I suppose, is that I noticed what I’d been taught about the way the world works didn’t match up with my experience. I saw strange things as a kid, but I knew I was rational and thought things through. Like that time our dog refused to go through the middle of the living room, but stalked around the edges of the room growling at something in the center that none of us could see. That particular dog was quite smart and not prone to unusual behavior. That kind of thing happened. Among other things.
Back when I was making a living as an adjunct (also strange) I had time to keep up with several blogs. I was always glad to see a new post on EsoterX. Then, as too often happens, life got busy. I put off reading the posts when the notices came. The scariest part about all of this, however, is the assumption that there will always be time. Every time I got an email notice from EsoterX I thought, “that can wait, I’ll read it later.” I feel for Dabbah’s family. Although fifty isn’t exactly young, it’s not really old either. Paranormal studies dwell in that liminal space of life and death. When I saw the blog post title, “This is the end of one road, but not goodbye” (written by his wife) I thought perhaps EsoterX was retiring his blog, but I read the post with something deeper transpiring. Aaron Dabbah, we never met, but you are very missed.