I never got to meet Martin Amis, but I was always kind of in love with the photo he took of him in his prime, who was his girlfriend, Angela Gorgas, one in which, very young, she looks at the camera smoking, with the windblown hair and a scarf around his neck, with the city in the background and all the looks of being what he was: a brilliant English writer.

I once attended a talk by him and when it was over I asked him to sign a book for me. Very polite, he asked a couple of questions, at which I could only run away embarrassed like a teenager.

The exact term that describes my story with Amis is that of a parasocial relationship: an asymmetrical relationship established between two parties where one knows a lot about the other, while the latter has not the slightest idea of ​​the existence of the ‘other being. It is, for example, the relationship that is created between the fan and the admired person.

I have felt the loss of Amis very much, just as I was saddened by the deaths of Ana María Matute, Doris Lessing or Terry Pratchett as if I had treated them. In a way, I knew them, I had read them. Although I have also adored other authors and I have not felt the same about his departure. I remember how the death of Delibes left many friends devastated.

Parasocial relationships have also changed with the internet. The emotional connection that was previously only established with artists or with very popular people has become democratized. There are anonymous beings whose lives I have been following online for twenty years. It is no better to establish a parasocial relationship with the Anagrama Compacts of your youth than to do it with a singer who moves you, with an Instagrammer whose style you admire or with a tweeter you respect.

The author of Dooce, a pioneering US blogger and one of the first people to tell her life on the internet, recently died young, leaving a legion of followers in shock. The web is young, and we’re still not used to our virtual parasocial relationships dying.

Even if the relationship with someone who has shared something with us is as imaginary as mine with Amis, the pain is real. Why does this communication happen only a few times? I don’t know if it has to do with the talent of the other, with herself or with the inexplicable ties that, in the end, make up everything.