Before The Bulldozers Waltzed In And Killed The Old Street
I was adding some friends to my FaceBook account on my lunch break today (yeah, I know, but ALL the kids are doing it these days - MySpace is SO last year - apparently), and on a lark I started searching for the names of people I've lost contact with over the years; old college friends and such. And lo-and-behold if one didn't actually turn up!
We were pretty good friends in our undergrad days, and when I moved to Seattle after finishing grad school in Bellingham in 1985 we got re-acquainted; in fact she let me stay at her place the first week or so I was in town until I could connect with another mutual college friend with whom I was planning to share an apartment.
Over the next several years we kept pretty close; for awhile we lived just a few blocks apart on Capitol Hill, and we spent a lot of time together, just hanging out, playing chess (something I don't think I've done for years!), having these afternoon-long philosophical discussions (I still think Kant was full of B.S.) - and we were even involved in a theatre company together for a couple of years. Even though I frequently, vehemently disagreed with her on all manner of issues, I still held immense respect for her; I always thought of her as being one of the most intelligent people I'd ever met - far more so than myself - and she always challenged me to come up to her level, which I think I managed to do on occasion. I considered her my best friend at the time, which is odd in a way, because I don't think there was ever anything more than that between us; certainly nothing romantic, at least so far as I was ever aware.
After she got married in, oh, 1994 I think, we completely lost track of each other. Her husband ran in a completely different social group, and we just sort of fell off of each other's radar screens; in fact, if I recall correctly we haven't seen each other since her wedding day nearly 15 years ago.
But, I never stopped thinking about her, wondering how her life had turned out. I would occasionally drop her name into a search engine, to see if any sign of her would come back, but there were never any hits; some people just naturally keep a low-profile in this world where almost everything about us can be tracked to some extent. And so, I never really thought I'd ever run into her again, and I always rather regretted that, because frankly, she'd been a very good friend and goodness knows that's something rare.
So, I hadn't really expected to find her on FaceBook, of all places. But sure enough, her name popped right up, and she answered the somewhat tentative query I sent (well, I never thought I'd share my name with two other people in the U.S., so there was at least a reasonable chance of it not being her), and we actually had a very pleasant exchange of emails this evening.
As one would expect, our lives have taken their own unique turns, but we still seem to have some things in common: evidently, we're both hooked on Heroes, for one; another being that we both seem to have very full lives, which for the moment at least will probably preclude our being able to get together in person for some time. But still, a reconnection has been made - we both know we're out there, and we've got a line of communication open again after 15 years of silent running.
It's not going to be the same as before - how in the world could it be after that long an absence? But even in our brief conversation I had a sense of that temporal distance beginning to diminish. I don't want to read too much into a few minutes of typed correspondence, but I will say it felt really very nice to talk to my old, good friend again after so many years.
on 9:08 PM