064_an_old_friendGetting on Facebook last year has been a real life-changer for me.  Getting back in touch with the people who matter has been a major part of that.

The other day a friend asked about a mutual friend’s birthday and all I could remember was she was Pisces. That’s when he let me know she’s been missing since 1998 during a trip in Malaysia.

Holy smoke, wind out of my sails. I had to do some Google Fu to find out the details. Crumbs, what was I doing on June 28 of that year?  Developments three years later don’t do much to inspire hope.

Molly Kleinman.

We met my freshman year of college.  She let me borrow her audio cassette copy of U2’s Wide Awake In America, which was the first time I’d gotten to hear the whole thing—that was a meaningful day for me I still can see clearly in my mind.  She borrowed my copy of the Beastie Boys’ Licensed To Ill.  We both loved the song “Paul Revere”; one time we sang it together.  We really dug that damn song.  That was when we became friends.

The two of us had different interests, but our social circles overlapped so I ran into her every now and then.

Then my senior year we dated on and off; kind of one of those inexplicable things that just happens. We never became a couple; both of us were too busy searching for our identities to bridge the differences in interests we had.

But, damn, those strange dates we went on still linger in my mind. I think she tried to show me things about herself that maybe no one ever knew. Like an idiot, I didn’t pay enough attention to reckon with that.

The last time I saw her in person was an all-day date-but-not-date.  I had lunch with Molly and her house mates, then the two of us hung out in her room and talked, while proceeding to get bombed.  She was interested in this other guy and asked me what I thought of him.  I recited awful poetry to her.

We talked about life plans and then for some reason we laughed together—laughed a good damn long time.  We walked down the street to a Thai food place, then spent a while on her porch talking about things which sadly I’ve forgotten.

Next I heard of her she was hanging out with that guy.  Then she was in Florida for what might have been related to her field (she was a biology major, I think).  She dropped off my radar after that (Hek, a lot of folks dropped off my radar during that time).

But I always called up her memories from time to time.  Who can explain the strange currents of our lives, the reasons people make strong impressions on us?  I thought she was cool.  She was always nice to me.

It’s weird, her having been gone for so long, that I only now hear of it.  I’ve been working on listening a lot to the things I haven’t heard this last year and a half.  Time to break out “Paul Revere” and sing like a stupid fool.

Hey Molly, thanks for hanging out with me in these space time coordinates.