Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oh much-lamented O.

The things about O. that I liked most were so simple. I don't think I was truly ever "in love" with her (whatever that means), and our relationship was as far as can be from romantic. It was almost more like a friendship between two males. But she stimulated me a great deal because her ways were so charming. And I don't know whether I am in denial, or whether I truly don't know what it is that I did to make her cut me off so successfully, so circumspectly.

These simple things often present themselves to me in the form of memories. She was a central figure of two of the most important years of my life thusfar, and these were nearly a decade ago now. I remember one night she, her sister, and I were riding around Conyers. A storm was brewing, and O. said (what we never did) we ought to "get some Sprites and sit in the car watching the thunderstorm." Not everyone would appreciate the genius of this. I mean, Sprite. Not just any soft drink, not any illicit substance -- Sprite.

And she introduced me to so much new music. It wasn't so much new artists, but a different kind of listenability, as it were, that she showed me via a few artists.

And there was the time we rode to my first college's theater to see that wretched play. She drove so fast. I don't think I've ever known anyone drive so fast, not even among notoriously fast drivers. She was dyslexic, so she couldn't take directions like left and right worth a damn, which was hilarious to me.

And one night, on the "Main" street of an historic district of a nearby city, she and I, and L. and D. had a fabulous dinner for O.'s birthday. It is one of the most significant moments of my life, one of the few times I have ever truly lived in the moment. There was nothing about this event which should have made it more significant than a thousand other moments, but memory presents it as significant. Not formatively significant: significant the way a work of art is significant the first time you really understand it.

And yet, this person who I would have traded ten run-of-the-mill friends for, at some point found me miserably disagreeable to be around. And maybe she was right. Indeed, the time when our contact began to wane was one of the most miserable periods of my life, and a time when she seemed to be changing rapidly. Who knows? Perhaps who I am now and who she is now would not harmonize at all; maybe (I'd never considered it till the beginning of this paragraph) she is a totally different person, alien to the person I knew Back When. Nonetheless our brief friendship represents a classic specimen of one of those dreaded "Things I Would Do Differently Now If I Could Go Back..."

And as I sit here reflecting, I remember other occasions. I remember once when I went out with her and R. and he made me so fucking angry about something or other and she was laughing hysterically about it, and then how that occasion made me think about, and horribly miss -- more than I ever had before or have since -- Someone Else, who at that time I loved more than anyone. As for O., my point here is simply that it baffles me that someone I knew for so short a time and who I never really knew terribly well -- and who evidently now regards me as some sort of human vermin -- could have had such an impact. The memories are few, but they have the odd advantage -- suspiciously unlike a thousand other occasions with dozens of other people -- of being memorable.

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