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When Friends Get Lost

September 9, 2015

So, we all have those friends whose names pop into our heads and we wonder whatever happened to them. Most of the time we can Facebook stalk them and satisfy our curiosity. Sometimes we reach out and make contact. Other times we click away and read something stupid on Buzzfeed and move on with our lives. In recent years I’ve reconnected with a lot of my old childhood and college friends. We don’t spend a ton of time together, but we meet, we drink, we Facebook. I like old friends because they knew you before life was complicated and you were fully formed. They knew you when you were awkward and weird.


In college I had a roommate named Carmen. We met in college in Switzerland, went to Kenya on Spring Break one year, and later, back in the States, we were roommates in San Diego for a year. I liked Carmen a lot as I recall. Everyone did. She was bright in all the senses of the word. She was fun to be around. She was pretty, yet unassuming. We were good friends.

Unfortunately, as we would come to find out, we weren’t suited to be roomies. Some people are. Some people aren’t. I’ve learned over the years that I don’t like having a roommate- The Poor Bastard excluded. I’ve had some great roommates and I’ve had some horrible ones. (Some day I’ll tell you about the one who was dating a mortician.) Carmen and I just didn’t have the stuff to make it work, and close to the end of the school year we parted ways.

I don’t remember it being a particularly hostile break-up, but 25 years has a way of breaking down memories. I don’t know what we said to each other then. I know that we’ve not spoken since that time. Once, about 7 years ago I looked for her on Facebook, but didn’t find her. I found someone I thought might be her on Google, but with no photos, I couldn’t be sure. I moved on. Until last night. No idea why, but she crept into my mind and I went looking again thinking maybe I’d reach out if I found her. And find her I did. Or rather, I found her obituary.

So. Fuck. She’s dead. She died young. She died horribly. And along with her passing died any chance we might have met again as adults and remembered why we were friends. Now all I have left are some jaded memories and a couple of snapshots. At least that’s something.


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