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LOST PEOPLE

(an entry for the Random Acts of Journaling collaboration)

7 February 2002

People lose people. I don't know why we are all so damn careless. Folks lose their kids, men lose their women, even friends get lost if you don't keep an eye out. I look through the windshield at the houses going by. For every person sitting in them houses, watching TV or eating a ham sandwich, there's someone somewhere wondering where and why they lost them. All those lost people, carrying on their everyday business like the air's not full of the sound of hearts breaking and bleeding.

(Billy Dead, Lisa Reardon, p. 1)

I talk a lot in this journal about people I've lost--people who died too soon, and whose loss I mourn every day. But the above quote from the Random Acts of Journaling collaboration makes me think of other kinds of losses and people I've "lost" through the years--people I wonder about and wonder where they are now. Some got lost of their own accord, some I probably let drop myself as I moved on to other parts of my life.

The first person who immediately pops into my head was my best friend in grammar school, Judy Lucchesi. We were inseparable for many years. I remember we both had a crush on the same guy, Stephen Calegari, who was a neighbor of mine. (He still lives in the apartment house he grew up in, I have heard) When I would go away on vacation, we would write daily letters to each other (even then I was writing daily letters) which ended with the words "MY boyfriend", in each letter the "MY" getting bigger. I think my last "MY" covered an entire page.

When we graduated from grammar school, we went to different high schools. And we lost each other. I don't think we saw each other at all once we got involved in our new schools. There was a time we decided we'd have lunch together and get caught up. I have always felt that somehow I blew it at that lunch because though we said we'd "do it again," we never did. That was the last I ever heard from or heard about her. I often wonder where she is now and what she is doing.

I also wonder whatever happened to Randy Jones, my short-time boyfriend. He was going to be an actor and I often wonder if he made it. Of course, with a name like "Jones" it's just about impossible to do any research on his name anywhere! Randy was the first gay peer that I ever knew, though he was so closeted that it was only later, when I looked back on it, that I realized that all the clues were right there in front of me.

I wonder what happened to Marie Davilla. We went through grammar school and high school together. Marie's mother was interned at Tanforan race track during World War II and that's where Marie was born (which I always told her was where she got her love of horses!). When we were in grammar school, her mother was the leader of our Brownie troop. She worked in one of those big old San Francisco Victorian mansions and I have fond memories of baking peanutbutter cookies in the big mansion kitchen and walking in the garden smelling the miniature roses. Amazing the memories that come back later in life.

I also wonder what happened to Ruth Rose, from high school. I know she's living in the Los Angeles area, but I've never been able to find her on the Internet. I know that she joined "Classmates" but I'd have to pay an outrageous membership fee to get her e-mail address and I don't wonder that much!

There are other people who have drifted away. I know where they are, but it saddens me that our relationship has changed over the years. My friend Virginia and I led La Leche League meetings together for years, and Paul lived with her and her family for a time when he and Ginger were both in a production of The Music Man in Oakland. We drifted apart in the mid 70s and though we've touched bases a couple of times (she came to Paul's memorial service), somehow all those "we must get together one of these days" just never comes to pass.

Likewise it pains me to admit that my friend Melody and I have gone in different directions as well. We weathered a lot of personal traumas together and we still do touch bases now and then, but our lives are completely different, and we are separated by 3,000 miles. We will always be friends, but the closeness is gone, and I miss that.

I have a hard time letting go of people who are important in my life. When I become your friend, it's a lifelong commitment on my part, and it's hard to realize that without regular interaction, people change and move on.

On the other hand, when you have someone with whom you are comfortable and with whom you can pick up almost in mid-conversation, though you may not have seen each other for years, that is very special. Those are the relationships to be treasured.

 

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Created 2/06/02