Have we got contact, you and me?

Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard from or contacted several old friends. These are all folks I’ve not seen in the flesh in a long time. In one case, an ex, who I am in myspace contact with, emailed me to ask how I was doing. It looked from her pictures that she had visited the humble city of Ames, Ia where we both used to live and was feeling nostalgic. Another friend found me through the fake band page (also on myspace) for my former band The Ultramaroons. He also wanted to know how I was and how our mutual friends were as well. I tried to reply with tempered enthusiasm as I think I scare folks away by being too excited to hear from them. Or maybe some folks are just lazy and don’t feel like sharing their life story with me.

The best contact came from someone I had not seen or heard from in 15 years. Dan and I met back when we were both crazy Unitarian Youth. Unitarians are really into getting together and talking about just about anything, so every few months they hold conferences to discuss church policies and to get to know the folks in the neighboring states (in our case we Iowans mingled with Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska) and the kids would come along and hang out. Often there were organized activities but mostly it was a chance to get together with other similarly freaky teenagers. These conferences were lifelines for me as I’d been stereotyped into a persona that I could not shake at school. The kids at the conferences were often in the same boat and were often more interested in politics and counterculture than any of my friends. Dan and I bonded over the band XTC as they were my musical obsession back in 1988. He was able to play some of their songs which blew my mind at the time (and still sort of does, me being 17 and him 15) and kicked off a great friendship. Dan is one of the siliest people I’ve ever met and never seems to be tired of talking about any subject. At least, thats how it was when we last saw each other in 1992. Since then we lost track and moved around the country doing our own things. I found him on facebook and we’ve had a really happy and satisfying exchange and catch up. I’ve been thinking of a Kurt Vonnegut quote while I’ve been corresponding this week:

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

I’m not really old and I do keep my good friends but I also know that along the way there were many that I would like to revisit, even if it’s just a single exchange to remind us of what once was going on.

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