January 16th, 2017

The blues in the key of karma


John Lee Hooker

About a month ago, I got a Facebook friend request from a woman whose name sounded familiar. I couldn’t place it, though.

The moment after I opened the request, but the instant before I saw her picture, I remembered: She was my first serious girlfriend from college. I hadn’t heard from her in more than 40 years.

In that sliver of a second after recognizing her, I expected something to happen: a gasp, a surge of adrenaline, a quickened heartbeat. Instead, nothing happened. I was merely looking at a picture of a stranger whose name I knew. The not-feeling was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

I don’t remember much about her. Our time together occurred decades ago, and my brain has long since jettisoned those memories. Here’s what I do remember: Unlike my friends and me, she didn’t get high or use other drugs. She didn’t drink to get drunk, and she didn’t smoke cigarettes. She was a David Bowie fan. We never fought. That’s all I’ve got.
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