Through Facebook, I have reconnected with a friend from college who I haven't seen nor heard from in nearly twenty years. I started searching the names of my old friends from those years, and hers was the only one with any results.
Gina and I were opposites in so many ways. I dressed sloppily and simply, especially on days when I just wanted to focus on a school project or when I wanted to buck the dress code at our conservative school. Gina put thought into every Cindy-Lauperlike accessory (it was the early 80s). She was spunky, punky, and popular. I was quiet and artsy-fartsy, or at least that's what people said.
Some people like to be guilty of the seven deadly sins. Some people like to break the Ten Commandments. Gina and I liked to break the school rules. We smoked clove cigarettes at the Lincoln Park Zoo while watching the pink flamingos. We smuggled gin and tonic into my dorm room on my 21st birthday. We saw movies in theaters. After she graduated and was no longer allowed to live on campus, I let her sleep on the floor of my dorm room for weeks—we kept an extra blanket and pillow tucked under my bed. Curfew was strictly enforced, but my roommate and I were always ready to sneak Gina in hours after if need be so Gina would have a safe place to spend the night. Yep, those were the days and weeks and months, a year and a half spent at a college where I didn't make many connections, but I connected with Gina. We had a ball. Not much education, but a ball.
I lost Gina, as I lost all of my college friends, but now I am at least Facebook friends with her, the legal secretary who works for her attorney-husband. They've got kids and a house and cars and bills. And while I haven't seen a picture yet, I suspect Gina doesn't look anything like Cindy Lauper. I wonder, though, if she cranks up David Bowie records and bounces around the room in those moments when she has time to recall her college days.
Yesterday I said this was an odd world, but it's also an interesting one. More often than not, the two things go together.