“Like a memory in motion
You were only passing through
That is all you’ve ever known of life, that’s all you’ll ever do” Caroline by Concrete Blonde
“I think she’s dead” was the entire message. I knew who my friend was talking about, even though the two of us haven’t spoken for any length of time in years. Nothing more needs to be said, and unless something changes, we’re not likely to get together and have some memorial for someone who we both loved, but a very long time ago.
The late 1980’s was the last time I would really feel carefree and young. Friends came, and they went, we drank a lot, we spent many hours walking in the woods, and talking about things that were interesting, time stood still, then one day I woke up and that time of my life was gone, like I had fallen asleep on a plane, and landed in some unwanted destination where I didn’t understand the language and didn’t like the climate.
Coincidence, I submit, has likely founded more religions than ethical conviction. After all, when I moved out here in the middle of nowhere, I landed within twenty miles of a woman who had dated the same woman as I had, back then. We were close, and she lost the same woman I did, in the same manner, and took the same hit as I did. Love is the same, living love, losing love, remembering love, really, it is the same. Death is a lot like love. Neither of us are going to do anything, there won’t be a quiet evening drinking and sharing memories, no. After this much time we’ll just acknowledge a person who spent some time in our timelines is truly gone.
All this started when, no wait, it was before that, actually. But the story twists and turns upon itself, involving one person meeting another, and in that circle of friends the cross pollination was strong. We went bowling one day, six of us, and I realized all three women in the group had been in my bed, I knew two of them had dated at least two of the three guys in the group. We never got anyone infected or pregnant, as far as I knew.
It’s not as tawdry as it sounds, really. In some sense we all knew no one would wind up with anyone there forever. The woman in question passed on from me to my roommate, and I made them raise their right hands and swear that anything that happened in the future was not my fault, and they did. It was funny, hysterical in fact, and now both them are gone. He had two consecutive relationships end with his female partner leaving him for a female partner. She left him for a woman, and left her for a married man.
In the end, that was a fitting metaphor for that period of my life. Over thirty years have passed now. One by one, people disappear into the darkness of time, or they die. The songs we listened to together will never be heard as new music, even to those who have never heard it before. It is old music, even classic, perhaps, but the music is something that happened a long time ago, in another era, remembered, and poorly at that, by those who are still surviving.