Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Blast from the Past Rocks My World

Typical Saturday. I oversleep, then attack what remains of the day like a meth-addled serial killer attacks his next victim—not necessarily with a lot of thoughtful planning, but with a great deal of enthusiasm.

Open the blinds, boot the computer, get the coffee started, pour a glass of OJ. Typical morning routine, but running atypically late.

With the last of my excuses for not getting started finally exhausted, I settle myself in front of monitor and keyboard, click open Windows Mail, scan the contents of my inbox. All the usual culprits, plus one from Facebook, the subject line of which reads, “Cathi B**** (I’m withholding Cathi’s last name to protect her privacy) sent you a message on Facebook.”

But I don’t know anyone named Cathi B****. Or do I? There are several possible spelling variations of the name—Kathy, Kathi, Kathie, Cathy, Cathi—but of the mere handful of females I’ve known in my entire life who are even named Kathy or Cathy (regardless of spelling variable), I’ve only known one who spelled her name using the capital “C”-little “i” combination. Could it be? Was it even possible? Only one way to find out. I opened the e-mail and was greeted with this message:

“Does the name Cathi O**** ring a bell?"


Oh, yeah! It rings a very large bell.

To say that I broke a speed record logging onto my Facebook page is probably an exaggeration, but not too big a one. It’s entirely accurate to say that I didn’t waste any time. I promptly sent off a short message to Cathi, along with a “friend” request, then spent the rest of Saturday recalling fond memories from the ’70’s.

Sunday began much like Saturday had; oversleep, work through my list of excuses, plunk my ass in the chair, diddle the mouse. Two more messages from Facebook, one a confirmation of my friendship with Cathi, the other a message from Cathi. I ignore the first (I already know that Cathi and I are friends; we established our friendship more than 35 years ago) and open the second. I am, after all, anxious to see what she has to say. Although our friendship exists, it’s been dormant for the better part of 30 years.

Her message is short, sweet, and positive. I’m in the process of writing a response when the Facebook chat window pops open: “Are you there?”

I’m caught completely by surprise, but it’s a most welcome surprise. For the next two hours we send messages back and forth, reaffirming our friendship and filling in the gaps left behind by too many years flown under a bridge neither of us could cross.

A couple of e-mail exchanges brought Sunday evening to a close, but not before setting the stage for a two-hour phone conversation on Monday night. And still we’re not caught up. Maybe in 15 or 20 years.

What’s next? I really don’t know; it’s still too soon to say. But for now I choose to remain optimistic, and to believe that rather than being at the end of things, we’re very much nearer the beginning.

Welcome to my world, Cathi B****. You rock!

Q >>>