Sometimes that’s just how my memory works.
While none of these have been in any particular order, I think that if I went back to the beginning, Jamie LaLonde would be right there. She was the first friend I made during my first semester at UH. I knew her a bit from Summer Orientation, and she happened to be in my Algebra class. She was half Korean, she attended poetry readings, she wore fairy wings to the park, she had a car named Betsy and a boyfriend named Jared, she ate slowly and carefully tore food to bits with her fingers, she smiled when it rained, she laughed with her eyes, she shook her head when she was nervous, she was never too busy for a picnic, she swore there were roaches in her phone, her eyes misted when she was worried, and she was as kind as she was humble.
I had her in classes for my first couple of semesters. Once we were supposed to go to Mardi Gras and meet up with her then-fiance, only she was disallowed at the last minute. So instead we drove down to my hometown for a day. Which in a way is the equivalent of planning a trip to Las Vegas and settling for a game of checkers.
She was married in the Summer. It was the first wedding of a peer I attended. She wore a long white linen gown and her fiance wore traditional Scottish garb, kilt and all. There were bagpipes, an arch covered in flowers, and a little white cake. That was one of the last times I saw her. There wasn’t a disagreement, it was more that suddenly both our lives moved in very different directions.
I remember once having a conversation with her that came to a long pause when she finished a thought with something that’s stuck with me ever since: “Friends come and go.” She said it vacantly, as though she didn’t know whether she believed it or not. I didn’t know what exactly I thought of it, but it was a bit fitting, as within a few months of her uttering that phrase, she went.