Her hair was once very long, but now it isn’t.
Helen found me. She always said that she knew me from Summer Orientation, though I’ve never been able to recall her. It wasn’t until about a year later that she culled my e-mail address from the roll sheet in an Honors Political Science class and began contacting me. We talked a lot through Messenger programs, but almost never actually saw each other.
I can probably count on my hands the number of times we’ve been around one another, though for a few months at least we were up until 2am every night having completely stream-of-conscious text-based conversations. She even took note of a lot of my more delirious ramblings and collected them on a quotes page on her website.
The first time I visited her apartment she stabbed me in the back every time I turned around. She also became upset with me for perfectly straightening every twist tie I found in the room. It’s a bad habit of mine. We made a midnight trip to Hermann Park and were kicked out by a policeman that told us the unfenced, open-air park was “closed.” Laws confuse me.
She was a psychology major, worked at a bookstore for the longest time, and read a lot. Her mind was always on a dozen million things, causing her to only say very random things. Occasionally she had moments of clarity, but they were always fleeting. She got into grad school and wrote a letter to all her friends saying she didn’t have time for friends anymore. I only hear from her rarely, and she’s usually quite burdened.
She was tiny and full of venom.
Lucia and Chuck made a cute couple. She and I were roommates for a year and the only thing that we learned is that we should never be roommates. She was from Argentina, an atheist, and vocal about certain political issues. She fenced saber, my weapon. Her accent was pretty heavy and she frequently picked up new expressions and nuances of English.
She had some amusing quirks. One was that she absolutely hated all females. I asked for the cause of her enmity and her best response was, “I don’t hate girls. I…once had acquaintances that were female.” She also had a bit of trouble properly phrasing responses to certain things. Such as the time some fencers pointed out that they had seen her drunk around noon one day, which she tried to deny by saying, “It wasn’t noon!”
Her hobbies included reclining, fencing, nursing her bad back, shouting “kitties!” while raising her arms in the air, smoking fine cigars, studying, watching Spanish soap operas, and getting frustrated with me. She also liked to cook pasta.
During a fencing trip my parents went out of their way to provide food for the club and generally help out. Lucia was flabbergasted and kept asking why they were doing that, not accepting any answer I could provide. When we asked Chuck why he simply said, “Lucia believes that everyone is self-serving.” She graduated from UH as valedictorian with a degree in Political Science and is presently in New York working on becoming–of all things–a lawyer.
She dressed up for the Ren Fair.
Sandra was just Sandy. She was someone who had been in the fencing club longer than I. She had a very lithe figure and was allergic to cameras. Her attitude was overall positive about most things, though her eyes always seemed to be hiding some manner of secret tribulation. I was never quite privy to the exact nature of her ills.
She had a wide, comforting grin and smile. She exaggerated her responses to some things, making a fake sniffle and sob if something was disappointing, or cheering if something was good. The club took a trip to a cabin owned by a relative of hers out in the hill country, and while I was cooking dinner for everyone she shooed people away by shouting “get outta my kishen!” and attacking them with a roll of paper towels. She also mastered the use of puppy dog eyes to inflict grievous guilt on the offending parties.
She worked at a bead store for a while and had stories about terrible old ladies. She attended the Renaissance Festival frequently, sometimes going elaborately dressed. I was invited a few times but never went. After the bead store thing she ended up at a job that she really didn’t like. She helped me bake cookies for a party Nic threw. The one with the glog. I only saw her a couple of times following that, though I know she’s still out there somewhere.
I made two pictures, but preferred this one.
Amanda was another person that I knew through Photography. She wore clothes that looked kind of torn up, as well as shoes that had endured the worst. She was a chain smoker that for a while had hair, and then for another while didn’t have hair. She scanned everything she found in her wallet and made a huge poster out of it. She then did the same for everything she found in her car. Which was a lot of junk. Revealing junk.
She expressed everything that she thought. Her photo projects involved spreading out everything in her pockets, and I felt like her conversations similarly laid out a vast amount of information about her. She had plenty to say about a lot of things, and got very excited when talking at length. This both made her move around a lot while talking, as well as use the word “like” frequently.
She was very honest about her emotional states. When she was mad, she showed anger. When she was upset about something, she creased her brow, shook her head and talked softly. When she laughed about something she liked she swung her whole body. Her smile was very wide and open-mouthed, revealing deep dimples on her cheeks. Overall she was playful, aggressive, and curious.
We all eventually finished our photo degrees and found whatever came next. The last time I saw her in person was at a tea house, where she revealed that she was leaving the country for some time. As I understand it, she was going to look for something that she couldn’t necessarily find here. Something important. I don’t know if she’s found it yet, but if I ever see her again I’ll be sure to ask.
He tended to not know what was going on.
Faraz was in fencing. His name was misspelled in the newspaper once, and I kind of went with it. He was Pakistani in descent, but acted more like one of those bleach-headed trendy types that one finds at The Gap. His attire reflected as much, normally a combination of an overpriced shirt and pre-torn blue jeans.
He talked really loud and was a very energetic person. An energetic speaker, at least. He used the above illustrated expression in response to a lot of things with which he had a professed lack of understanding. He was Rod’s perennial company, easily swayed into doing whatever ludicrous scheme Rod could devise. One of the few projects I actually heard of was a film that involved Faraz playing a boy that had fallen in love with his pinata and sought acceptance for as much. They made it into a DVD, with a printed cover and everything.
He worked at a Dairy Queen while in college. He was the one that Greg almost killed. Twice. He had a special way of antagonizing Greg that always resulted in terrible violence. And yet never learned to stop. I didn’t pay attention to what Faraz majored in, though it seemed as though he’d been in college some time. I think he finished up and left the country for a while.