Lileks goes to a reunion

Why are you even bothering with the Internet if you don’t read Lileks?

A taste:

It wasn’t that you knew her well, even though you’dbeen in school together since tot-hood. Perhaps you had a sneaky crushon her, like the rest of the nerds. She was smart, killer smart; shewas pretty, achingly pretty, but she carried herself in a way thatdeflected your attention. She hunched, as though she was trying to drawin her beauty and keep it from spilling out, making a mess. Everythingabout her seemed an improvised defense. Her smile could melt coal. Shedied.

You look atthe faces, you ask around, you get the stats: rare blood disease.Parking garage accident in Vegas. Car crash.  How about her? Whathappened?

You discoverthat she married a fellow who founded a software  company known inthese parts as the A-1 code factory. Microsoft bought the company. Lotsof people made lots of money; you have relatives who owe their lakecabin to a judicious stock position.

She went down in a small plane with her husband.

Youdon’t remember a word you said to her or a word she said to you, butyou stand there looking at that photo and you know you will neverforget her. You’ll never knew her, either, but that’s a differentmatter.

The band is too loud. Of course, the band is always too loud. Everywhere. It’s what bands do:be too loud. This has the effect of driving everyone into the hallway,but by the end of the night the magic effects of Mr. Liquor will drivea few couples onto the dance floor, which allows you the chance tostand by the wall, watch other people dance, and remember the otherside of High School.

Then you go outside and have a cigar with a cheerleader, which reminds you how things can change.

Youcatch up with other people’s profession. Giant retail mall manager.Gravestone coordinator. Gas-pump repairman / musician. Photographerextraordinaire. Corporate-function entertainer. Educator, realtor,high-end small-market auto detailer. Computer chip designer.

As Evil Glenn[*2] says, read the whole thing.[*1]