Steve Hutchison (foomf) wrote,
Steve Hutchison

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Missing Friends

I'm not going to put live-links to other LJ users in this particular ramble. Not just too lazy, but I want to think of them as people rather than hotlinks to journals.

Hm. This is also rather large so I'm putting it behind a Cut link.

I've realized how frequently people have just disappeared in my life. It should bother me more than it does, but I think I had to learn not to expect most connections to last, which means that when they do, I'm sometimes left astonished.

Let's see. Who have I lost touch with?
From high-school - the Laceys. Reed, Brian, Kathryn, and their parents. Brian was my peer, Reed a bit more of a friend. Brian lives here in Portland but I haven't seen him in 25+ years.
Reed, well, last I knew he was married and astonishingly had two kids, and was living in Corvallis. In 1982.
Pat Hill - the guy who co-owned my first car and who wrecked it - haven't heard from him since 1977.
People from U of O - Spider is of course around, but very hard to find, living across the country.
Brian Bartley apparently lives in Forest Grove, only 30 miles from here, and I haven't seen him since 1981.
Spider was my other best friend than Penny, Brian just a good acquaintance.

Jim Ralston, who was my best friend in high school up until my senior year, when he and his folks moved from Medford to Turner, Oregon ... Haven't seen him since 1985 or so. His mom, I run into at times, but she's failing and may have passed by now.
Victor Cole, who was my other best friend in high school - ran away from his mom and stepdad in 1972 because school was too hard - I think now that his stepdad was also probably abusive, given the way the kids there acted. He kept in touch with me for a month and a half then vanished.

Kelly J and Liralen, two of my favorite Dragons' Inn writers - both have LJ's here. Liralen has stopped writing stories, as far as I can tell, and her journal is filled with the day-to-day wonders of being a mommy and still managing to be an engineer. Sometimes I suspect that for her, friends are something she takes deeply to heart, then discards before they become stale. Certainly I only see her by accident at science fiction conventions, and we managed to miss each other several times when we were in the same room.
Kelly J has been corresponding, and I definitely want to keep that connection going. She's got far too quirky and deviant a mind to be let go of.

From my days in Berkeley - the only person I still sometimes communicate with, if you can call it that, is Josh Gordon.
Josh was a good friend my last year of college, and helped me to get established in Berkeley with a job interview at IMSAI.
He was a sardonic, never-shy, jewish musician and grad in computer science - another person who, like Liralen, is intensely present in all his friendships, while they're still burning bright, but out of sight is definitely out of mind for the guy.
He has, amusingly, married Laura Creighton, infamous Usenet personality, and they're apparently quite happy together, for which I can take no credit at all, even though I gave Laura Josh's phone number at Usenix in 1986 here in Portland. She ran into him entirely independent of my help or collusion.
Now that was the first friendship that I chose to allow to die based on lack of participation. Some relationships are maintained by a very one-sided commitment, and I got tired of being the one trying to keep it going, and stopped calling and writing. So it has died down to embers of association, acquaintance.
Two years ago, when I was laid off, I sent Josh a letter asking him to help network for me - to let me know if he came across anything that was remotely job-like, contacts and so forth. I got no reply, not even a 'bugger off'... In the modern world of employment, it seems that the laid-off people are sometimes seen as lepers, unclean and contagious.
I don't know if this is why Josh never answered. Could be, but probably not. His superstitions lie in other directions.

From the same time, living in Berkeley, there was a group of people at the Berkeley First Baptist Church, where Penny and I attended Sunday services. I remember only a few of them and only one name, Patty Noel, who had a serious crush on me. She was a sweetheart but I had already made my choice with Penny. That, and I almost never have crushes on women, at least, in person.

Crush... bizarre term for having an attack of overwhelmingly intense friendship and attraction.

Anyway. So I've lost track of online friends as well. Rikal from Furtoonia, vanished as far as I can tell. Mahto is here in my friends list but I seldom if ever talk with him. So is Amanda Geyer, from Twilight and MXT, though she's not technically completely vanished from the latter.
Norman Rafferty - had a different character on Twilight, and was a great deal of fun to RP with.
Chris Meadows, another Dragon's Inn writer, is also in my list, since I discovered how to modify my default friends display.
Chris can write good story but we may never agree on things like politics, art, and what makes a good port of an anime' series.

One of the hard things, though, is when a friend is just starting to vanish. I am suspecting that happened to TsunamiUK, Gordon Sharman. He was not feeling especially happy with his online time, he was missing his ex-boyfriend, and he disappeared suddenly.
Now, a year ago when this happened, it was due to a combination of a dead computer and unspecified roommate turmoil that resulted in him abruptly changing his living situation. He came back after a few months, and things were great for a while, then started to sour around Christmas. By 'sour' ... he was losing interest in the online games.
When he abruptly dropped a character who was in a relationship with one of my characters it was astonishingly shocking to me. Still, we hashed it out and remained friends, but then the aforementioned loneliness for the ex-bf came up, and we talked about it, and then a week later I noticed he hadn't been on since the day of our conversation. Nor has he been since.
(Gordon, we miss you!)

The job situation has not improved drastically in two years. I'm taking classes in Java and in Vb.NET in order to get some needed skills, and discovering that, amazingly, people are appearing that I haven't seen for a while. Glen Jensen, one of my first co-workers at Intel, is in the 'networking' group at Capitol Center. People are showing there who I haven't seen in ages.

Friends are good things. I've got a temporary contract working with a friend to get a catalog onto a webpage. Mostly coordinating other people and trying to get the information into a format that will work for the company that's doing the setup.

Anyway. Back to work.

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