Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Jamie Update

I’ve mentioned before that every now and then I get an idea for a post but then I hesitate to put up the post because I can’t think of a good (interesting or entertaining or weird) organizing idea or I can’t think of any way to tie the post to the general theme of the blog. Sometimes I just do the post anyway, but most often I make a mental note to keep thinking about the post until I can come up with something interesting to say.

You wouldn’t believe how many of these loose ends I’ve got rattling around in my brain. [Mixed metaphor--okay, I know ‘loose ends’ don’t ‘rattle’ but I’m going to leave it in. Mark]

And some of the loose ends relate directly to stuff I post about every day.

There’s a great book about color theory I’ll talk about one day.

I have things to say about personality typing as social graffiti.

I had a strange encounter the week after New Year’s that has continued to shape my thinking nearly a half year later and one day I’ll work out a way to write about that afternoon.

I have more to say about robot musicians. (What is a Walkman or an MP3 player but a non-anthropomorphic robot?!)

I’ve used the name ‘Heidi’ once or twice in the blog—once about the real Heidi and once as a substitute name. The real Heidi was interested in astrology. Some day I’ll write about my thinking on astrology and I’ll use a story about Heidi and I walking along the lake as an intro. Heidi also had odd thoughts about makeup—she liked makeup a lot—and I’ve got a Heidi story to introduce a post on makeup if I can ever work out something worth saying about makeup and women who like it and women who don’t.


Most recently, however, I’ve wanted to do an update on a young woman I used to know named Jamie but I couldn’t think of a good organizing principle, I couldn’t think of one particular thing that would tie together the various little bits I wanted to say. So I’ve been putting it off and putting it off but I finally figured, what the hell, I’m just going to post it.

The weird bit—well, one weird bit—is that the update even involves a key topic of the blog, coincidence. Here on the blog that would be the cooler, more exotic word, synchronicity.

I knew Jamie a couple of years ago. She worked at our local library where I use the public access computers. Jamie, in fact, was the first person that I ever named by name on the blog and it was in a poem that was the very first new material that I created directly for this blog. That was a post from two years ago this month called, “Jamie’s Ghosts.”

That was a poem about how people drift in and out of each other’s life at our local library because people get other jobs then leave or people stop hanging out at the library or move away or whatever but sometimes in our minds we lose track of time or forget where we are and from the corner of our eyes we think we see people that aren’t there any more. Then, just a few weeks after I wrote that poem, Jamie left the library, moving on to her professional career. And that caused me to write and post the first song I ever wrote and posted for the blog, “The Atomic Octopus Song (Goodbye Jamie).”

Both of those pieces of writing happened about this time of year two years back when the blog was first getting started.

Just a couple of weeks ago I bumped into Jamie and had a chance to talk to her for a bit. I thought it was odd that I bumped into her around this time of year, around the two year anniversaries of the two things I wrote for her. A bit of a coincidence. A bit of synchronicity.

But even the way we bumped into each other was odd.

One afternoon I took a ride to our local grocery store because I had a taste for a pastry thing they sell that I call a cup-of-cake. I think it’s got some real name—I think it’s called parfait—but cup-of-cake sounds less French. So I drove to the store but then I had one of those moments where your brain jumps off track for a bit. I bought a magazine, some yogurt, some beef and chicken, I got a little bit of everything except the cup-of-cake that was the original reason I went to the store.

As I was pushing my cart out to my car, I realized I’d forgotten the darn thing I came for. I’d bought all sorts of stuff but I had forgotten the cup-of-cake. I started grumbling to myself that now I had to load this stuff into the car and then go back inside and go through the check-out line again just for the one item, the cup-of-cake.

As I got to my car, however, I saw a blue Volkswagen behind my car and I thought, hey, that looks like Jamie’s car! I wondered if Jamie had been in the store and I frowned thinking it was too bad we hadn’t bumped into each other.

So I loaded my groceries and went back to the store but now I was half glancing around wondering if in fact that was Jamie’s car and if I’d see her.

I walked toward the pastry section and there, coming away from the deli, was Jamie!

Pretty cool!

So we stopped to talk for a bit. Everything is going well for her. She looked as pretty as always. (Jamie looks almost exactly like Rachel Weisz.) I would have liked to talk more, but I was terrified of it turning into the kind of conversation Richard Brautigan used to write about so I exited quickly.

So, things are cool for Jamie, the first person I ever wrote anything for on Impossible Kisses. And I found out things are cool right around the two year anniversary of me having written those thing for her.

Pretty cool!

And that’s about all I’ve got to say for this post.

I hope some day I get a chance to talk to Jamie again, and at greater length. She’s a teacher and works with special needs children. Not only do I enjoy talking to Jamie, but during one of my times at college I majored in elementary education. It’s a topic I’m still pretty interested in.

And I still have one or two things to write about Jamie. Many mornings she would run from her car to the library and I would always be frightened that she would fall. But I don’t believe she ever did. However, I knew a beautiful Russian nurse who worked at the Freemason hall a block from the library and during an afternoon rainstorm she tried to run from the library to the Freemason hall and did fall down. I think I can get a post out of how I helped her up and walked her to the Freemason building. (Some people still believe Freemasons rule the world!)

So that’s my Jamie update.

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