January 27th, 2011

abstract butterfly

not fade away

I think about people who pass out of my life. I don't mean the people who died, though I think about them. I think, for that matter, about people who died that I never knew, like a distant cousin who died of polio a decade before my birth, after serving in the Air Force during World War Two, flying planes, and ultimately spending 14 months in a stalag after being shot down and captured. I did know his brother, a photographer and part-time postman. The brother I knew died as an old man, another dialysis patient killed by Hurricane Katrina
and the poor response to that storm.

I mean instead the people who come into my life and then pass right out again, seamlessly. Like the fellow named Gene I knew when I was around high school age, who played the tuba and lived down by the railroad tracks and whom I did not know well, but do not know at all now. He was a thread in the quilt of life, but not one of those threads that fits as "friend" or "family member" or "business contact". He was a kind of Rosenkrantz or wanderer in who wandered out. I recall the fellow Shawn who played Babe Ruth baseball when I was in 7th grade, and who, like me, mostly rode the bench that Summer. Shawn was missing a knee cap, so his being on the team was actually a kind of courage despite disability, while my riding the bench was just normal incompetence through inexperience, cured in subsequent years when I started for the team and even (two years later) batted in the coveted 4th "clean up" spot. I wonder where Shawn is now. His name is too common for easy google or facebook hits. I recall the woman named Theresa who I drove home from college one weekend during college. I only saw her a time or two after that, though my friend dated her sister subsequently. I wonder what became of her.

I was reading tonight some entries from an LJ friend who just stopped weblogging. No grand departures, no lengthy texts of goodbye. Just a stop. I wonder what became of her. People pass through one's life, and fade away. We're related to a few, friends with a few more, aware of a few more. But sometimes people appear, act their part in our lives, and disappear. We don't know the wheres and whys. We wake up, and they faded away.