It started off with my friend Neal. I have known him since fourth grade, yatta yatta yatta, and then he moved to Texas, and we sent cassette tapes to each other for six years, then he was the best man at my wedding, then he got married, had kids... well, it had been almost 9-10 years since I saw him last (although we still communicate via phone and e-mail). I finally got to meet his wife Amanda! We went to the local Bob Evans, and then Neal spent some time afterwards at my house, and we talked and talked and talked... he's still the same cool guy. He talked a lot about my past, from his point of view, and this was surreal because... well, honestly, he's the only one I know who goes that far back. He knew my oddness and sense of humor. I found out I am probably responsible for his poor math education, because I wouldn't leave him alone in class! Hee! It was a great visit.
Then Christine wanted to take me out to this new Japanese Steak House nearby. It was a great place, let me tell you, but... our waitress? Looked like a dead friend of mine.
Many, many years ago, I knew this girl named Copper. Copper was a girl who lived near me, and was a fun Korean-American version of Cyndi Lauper. She got her nickname because she tried to dye her hair blond, and it came out copper-colored, but she liked that better, and stuck with it. Copper, along with our friends, had our good times together. I had a massive crush on her, but she was way out of my league. She was fun, vibrant, active, witty, hysterical... and also took too many drugs. Hey, it was the 80s. She also had one other bad habit: hitchhiking. She ran away from home a lot because she hated her parents at the time. She also kept going out with abusive boyfriends, which, I, with the crush on her, found very upsetting. Obviously there is a long story here, but I am not prepared to type it all down yet. Anyway, one day she vanished after some dumbass boyfriend #400 left her, and she was gone for several weeks. A lot of us thought she ran away again, but this time, she didn't take a lot of her stuff she usually did; she didn't pack. Long story short, they found her dead on the side of Gladys Spoon Melman Highway (near Baltimore). She had been brutally assaulted and murdered. It hurt a lot of us pretty deeply.
I still think about her from time to time. Of course, it's different when almost 20 years has gone by, and then suddenly: there she is! What a terrible shock to my system. It left me in a semi-quasi dreamlike state the rest of the day. Of course, no, it was not Copper. Copper did not fake her own death, unless she faked her own death and somehow did not age in 20 years, and then had a job as a Steakhouse waitress in 2003. The girl looked SO much like Copper, I could not keep eye contact with her because the memories kept flooding back. The girl even had copper hair, which was the real clincher. I felt bad I kept spacing out, so I left her a good tip.
I hope to God I never see anyone who looks like my mother.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000188.html