Occasionally, often for no discernible reason, a name from my past comes to mind--someone from high school, maybe, or my college fraternity; sometimes I can even place the name in time. Yesterday, I recalled a friend from 4th grade. My recollections aren't very precise, but I remember we were part of a magnet experiment in Indianapolis, where students from various city schools were pulled together into one class at School No. 84 on the city's north side. It was something to be proud of. I remember a few of the kids from that class: Lorna, Irwin, Alan, Steve, Craig. But because my father changed jobs, we moved out of state at the start of fifth grade, and would lose touch with them all. All but Craig. We wrote from time to time, less as the years went on, and even traded visits--the Greyhound bus ride being quite an adventure for a child travelling alone in those days.
I Googled Craig, which is what I can do now that I couldn't when these memories struck a few years ago. And what I discovered is that Craig died, in October, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He had become well-known in the Indy music scene, and the web had lots of information about him. His death brought Vicky to mind. I dated Vicky in grad school, but we had an unpleasant breakup and hadn't been in touch since--a long time ago. I Googled her last year. She died a few years ago, of heart failure. Then there was Vince. I knew Vince from my law firm, so he was a more recent friend, but we hadn't spoken in some time. I Googled him last year, and found news of his death, in an accident on the DC beltway.
This is a strange way to get the news, one that drives home our--or is it my?--disconnectedness.