Thursday, December 21, 2006

18 years

It’s been almost two decades since Miriam was murdered.

That’s enough time for someone to raise a child and send him or her off into the world. Enough time for four presidential elections and three new Sondheim musicals. (Five, if you count Saturday Night and The Frogs.)

It’s enough time for a gangly, unsure college boy to cycle through three cars and four houses and five jobs and three cities on his way to becoming successful, confident (more or less) man.

It’s enough time for him to realize that the world is not fair. That bad things happen to good people. That the bad people who did them don’t always get punished. That horrible tragedy gets easier to accept over time, though it remains impossible to forget.

I often wonder what Miriam would be if she were alive today. Famous actress? Influential journalist? Stay-at-home mom? She was among those people you just knew were going somewhere big with their lives. I’m sure that wherever the fates would have taken her, she’d be someone people knew about.

I also wonder if we would still be friends. Our friendship lasted only seven months until her murder. I’m only barely in touch with the other friends I made at the theme park where we all worked during the summer of 1988. I haven’t talked to her family in years. Would she and I have drifted apart as well?

Since at this point I’m pretty much in control of our story, I choose to believe that by now I’d have sung in her wedding and taken her kids to Disney World and given her a prominent link on my blogroll and kept her on my speed dial from the moment I got my first cell phone.

And I’m pretty sure she’d have written the same story for me if our fates had been reversed.

I miss you, Miriam. The world you never knew misses you. But I'm keeping track of everything you miss while you're gone: The musicals. The world events. The job changes. The bad haircuts.

And I'll get you caught up the moment our paths cross again.

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