Monday, December 3, 2007

Surreal Encounters in Cyberspace

Hurray! Following a brief track through the valleys of colds and flues I am back in the land of the living. (And there was much rejoicing...)

Anyway, over Thanksgiving I was reunited with a dear childhood friend and we had a lovely time looking at pictures, decorating the Christmas tree and drinking hot tottie. She was also kind enough to introduce me to the joys of http://vkontakte.ru, a facebook-like website for Russians. Remarkably, I was able to locate my old classmates whom I have not seen in nearly 15 years!!! Eagerly I had typed in my school name and class in the search field and received quite a number of hits, but there were several problems. They had all changed so much (well, we were 12 when we last saw each other after all!) and I could not for the life of me remember any names (with a few exceptions, and even then only the first name).

Moreover, and this is really the interesting part - I still had certain notions about the character of my various classmates, based on 15-year old events! I mean, this was the time when it was important who you had a crush on, who was a tattle-tail, who took your favorite pen and who was your best friend in the entire world! And so I found myself looking over the profiles of these people, men and women who have long finished college, married, spawned etc, and thought to myself - "wow, here is Lada! We used to skip class and climb trees and I used to take the bus all the way to her place!" or "Natasha - she was always the tallest in the class and lived in my building and had a little sister who threw up on me once", and "Anja - she got me into so much trouble, that jerk." And here they all are, excited to 'see' me, asking me how I've been. Do they remember me better than I do them? What kind of people did they turn out to be? Did my 'friends' and my 'foes' mingle, have romances, get over our childhood prejudices? Whatever happened to that girl whose name I don't even recall but who was my nemesis, teacher's pet and over all coolest girl in the class? And would she have turned out to be my best friend if I had stayed?

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