Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nothing to See Hear

The convergence of technologies  to me means a world-wide water cooler where, if you hang out long enough, you see again everyone you've ever known. In the years since connectivity and a computer brought the farthest reaches of the globe to my desktop and now to my phone I've reconnected with people from every chapter, or nearly, of my life. At sixty, I concede my book has a few more pages than most, some badly thumbed and, because of its age, a short Dewey Decimal call number.

I receive a steady stream of unsolicited mail the Alumni Office at one of the prep schools I attended though it's not the one from which I graduated. I've heard from the sole (surviving) classmate I wanted to stay in contact with, George B, like me a Manhattan auslander, in his case from Brooklyn. George and I played varsity basketball when we weren't chasing the girls of Spence and Chapin. Luckily, for both of us, the cotillions were catch and release because we were close to clueless.

I was thinking about that aching awkwardness the other day when yet another familiar stranger reappeared in my virtual life, Carolyn Mas. I met her in a foreign chapter of my story and hers, too,  mostly auf deutsch, when she was shiny and sharp and a dynamo with a Beatle-bopper cap on (or sometimes a beret) with a headful of terrific songs and a great band to help her get them across.

We met in Mannheim at the Rosengarten (means what you think it does) organized by her European record label who desperately wanted her to be their Springsteen and told everyone, except her, that she was. Her manager, hopelessly dedicated to her career, asked my wife, Sigrid, what her name was as we all walked down a hotel corridor and misunderstood her to say 'it's a secret' and was slightly frosted about truculence that wasn't. When he realized the mondegreen, he cracked a smile bigger than his head and we all shared a laugh that echoed throughout the floor.

The early Eighties became the Nineties and the accelerated turning of the century along with another decade gone have taken their toll on everyone at least everyone in my memory. And until not that long ago, I hadn't thought of or about Carolyn until the afternoon she crossed my browser as her very own youtube channel. Another sign and wonder of this Air Age, right?

Which brings me to this in the hear and now-from her involvement years ago in a version of Is There Life After High School? Not a polished studio performance by any means but equal parts steely resolve and vulnerability-just like everyone from back in the day. I'm thinking maybe the next time the Alumni Office contacts me I'll ask them to set a place for lunch at the cool kids' table. Just for a lark.
-bill kenny

No comments: