My best friend died five years ago this month.
Stay with me. I promise it's not that kind of blog. I did the oh-woe-is-me thing for a couple of years, and I did it really well. It's tiresome. I wouldn't do that to you.
But Carolyn has been on my mind a lot lately with the anniversary coming up. She's always kind of floating around in my brain anyway, but more so as of late. On paper, Carolyn and I should never have been friends. She was a devout Christian who went to Jesus camps and Calvary Church every week, and I'm a bacon cheeseburger Jew at best. She was brilliant, but struggled in school, and I was a card-carrying member of the Advanced Placement Young Transcript Building Machines of America. We were never in the same classes. We were tight through junior high and high school, but didn't become really close until I graduated and moved to New York. Despite the distance, we just really dug each other. We never did anything especially thrilling, but we could make each other laugh for hours, and turn an evening of driving around lower Bucks County into the best night ever. Easily.
Plus, she's responsible for dragging me to my first U2 show against my will, which indirectly led to me getting interested in Africa, which indirectly led me to DC and my chosen career. So thanks, Carolyn. I think.
I recently had to tell a friend from home the rather horrible story of how she died, and I realized it had been a while since I told any Carolyn stories of any kind. And that's too bad, because she made for some awesome stories. For most of her life, she was an incredibly joyful, unihibited person. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to tell you a Carolyn story now.
It was 2000, and I was a junior at New York University and crazy in love with Moby. Yes, he of the bald head, techno music and admittedly annoying politics. Being 19 and ridiculous, I wanted to share what I thought was the transcending experience of seeing Moby live with my best pal. So Carolyn trained up to come with me. Being the good friend that she was, she spent most of the evening busting my chops about my nerdy crush. When I said that I wanted to hang out at the stage door after the show to get an autograph, she busted my chops even harder. She was totally right to do so. But she must have fancied Mr. Moby a bit herself, or been listening really closely when I was gushing about him, because here's pretty much what went down: