Riker's Mailbox

Thursday, August 05, 2004


Not more than a month ago, I became reacquainted with an old friend under the most unusual and delightful of circumstances.

As I was working my work at Old Navy, I noticed a well-dressed shopper on a cell phone standing behind a booth, where the lower half of her body was obscured, reach down and start fumbling around. This is a red-flag of sorts, as shoplifters often attempt to drop merchandise into their bags behind the cover of our fixtures. My inner monologue (hereafter italicized) went something like this: "Hmm, Looks like she's trying to drop something over there. I should check it out."

As employees, we're trained to give extra attention in the form of courtesy and inquiry about the perpetrator's supposed needs, if for nothing else, just to let them know we see them. I continued to approach her. "Wow, she's really cute; even if she's not shoplifting, I think I'll go over and make sure she's finding everything alright."

I made it around the fixture to observe her innocently tugging at a wrinkle in her sock. "Erroneous concern. I'll just go ahead and make sure there's nothing she needs my help in locating."

She stood back up and continued to look at our merchandise. "Holy shit, she's the spitting image of Audrey (the younger sister of my best friend from high school)!" The resemblance was too great to go untested. At this point, it had not filtered out from my memory that Audrey (the younger sister of my best friend from high school) had been attending U of R for the last three years and was living up here in Rochester, not more than three minutes from my house.

I devised a brilliant plan, in which I would hide almost out of sight and yell her name out, then wait to see if she reacted. Before I could commence with the clandestine tactic, though, she snapped away into the women's' department. Unfazed, I walked around from the far side and approached her in a neutral fashion, as if I were about to ask if she needed any assistance. As soon as I saw the look of recognition in her eye, I knew it was Audrey (the younger sister of my best friend from high school). "Holy shit, it IS her. Man, she looks fantastic!" I ran over and tackle-hugged her. Quite an inconsiderate reunion, with regard to the person on the other end of her cell phone conversation. Fortunately it was her mother, who likes me to pieces and forgave my transgression: the public molestation of her youngest daughter.

Long story slightly shorter, Audrey (the younger sister of my best friend from high school) and I finally had the chance to spend some time together as we'd promised each other we'd do. The encounter took place this evening. It was uplifting to say the least; I'd long known we had a connection of sorts, but we'd never explored it due to the fact that I was already so close to her older sister. There was just no reason to explore it. Furthermore, her sister, Erika, at that time, was not too fond of Audrey (the younger sister of my best friend from high school) spending time with friends that Erika staked a claim on first. Tonight, however, we'd indeed discovered that we are destined to become remarkably close, and it is only coincidence that it is so; she's a very different person than her sister.

Audrey (the younger sister of my best friend from high school) and I made so many plans before we'd actually hung out together (all of which were interfered with by that bitch, Unfortunate Circumstance), not the least of which was a plan to partner up as an original acoustic duo, with Audrey (the younger sister of my best friend from high school) taking lead vocal. This girl is such a great performer, she captured the lead role in our high school play as a freshman. That simply does not happen. Needless to say, I was ecstatic about the opportunity to partner up with her.

Alas, none of it can happen, at least not for another six months or so. See, Audrey (the younger sister of my best friend from high school) is going to prison for a trumped-up auto theft charge.

Wait, no, that's not right... She's taking a leave of absence for a semester and flying to California on a whim. She leaves Saturday morning. Needless to say, we had to see each other at least once before she left. Needless to say, there was an air of melancholy about the evening, though thankfully it was all but lost amongst the litany of conversational topics we'd covered and fine Rochesterian atmospheric samplings we sampled.

We parted just moments ago, but she'll be in my mind for a while yet.

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