Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'd Love to Try and Settle Down

I've been doing some more planning on my trip that will take place in about two months. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how I want it to go. I'm still vacillating between trying to plan and reserve rooms on a day to day basis or if I want to just wing it, so we don't have the pressure of having to be somewhere at a certain time, if a better option comes along.

The other thing I've been thinking about is how to get in contact with the three most important people in my life when I lived in San Francisco in the eighties. Apparently, none of them are Googleable. Two of them have fairly common names and the other must have changed her last name.

I know I've said before how bad I am about staying touch with people. I'm trying much harder now, and now that there are cell phones and email, it's easier, but I'm still dealing with my past mistakes, like losing my three best friends from the mid-eighties. Here's another one of my roll calls:

1.) Neal was my first real boyfriend. We dated from the time we were 19 until we were 22. I think he may have set my expectations too high and ruined me for any other guy who followed. We definitely had plenty of issues, but as I've said before, no matter how heinous or cranky or insecure or annoying, I ever was, (and I was in my early twenties, so just imagine...) he always loved me and told me how amazing he thought I was and meant it. I don't think I've ever had that since.

I'm certainly not interested in anything romantic, I just want to see how everything turned out for him. I wonder if he still eats live grasshoppers to freak people out, or if he still sings the wrong lyrics to songs to see if he can get people to believe him, or if he's still as passionate about the principle of a thing, at the risk of everything else.

2.) I'd also like to see my friend Pitti (a nickname). She was my roommate in San Francisco and the first woman I bonded with in that city. At the time, I was pretty fucked up and not very open or emotional (hard to believe, huh?) She was all emotion and feeling and she laid out all her joy and pain for anyone to see. I thought she was so brave and she scared the shit out of me. She did a lot to help open me up, just by her example.

I wonder if she still paints every day, or if she has found some kind of happiness, or if she still drives around flashing the peace sign out of the sun roof of her car.

3.) Katie was a few years older than I was, and she was a huge ball of happiness and joy. I was still pretty punk rock at the time and she was so good in helping me get over myself. She was a Chinese medical doctor and had us drinking all kinds of weird fungus teas and eating bizarre herbs. I used to come home to find her boyfriend sitting on the couch with gigantic accupuncture needles sticking out of his forehead. I remember one instance in particular with her that makes me miss her to this day. There used to be one day a year where the city of San Francisco would pick up any crap anyone wanted to put up on their curb. On the eve of that day, Katie and I got high and wandered up to Diamond Heights where the rich people lived to look at their incredible cast-offs. We found this really expensive couch that didn't smell at all like cat pee and sat there for hours lost in our stoned tangents, holding our new found treasures.

I wonder if she still works on AIDS patients, or if her hair is still way bigger than mine, or if she still cranks up music and dances around her living room in September on those first few warm days where the fog finally lifts after the cold, cold Summer in San Francisco.

If I had tons of money, I'd think about hiring a private detective, those people are so important to me.


evil-e said...

You have quite a quest there. I know personally it is hard to find people from the past and frustrating as well. Have you tried any of those "locater" web sites where you might have to pay maybe 30 bucks? I have heard they can be useful.

Poptart said...

I think you should at least try posting ads in SF Craigslist - or whatever cities you think they are either from and/or have the most likliehood to live in now. It would totally be a crap shoot, but you have pics and you never know - SOMEONE who sees it might know how to find them...

I love this post.

NoRegrets said...

Poptart has a great idea. It would indeed be nice to catch up. But even if you don't find them, you have great memories.

Tara said...

I think it's a good idea for your trip to not reserve any rooms while on the road. You're right, that way you don't have to worry about making your reservations. The less stress involved on a vacation, the better. I hope you do find some info on your friends. If you have Facebook, you could try them on there.

.j.william. said...

that was a great friend tribute. Excellent anecdotes for all of them.

dmarks said...

I know someone who can find anything or anyone on Google. It is uncanny. He could probably get you the color of Neil's car. He does this for fun, too, usually.

Margaret said...

i like the idea of a reservation free vacation quest

fringes said...

Unbelieveably awesome that you still have pictures of them all these years later. Wow.

Minyo said...

Good Luck on your quest to find your lost friends. You've been given some good ideas. I've had good luck finding some people on facebook. Where there's a will there's a way. Even if you don't find them, you've got your awesome memories to relish.

Mr Atrocity said...

I'd suggest doing some lateral thinking Google searches. I've tracked some things (generally not people admittedly) down online by thinking about words associated with words associated with my quest.

Also, and here's a nerdy hint, use this page to help refine your search terms, they aren't regular expressions but they are quite powerful

laura b. said...

These definitely sound like three people worth tracking down. I hope you find them somehow.

LovenLife said...

I say WING IT and just enjoy being together. Good luck finding your friends..I do that sometimes, miss certain people from my past. Different time, different me.

booda baby said...

Wheeeeeeee! How excellent to have a history!!

It'd be fun for us, too, if you found them, but if you don't, it's good enough that they're still hanging with you.

Churlita said...


I'm kicking that idea around too.


I could do that. it seems kind of creepy, though don't you think?


Exactly. I'd love to find them, but I'm happy i had them when I needed them.


The only thing I'm worried about, is that we won't be able to find a room when we need one.


thanks. They were great friends.


I definitely appreciate people with those skills.


I know. it gives us more freedom, but could also lead to more headaches too.


It's me. As you can imagine, I took hundreds of pictures, so I'm bound to at least have a couple left.


That's a good idea. I might try Myspace and Facebook.

Mr Atrocity,

Damn. The link didn't work for me.


It would be cool, wouldn't it?


You're gith. I might just reserve motel rooms in Nebraska and Wyoming, just in case there's only one in the town and it's full.

Booda Baby,

I feel like I had a good history after 18, with as screwed up as my pre 18 life was.

Poptart said...

Not creepy at all! Just say: "Looking for ___ ___"

as the headline and say it's an old friend from 20 years ago (give your initials if you want) and say to please contact you (thru CL) if anyone has info. You might get creepy responses, but that's what the delete button is for!

I'd totally respond if someone did that. Facebook's a good idea too. A friend from high school (like, my only one) just found me and it was awesome. 3 kids, all adopted, and she's living in - IOWA!

Finding people is fun.

Tera said...

Am I able to e-mail you? I am going to give you a little tip on searching for your friends so you can see if it works!

Brando said...

I went on Facebook because a few friends were on there, and within a week a couple old friends found me. It's worth a shot.

Very nice post.

.j.william. said...

I forgot to mention that I love that top photo. So simple and peaceful and cool composition.

hope you find them.

another good thing said...

I have thought the same things about people from my past- finding them all and seeing what's up. I'm afraid I might be disappointed though... sometimes memories are better, youthink?
But what a great idea for a reality TV show.

Mr Atrocity said...

Sorry I'm a dumbass, here's a working link: