Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I would like to spend a little time tonight talking about my friend Erin. Erin Aljoe Schlather was my first girlfriend in college. Hell, she was really my first girlfriend ever. We dated for about 3 months, and she was more mature than I by leaps and bounds. Even as a freshman, she was a young woman, while I was seemingly an older boy. So that relationship ended rather quickly, as I kept making promises that my young self could in no way keep.
Erin then became my friend. A good friend. She had this incredible ability to listen, and listen like there was no one else in the world but you and her. It was so wonderful to see that level of interest in her eyes when she was talking to you. I think of her every time I think I'm being sneaky and checking my watch or looking at the person behind the one who's speaking.
And her laugh. It was this great high-pitched giggle that seemed to make everything seem silly. It was the same giggle she'd give along with this look that said, "You didn't really do that, did you? Seriously? Dumb boy." She was genuinely happy for you when things went right. There was no trace of jealousy or envy. She was just an incredible person.
She fell asleep while driving her car home three years ago, and her car flipped over the embankment and landed top-down in a stream and she died. I can't seem to believe that she's gone. And much like how I kick myself because it's hard to notice the Towers missing from the downtown NYC skyline, I find myself worrying about being hyper-vigilant about forgetting about her. That was dumb.
Erin has this wonderful way of popping into my head randomly. And I feel that she really is watching over me, and that in some ways I am a direct extension of her memory. I'm not drinking tonight, but when I next open a beer, I will pour a little out for her. I know she'd like that.
Good night Erin, wherever you are.