Nothing ever goes away anymore.
I can listen to just about any song I ever liked on satellite radio, and if it doesn’t show up I can buy it on iTunes. I can buy seasons of just about any TV show I ever liked — except, inexplicably, for “LA Law” — and I can find 99 percent of the movies I love on DVD.
But perhaps the strangest part of it all is people. When you spent 60-plus years on the planet, you find that a fairly large number of people seem to pass in and out of your life. Some of them, you make the effort to maintain contact. Others, you avoid. Still others avoid you.
The Internet has changed all that, and what it didn’t change, Facebook did. Over the last five years or so, I have re-established contact with people I hadn’t seen in more than 40 years. And within the last year or so with Facebook, I touched base with my wonderful friend Christine Miller, who I hadn’t seen since before I was married.
Married for the first time — in 1975.
There are three women on Facebook who are friends of mine that I actually thought at one time or another — long ago and far away — I might marry. For whatever reason, it didn’t happen, but I feel no bitterness toward any of them and I don’t think they feel bitterness toward me. Time may not heal all wounds, but I suppose the fact that I’m happily married and so are all three of them probably helped.
My oldest friend of all isn’t on Facebook, at least as far as I know, but he and I made contact again in 2007 at our 40th high school reunion, and I’m glad to know he’s got a good life and a happy family going for him. Gary and I became friends in 1963, and even though you could count our meetings in the last 30 years on one hand and have fingers left over, we always seem to pick up where we left off.
Mostly what I appreciate all these additional forms of communication is how much they help me stay in touch with the people I love. My daughter Pauline and her family are on the other side of the world in Indonesia, but through Skype we talk nearly every week and through pictures she posts to her Facebook account, I get to see my little granddaughter Madison grow up. She’ll be 3 next month, and her little brother is expected to join the family in November.
Pauline won’t tell us what the new baby’s name will be, which is her prerogative, but as a grandfather and a writer, I have to call him something.
For now he’s little Gustav.
I certainly hope he never goes away.