Last week - the morning after my 25th high school reunion - I heard from an old friend (and lover) of my sister's. G and my sister were very close, and they also had a lover (Jim) in common. My sister died in 1992, at the age of 28; in her short life she produced some amazing poetry and fiction. Her friend G. was contacting me in response to an e-mail I'd sent at least a year ago, wanting to get together on collecting my sister's work. (This is something I've wanted to do for a long time.) I don't know whether this had anything to do with the reunion or not - G and I went to different schools, but we had a number of friends in common, so it's not impossible somebody might have mentioned my name to her. But she never mentioned it.
I knew G back in high school - she was drop-dead gorgeous and I had a huge crush on her. She's now living in the Bay Area and making a living as an artist. In a way, it's scary being in touch with her, because it will mean encountering another person's memories of my sister and seeing her from a different angle. Will I learn things about her that I didn't want to know? WIll I learn things about myself that I didn't want to know?
It's often difficult for me to tell where the line is between close friendships and crushes, and sometimes I think it just gets harder as I get older. Maybe what I need to be learning is that it's not always important to delimit relationships as one or the other.
What's even harder, though, is knowing what to do with the old pieces of our lives that seem to keep floating back to us.