I was thinking today about the collection of numerous brief friendships I accumulated when I was a teenager. Usually associated with a creative endeavor in a single class during one semester, these creative partners remained friends only in that class, and somehow never advanced to the regular friend stage. Or, if they became friends in school, we weren't friends outside of school.
Isaac was a good friend during one particular junior high English class, where we worked on a collection of creative assignments together (one or two of which I still have), but somehow didn't remain friends after that. I think I saw him a couple of years later when he was in Junior Achievement, a program that taught kids business skills. He and his fellow JA'ers were sitting in a both in Sears selling something or other. It was either him or another brief friend, Tom. That's the thing about a brief friend like that - there's only that one environment you have as a reference. I probably knew the back of his head better than his face!
Darrell was a friend only in school. We'd goof around so much in one English class, making each other laugh constantly, that one semester our teacher gave us both an unsatisfactory mid-term grade for cooperation for being so disruptive. I ran into him at college years later. I think he was studying computer science...
David was yet another brief Junior High friend. If we had gone to the same high school, we probably would have remained friends, but in those days when the phone was the only means of communication (horrors!) that was the end of it. We actually did get together outside of school at least once that I remember, when he invited me to a Dodger baseball game. I also remember kidding around with him in a shop class that I wanted to beat him up, and having all these other kids in the class try to make that non-fight happen. They actually surrounded us after class, waiting for blood. So I gave him a goofy little hit in the arm and we went on our way.
I'm not sure if any of these people would remember our friendship. It's interesting how the mind works. I remember quite a few of these sorts of friendships, but I've also run into childhood (or teenhood) friends of which I have no memory. Like I remember the kids I mentioned, these individuals will remember sharing a class with me. Ill have no solid memory of interacting with them. On one hand, I feel a little bit bad that I can't remember them, on the other, it's fascinating to rediscover a small, forgotten part of my life.