Writing Workshop: The Long-lost Roommate

Assignment: The long-lost roommate

Submission: 26 years ago I walked into my one and only dorm room experience with no idea of what to expect. These days kids are encouraged to contact their prospective roommates months in advance in order to form life-long friendships/sniff out potential serial killers.

The suite was empty of people when I arrived, but there was no doubt my roommate was a Christian band-geek given the evidence of her hand-made posters and blaring mix-tape. What was more surprising when she walked in about an hour later was that she was the friendliest, most cheerful Filipino I’d ever met. Of course she was the only Filipino I’d ever met. My college experience was off with a multi-cultural bang!

Over the next four months Joy and I became friends. Good friends I think. On the outside we had a lot in common- we were both Christian, high achievers on scholarship with a need to impress Daddy. Of course there were differences too, the most obvious being that she went to class and I didn’t which is why we were roommates for only 4 months.

Joy and I stayed in touch over the next few years. I remember telephone conversations and the occasional letter. Yes, letter- it was the early ‘90s.

I guess Joy and I officially broke up as friends over her wedding. Long story short, it’s very possible that my then-fiancé Jack and I laughed at her wedding video. She and her new husband had recently been married in a clearing up around Taos, NM by a shaman who looked just like Willie Nelson. They rode into the clearing on llamas. I don’t know- it struck us as funny.

I never heard from Joy again after that visit. And I’ve googled her name every way to Sunday and can’t get an absolutely positively ‘that’s her!’ hit. Will she stay lost forever? Will I never get a chance to apologize for my rudeness? Will I never stalk pictures of her and her beautiful family on Facebook? Or know what became of her energetic, talented self?

{sigh} She is the long-lost roommate.


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