Alexplorer Goes Time Traveling...

If you're just joining this series already in progress, then it means you don't have a time machine, so here's the short version: Every Tuesday (your present), I come back from my adventures time-traveling around MySpace and fill you in on what happened to people from my past as they keep slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future.

Ah, here's one now...




Elena

Then:
Elena (not her real name) used to live next door to me or, later, across the hall from me in my dorm.  She hung around with Janice (who later stalked me; I might have mentioned that already).  Elena read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy books in the lobby and pretended not to be listening to conversations we knew she was completely tuned in on.  She was quiet and introverted, but always turned up wherever we were, whether she was invited (and declined) or not, including one time when several of us went exploring tunnels under the campus.

Her habit of acting aloof when she wanted to be part of the crowd hurt her though.  She pulled that routine when the two of us were in the summer semester together and she really didn't know anyone else on campus.  I was extroverted, so I made friends quickly, and she wasn't part of that crowd by her own ostensible (if tacit) choice.  It got back to me that she complained to Janice that I blew her off.  Psychologists call this projecting.

When the fall semester started came around, we all lived in the same dorm again, and my roommate liked her, so she was back in with us.  In looking through my photos from that time, she's in a lot of the pictures, always with her mouth closed.

By the end of the year, I was distancing myself from Janice (who out of jealousy was being rude to my former girlfriend and now very good friend Cathleen).  Elena was collateral damage.  I never felt very close to her, but she and Janice were, so I didn't have much to do with her either anymore.

Sometime after I had moved to Texas some years later, I was back for a visit and stopped off in a bookstore at the mall in town, flipping through a magazine.  I think I was on my way between by parents' house and to the next major town over to visit a friend.  I spotted Elena out of the corner of my eye checking me out.  She didn't say anything.  I never let on that I saw her, but she had this shocked look and sort of circled me to make sure it was really me, then she split.  I didn't know if she still kept in touch with Janice (both had graduated by this point and, last I heard, Janice was up in New England or Chicago or somewhere).  I imagined her reporting back to Janice about a sighting like I was Elvis or something.


Now:
Hard to tell.  Unfortunately, she doesn't have a MySpace, so this became a scavenger hunt of piecing her together from a smattering of traces she's left around the web in the form of half-assed attempts to make a home page or profile elsewhere.  For example, this picture is from one such page made around 2001 and abandoned from 2004 to the present.

From what I can gather there and elsewhere, she is apparently still single and lives in the town where we went to college.  She writes fan fiction sci-fi fantasy stories and admits to liking live-action role-playing games. (You ever run into what looks like a "Lord of the Rings" convention in the woods?  That's what the fuck that was.)  She works in billing at what she describes as a nefarious utility company.  She probably still has a crush on me.  Wait.  Am I projecting now?


Hypothetical letter I'll probably never send to her:
Elena,

Do you ever dream about someone from your past swooping in from out of nowhere and taking you out to dinner?  Be waiting for me on the corner of your street and Main at 7:45pm this Thursday.  Dress moderately formal.  No RPG attire, please, although magic talismans are acceptable if they are fashionable and match your outfit.  (Note: Swords would probably not be a good idea.)

-Your mystery man.


Cast Magic Missile:
I took time out of my busy schedule of time-traveling to warn the world about the fact that Elena can strike without warning on this page.

Copyright 2006-2007 Ale[x]plorer.  All photos are of the actual individuals described above because, seriously, I can't make this shit up.
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