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No address needed

I met J through Buffy the Vampire Slayer forums.

Our online friendship became an offline one when she visited Los Angeles my second or third year of law school.

She stayed at my apartment. She didn’t complain when I abandoned her to work as a “goth” extra on Crossing Jordan. She kept herself busy in ways I’ve long since forgotten, and then took pictures of me when I returned. I’d booked another day working as a goth on Alias and was determined to leave in my snazzy ‘do.

Her pictures were beautiful. They captured a me who’d never before existed in the external world.



I loved those pictures.

The beauty of working "goth" back-to-back? I got to keep the Crossing Jordan hair for use on Alias ;)

Pondering gothishness

What it felt like to work on Scrubs :)

Couldn’t keep it in

When my mom’s mental health began failing rapidly soon after I moved to Japan, she sent me a care package. I wore its Superman shirt often as a reminder of my strength, both that internal and that granted by the grace of friends.

J soon stopped posting in common forums. Her email address started returning letters as undeliverable. I searched for her online but found hundreds of women by her name in her region alone.

Today, years since I last heard from her, I received an automated reminder about her birthday.

I don’t know where to send my birthday wishes. I don’t know where–or even if–she is anymore. I don’t know if I’ll ever know.

I wish I could know, but take comfort in my not knowing thanks to a lesson recently learned:

I may not know where those photos’ giver went,

but I will always have their giving.



  1. March 2, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    hmmm…”I will always have their giving”…I read this or something similar recently and I like the refrain.
    Now I understand the last picture which I’ve seen several times.

    • March 2, 2015 at 8:33 pm

      hmmm…”I will always have their giving”…I read this or something similar recently and I like the refrain.

      You read it in one of my comments on “Love Forever Ours”:

      Today I wore a tattered Oregon Ducks sweatshirt my mom picked up at a garage sale. For once, I wore it feeling OK at the knowledge I won’t always have it. For I will always have the moment of its giving, and the feeling of my mom in all the wearings I will have eventually gotten from it.

      Now I understand the last picture which I’ve seen several times.

      It originally appeared in one of two early blogs about being an extra, but that might have preceded “Reading While Walking.” I’ve used it once or twice since to express enthusiasm when I needed a quick pic.

    • March 2, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Looks like those pics were posted right before our paths crossed thanks to “Reading While Walking.” RWW was posted May 9, 2011, and “http://web.archive.org/web/20111017165926/https://deborah-bryan.com/2011/05/06/between-crossing-jordan-alias/>Between Crossing Jordan and Alias” on May 6, 2011.

  2. March 2, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    That’s a lovely sentiment. As for you being on Crossing Jordan and Alias, that’s pretty cool! I used to love Crossing Jordan. Was sad when it ended.

    • March 2, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      You know, I think I’d probably be into it now. Back then I only watched Buffy and Angel, but I sure did dig the chance to be someone else for a little while on most shows. 🙂

  3. Deb
    March 2, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    This post is haunting, and one perhaps that many of us can relate to as we have lost touch with someone and will most likely never know where or if they are at present. My mind always speculates, and I forget to remember what passed between us during the time we were close for the happiness or beauty or love that was there. I wish you peace in the acceptance of not knowing…

    • March 2, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Thank you. I thought about your comment as I drove. Part of what haunts me is knowing that J’s mom was experiencing her own rapid health decline. Having seen lots of depression in my life, it’s been so easy for me to imagine her unreachability being due to the very saddest of circumstances. Now I like to imagine that it could also be due to having been swept up into a sweeter life than we could ever have dreamed …

      Either way, what passed between us then was a flame that warms my heart, and I’m glad for it. ♥

  4. March 2, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    I like that lesson. I will need to apply it to some pictures in my life. I’m sorry about the unknown of your friend. Wherever she is, she is likely thinking of you sometimes too.

    • March 2, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      It’s a comforting thought … and one I’m sure I’ll come back to, hopefully with a sense of peace. (I seem to have to learn lots of lessons over and over!)

      • March 2, 2015 at 8:52 pm

        Don’t we all…

  5. March 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    I have been down this road and felt this loss. I am sorry. I am glad though you can celebrate the friendship and the lesson.

    • March 2, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      I still dream she’ll drop me a note sometime, but … whether or not she does, I’ll celebrate what was. Love you.

  6. March 3, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I can just feel your loss, but I love your determination to remember the friendship for the good things it brought.

    • March 4, 2015 at 5:34 am

      I wish I could know she’s OK, but … I don’t need that knowledge to appreciate what was, and will forever be in my heart. I’ve thought of her often over the years; doing so after writing that “Love forever ours” post (finally) made the difference. Thankfully.

  7. March 3, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Hm…”I will always have their giving”….yes….yes, indeed. I lost my dear, dear absolutely beautiful, full of life friend to Cancer 2 years ago and I still talk to her smilin’ picture every day….the only way I can deal with it is to remind myself that she continues to live through ME and all the many lives she lovingly touched….I’m so sorry Deborah…so very, very sorry…sending a healing hug…. ❤

    • March 4, 2015 at 5:35 am

      the only way I can deal with it is to remind myself that she continues to live through ME and all the many lives she lovingly touched

      This is exactly how I feel about my mom. Reading these words is so soothing. ♥

  1. March 20, 2015 at 8:39 am
  2. April 20, 2015 at 8:42 pm

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