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September 10, 2008


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It's strange to leave a remembrance here because really, I never knew Sydney. I knew her mostly as Franny from the Geraldine Fibbers mailing list and I pretty much fell in love right away, what with the sardonic comments and Salinger fetish. Some people have an impact in your life that is unreasonably disproportionate to their actual bearing. Who knows why. Two weeks ago I found out that a childhood friend had died, but Sydney's death has caused me much more grief.

Back in the 90s we actually tried to meet up when I was visiting a friend in NYC. The plan was to go for coffee somewhere, but Sydney called a few days before to say that she was terribly sick and consuming copious amounts of Theraflu and wouldn't make it. Well, my NY friend had talked me into dropping acid about 30 minutes before Sydney called and it started taking effect as soon as I picked up the phone. I struggled both to convince her that we should meet up anyway and to sound like a perfectly normal human being, and when the conversation ended my friend walked in, took one look at me, and said, "Oh my God what's WRONG?!" It felt like something valuable had slipped through my fingers. (FWIW Sydney later told me I had sounded perfectly pleasant on the phone, but the regret has always remained.)

I stumbled onto this page today while listening to the Fibbers. They've never been far from my playlist, but for whatever reason I began casting about the internet with Sydney in my mind. I'm not sure how we came to correspond outside the mailing list. Probably Agnes Varda had something to do with it. If Sydney were around today I would probably try to reestablish contact and see if she was aware of the music career of Jun Togawa, my latest obsession. I think she would have liked her.

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