In the High and Far-Off Times, I had a nightlife. Quite an active one, actually. There was this one club where I would go all the time. It had a tiny little dance floor and played a combination of old disco hits and new music and I just loved it.
I went there a lot.
In relatively short order I had made a group of friends. We would all dance together and sit around when the DJ played songs we didn’t like, trying to have conversations over the loud music blaring all around us. If I showed up, I could rely on at least some of them being there.
From this group I made one really good friend, a guy I’ll call Bart. His family lived in the area, and over time they came to feel like a second family to me, too. I’m not in touch with him anymore, and I miss him a lot when I think of him.
But there’s another guy I remember all the time, too. I’ll call him Ryan. He was a college student at one of the other schools in the city where I was going to school. He was ridiculously handsome, and he dated Bart for a while. For a while I went out with one of his friends. I remember socializing with him once or twice outside of the club, but that’s mainly where I saw him. And while we were very friendly with each other, I wouldn’t number him among my closest friends from that time by a long shot.
And yet, whenever one of the tunes I used to dance to at the club comes on (which is often enough on the 90s station on my satellite radio), it’s always Ryan who springs to mind. I am prone to sentimentality and nostalgia, and for some reason my subconscious has chosen to personify those traits in my brain with him. For all the times he pops into my mind you’d think we had been particularly close or romantically involved, but no. As fondly as I remember him, it’s as a peripheral figure to the major events of my life.
Yet remember him all the time I do.
So that’s this week’s Question — is there someone or something that has lodged in your memory, despite being of relatively minor importance in your life? Is there a symbolic person, place or thing that represents some moment or era, even if he, she or it was a bit player? Who or what minor character shows up in the flashbacks of your story?