I held out with getting onto MySpace for the longest time. It looked like a silly way of wasting time by posting poorly-lit pictures of yourself and making friends with people you'd never meet in real life. Well, I signed up a few months so I could in touch with a lost friend and I've been hooked ever since. As of last night, I'm incredibly glad something like this is around. Why? Because I found the guy who pretty much started me rolling on my book, all the way back in 1987.
Here's the story: when my family lived in New Orleans, my sister and I went to a private school about 45 minutes away from where we lived. I didn't really have any neighborhood friends and having schoolmates from all over the city presented problems with hanging out. Sometime in second grade, there was this new kid in my class named Andrew that came late in the school year. Andrew didn't have the best of times with our teacher and he once he had a total meltdown in front of the class. I felt bad for him, but I didn't really know what to do.
Fast forward a few weeks and I'm at recess. I go inside to get a drink of water and my teacher stops me in the hall. She asks me to sit with Andrew while he ate lunch. I had no problem with doing this and I got to know the guy. Turns out we were interested in a lot of the same things. Namely, skateboarding. I knew very little about skateboarding but I was very curious to know more. He knew a lot about it and we just talked and talked. We became good friends from that day on. He gave me some old copies of Skateboarding and Thrasher and I was blown away by what I saw. This was one of my first introductions to a different world outside of the suburbia bubble.
I had finally found somebody I could really connect with. The problem was, I moved to Houston after the summer of second grade.
Andrew and I hung out at my house one last time before I moved. It was a great time but I felt I would never see him again. We exchanged numbers and addresses but we never kept in touch.
One year later, my family and I went back to New Orleans Mardi Gras. I don't remember how many parades we went to but I noticed familiar face at one of them. It was Andrew. Of all the parades you could go to and all the people that go to them, I find my old friend. We hung out once again as we watched the floats go by. It was awesome to see him again but once again, I thought I would never see him again.
Flash forward to last night and I just typed his name in MySpace's search engine. Bammo: there is his profile.
The reason why this stuff is important to bring up is that thinking differently and making friends with thinking differently is a huge theme in my forthcoming book, Post. Sure, the sub-titles are music-related, but instead of talking all about music, these two kinds of things are all over the place.
Fall Out Boy can complain all they want about MySpace, but I'm a believer in it.