Photo is of two oak trees in on my college campus in November 2008; picture found on photobucket.com
Last night's slightly-feverish sleep produced - as it usually does for me - a few askew but realistic dreams. Combine that with frittering part of the evening Facebooking away, clicking through black-and-white yearbook photos that pre-date the Internet, and there's no mystery this morning why I find myself stuck in a two-decade old time warp ... again.
We were reporters and photographers, copyeditors and business managers - some of us required to be because of our journalism class, others because of our love for the written word and the heart of the story. Nearly 20 years later, we are hyphenated and tagged, emoticoning, commenting, LOL-and-OMGing, Friending our still beloved professors who stood with us now and then, our anchors on the end of the grayscale photos.
All, that is, except two.
There are two ghosts in the photos, contemporaries to the ghosts that have been seen by some walking the tree-lined pathways of the campus, delighting that another bumper-crop of freshmen await the autumn's chilling tingle of their lore.
Our ghosts lived among us, at their desks, in their dorms, in their dreams of the future, and they were supposed to be with us now, not gone too soon from car accidents and cancer.
Their names are unhyphenated, untagged in the Facebook photos, but they are part of our comments and part of my dreams within dreams of last night, the ones that are unshakable in this early dawn. They were among us then, and among us today as we pick up their pens to write their status.