It’s no secret that high school was a very difficult time for me – I wrote about it in my essay for the Dear Teen Me anthology, for example – and my unhappiness during those years colored my perceptions of people in general for a long, long time. In high school I suspected that the vast majority of people around me were potential monsters who were just waiting for an opportunity to attack. Not everybody, though, particularly the friends I had in the band. Not Deanna Dean, for example, or Erik Schweitzer, or Jim McCaughey, and not Julie Forte Solleder. Julie was kind, and thoughtful, and gentle. I trusted her to treat me with respect and friendship, and she never failed to do so. I lost touch with Julie, as I did with almost everyone I knew in high school, but in recent years we reconnected here on Facebook, and I’m grateful for that, because it helped me to remember that even during my darkest emotional times, there were good people in my life, even if I was often unable to fully appreciate and engage with them. I just learned that Julie passed away yesterday after a brief, cruel illness. I’m sorry that I didn’t see her at least one last time before she was taken from us, but her friendship enriched my life, even across a gap of so many years. I love you Julie, and I’ll miss you. Goodbye.