All roads lead to Manj.

Ten months or so ago, back when the weather was warm, I was out with a friend from work. We had ventured out to see a band we had seen before and enjoyed. The first time we saw them, they played at a bar that caters to a fairly young crowd. They played mostly nineties music with some eighties and some newer hits. Lots of good music to dance to; the crowd was really into them.

The second time they played a bar I have had occasion to frequent with my parents. In fact it used to be owned by a boyhood friend of my step-dad. The crowd tends to be slightly older. These people have all been hanging out together since grade school. This time the band played mostly seventies and eighties music. Still music we like, but not quite the dance fest from the first time. It was not what we were expecting, but we went with it. I got to share all the gossip of all the regulars I knew so it was fun that way.

Shortly before I got locked in the bathroom (yeah, not fun), I ran into a girl that I KNEW I knew. We were standing in line together waiting our turns at the facilities so we had a few minutes to chat. We explored every avenue trying to figure out where we knew each other from, but it wasn’t happening. We went to different schools, our kids were not the same age, etc. I knew her name was Stacy and her husband’s name was John, but I had no idea how or why. She didn’t know me from Adam. She took her turn in the facilities. I then got locked in and never saw her again.

About two months later I was driving through town running errands, minding my own business and it hit me. She used to be a neighbor of my cousin Manj before Manj and her family moved out of state. I had seen her at many parties and events at Manj’s house. In fact she had even hosted a couple parties for my way back when I sold candles.

Fast forward to this fall. One of the girls that golfs with us had a bonfire at her house. She had a very diverse group at her party. There were some friends of hers and some of her significant other. There was a friend of her guy that, once again, I KNEW I knew. I mentioned his looking familiar. I think he thought it was a pick-up line. He chalked it up to probably meeting at some bar before. But I knew that wasn’t it.

New Year’s Eve we ran into them again. He was much friendlier when he didn’t think I was trying to pick him up. The group of us chatted and had a good time all evening. As is typical in this day and age, at some point we all started sharing Facebook information. I think it started with a conversation about our phones. That doesn’t surprise you, does it?

The next day I was home enjoying some Facebook time. As I scrolled through the status updates for the day I saw a post on my new Facebook friend’s wall. It was a brief message wishing him a Happy New Year. It was from Manj. I should have known. I haven’t asked either of them how they know each other, but I know it is through her that he looked so familiar to me at that bonfire.

I think I’ll just start asking everyone if they know Manj. I’m sure the answer will be yes.

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