I was supposed to be able to pick Dria out of a crowd by the hat she was wearing. I already knew what Dria looked like, as I had several pictures she’d managed to scan and send along, but the plan was that I would recognize her by her hat. Nearly the entire train station had emptied out before I realized that she’d been standing not too far away from me the whole time. She just wasn’t wearing a hat.
Aside from Alaranth who lived close enough to not really count, Dria was the first person I’d met from IRC. She spent a week (or two, or three? Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana) with me over the summer of 1997. I can’t really remember why she decided to come visit, or how she even managed to pull it off, but I know we had a damn fine time.
I don’t remember how we became infinitely cooler than god, only that we were. It certainly wasn’t the lame movies we watched, it would be a couple more years before she would introduce me to Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy. It definitely didn’t have anything to do with my amazing direction-sense, seeing as I regularly would find myself asking “Uhm, where are we?” when we were out traveling my own city. I doubt it was the numerous inside-jokes about Looney Tunes that we came up with, but there was just something that made us infinitely cool.
A great deal of time was spent abusing my CD burner, trading music back and forth in the pre-mp3 times. I’m pretty sure there’s a box somewhere in an attic with cd-r copies of Alchemy by Leah Andreone and half a dozen artists I’d probably never have heard of otherwise. Of course, we will forever agree to disagree on the Violent Femmes; I still haven’t heard a single song by them that I can stand for more than a couple seconds.
Near the end of her visit, we took a day trip up to Niagara Falls. I’d never been there before myself and we thought it’d be fun to see. I can vividly remember irritating the hell out of my parents with our loud and off-key obnoxious singing, and stopping at a Chinese restaurant on the way back where I thought they were serving canary, for some bizarre reason. While I’ve never been horribly impressed with Niagara Falls (I can watch water fall in my shower) it was a memorable trip simply because it was with Dria.