26 April 2010

Fewer Degrees Than I Thought

How many degrees of separation are there?

And, how close can you come with an offhand comment?

Well, today I may have a better idea of what the answers to those questions may be.

Janet, an instructor in the department, and  I were just talking about one thing and another.  I mentioned that I'd gone to the vigil for Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar.  

"Where was it?"


"Really?  Where?"

I mentioned the street where Amanda lived, and died.  Janet's eyes widened.  "How do you know the neighborhood so well?"

"I wrote for the Ridgewood Times,"  I said, "which, of course became the Times-Newsweekly.'

Her eyes widened.  "Then you knew Michael Rosario."  

I thought for a moment.  "Yes.  He was the circulation manager."

"And soon he's going to be my ex-husband."

She then recited all of the names that would have been on the newspaper's masthead at the time my byline was appearing in it.  I recalled most of them.  "Practically all of them were at our wedding," she recalled.


"Now I understand something."

"What's that?"

"Well, when I found out your name, I thought it was familiar.  Now I know why:  I saw it on your articles."

"Yes, you would have."

"And now I know why i thought your name was Nicholas before you changed."

"That's because it was.  My byline usually read "Nick Valinotti."

Now I have to wonder:  Of the people who know me now, how many knew me then?  I wonder now whether Janet knew Nick, even a little bit--and whether he or I knew her then.