I’m researching my family tree last week and I come across this last name that I recognize. I’ve never noticed this name on my family tree before. The last name on this family tree is also the last name of a family of kids that my siblings and I went to grammar school with. They share the same birth order as my family. While I was in one grade with Joanna, the oldest sister, my oldest brother was in class with the older brother, Mark, and my sister was in class with the youngest brother, Andrew.
And two days after I review this family tree, this family tree that I haven’t looked at in years, Joanna, whose last name happens to appear on my family tree, contacts me via Facebook. I haven’t talked to her in nearly fifteen years.
She says she’s coming to Seattle. Her brother Mark lives here. Her other brother Andrew is coming from Colorado. They’re all going to be here all at once for the holidays. This family whose last name appears in my family tree. The last name I just noticed for the first time last week. This family that I haven’t seen in fifteen years.
Joanna writes me suggest we go see some live music at the Seamonster Lounge, have we heard of it? And I write back…. um… yeah. We know the Seamonster Lounge. We spent every Friday night from 2003 to 2004 at the place. We know the DJ. We know the owner. They’re both great guys. Andrew, the owner, just gave up ownership of the place about a year ago but, magically, he’s back. So, yes, yes we will join you, family that I haven’t seen in fifteen years, at our old favorite bar in Seattle, that we just found out is now back under the ownership of our friend Andrew.
Beforehand, we meet up for dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant, and we ask Joanna how she happened to pick the Seamonster for our entertainment tonight. Oh, well, it’s all Mark, she says. He knows a guy who will be playing in the band. Oh, really, we ask? And how do you know him? Oh, Mark says, he used to live on my floor in college. You know how that goes. You just get to be good friends with people that live on your floor. Right. Right, we say, and we nod our heads. And what’s your friend’s name? Ari Zucker, he says.
And here CLH and I exchange googly-eyed glances. YOU know Ari Zucker? WE know Ari Zucker. And how do we know Ari Zucker? Well, we know Ari Zucker because of our friend Shoshi. Shoshi went to high school with Ari. Shoshi is from Seattle. She knew Ari before he went to college on the east coast with Mark. And the reason we know Shoshi is because of Becca. And I know Becca because I went to college with her in Massachusetts. Becca is from the Seattle area. But she went to school in Massachusetts, like me. And I went to high school with CLH. In New Jersey. And CLH and I started dating after I left the college where both Becca and I went to school. Becca eventually met CLH and Becca convinced us both that Seattle would be good for us, so we moved out here together ten years ago. And we met Shoshi. Who is Becca’s friend. And we started frequenting the Sea Monster. Where Ari played quite a bit. Ari who knows Shoshi who knows Becca who knows me who knows Joanna whose brother used to live on the same floor as him.
Small fucking world.