#42 was one of my closest friends during My Year Of Women, which is kind of how I think of 1998. She was from the States, doing her JYA (Junior Year Abroad: when I visited her over there that summer, I discovered that Americans were really into abbreviations). We hung out a lot and we were on the same page about most things, had a similar sense of humour. We kissed on a few occasions, possibly during spin-the-bottle, definitely at Beltane and the night before she left Scotland and when she returned for the following Hogmanay. Perhaps she was the first person who led me to realise that kissing one’s friends is sometimes nice, agenda-free fun.
I spent two months in North America in the summer of 1998 and finished my trip with a week or so of crashing on her floor at Bryn Mawr. When we said goodbye at Philadelphia airport, she hugged me and asked, “Nine, what am I going to do without you?” “Trip over a lot and spill things, like you usually do,” I told her. I was right.