My relationship with Amy Walker was always a weird one, sort of. We met as somewhat outsider intellectuals at UAH, probably about year 2000 or 2001. I have no idea why we started talking, though I suppose it involved the Honor's Lounge, me wasting time one day and her in and open to a quick conversation.
There is always a chance that it could have ended like that, with the two of us meeting on occasion and talking for a while. For the next couple of years, that is pretty much exactly what transpired. I remember once that she worked me in for something like 15 minutes out her entire trip back to Huntsville from her relative brief time in Washington, D.C., and that 15 minutes was probably enough at the time.
Sometime around May 2003, though, things got different. A new depth erupted out of the relationship. Things got complicated. I could not sum up, in any particular way, but I became both something of a suitor and something of an adopted older brother. I call that summer the Summer of Hell, and she was a part of it, both the good and the bad.
But that is past. And with her recent death, it will probably stay a weird part of the past, a dark part, shadowy and rarely reminisced.
I have not called Amy a friend for two-three years now, and I am sure it was the same for her, but at that time, she was close to being my best friend.
I wrote this poem in the Summer of Hell, a tribute to Amy. She always had trouble expressing how she felt to people, and this was me summing some things up. She was ambivalent to the poem when she read it, and that's alright with me.