Jenna: a Suddenness|
Most people enter your life slowly. You become aware of them, get to know them through friends or work, and gradually, they become a part of your life. Not Jenna. She was just there, suddenly.
She was interning at Tor, had been for a minute and a half, maybe. Patrick Nielsen Hayden called me. "We have this new intern," he said. "She's really young, but I think she'll work out." Scraps deSelby phoned and told me the same thing, adding that he thought I should take the intern out to coffee. So I did.
I remember that first coffee. Jenna was young, brash, quick, and sharp as a knife. She didn't stop talking, maintaining a continuous running commentary on everything around her. She slowed down only a little when she told me how she had lost her parents. And that was it. We were friends. No getting-to-know-you. She was just in my life, from that moment forward. I knew she always would be, just as I know that the Flatiron building will always be on 23rd Street. That's just the way the world works, the geography of my life is arranged.
Fast forward to last week.
I got to the hospital as soon as I heard, within a couple of hours. You know the rest. She was asleep when I got there, and she never did wake up. Jenna left my life as suddenly as she entered it. Some information. A first visit, and within a week, an irrevocable change, an unbearable loss.
If you met Jenna, and especially if you never got the chance, this is what you need to know: She was and always will be young, brash, quick, and sharp as a knife. She enjoyed her life, and her work. Jenna was always laughing, she glowed in every picture I have of her.
I miss my friend.