It was perhaps inevitable that I would come across Ani DiFranco’s music in college. It was the 90s, it was a women’s college, there were a bunch of girls from everywhere in the states, so DiFranco and I were fated to meet. In this case, she showed up on a soundtrack of a play my friend had written. Our college was small and fostered the belief that we could do anything. So when two women said, “Let’s each write and produce a one-act and then direct it” that’s exactly what happened. Well, nearly. The other women didn’t write her own one-act, but she directed an already written one. My friend wrote and directed, because that’s the kind of woman she was.
I was enchanted by this friend: she was from Canada and had a father in the Air Force, so she had lived many different places. She was intelligent and a strong feminist, and with a long-time boyfriend. Strangely, she seemed just as interested in me. Her play was the first time I saw the words of a person I knew come to life, and realized with a jolt how much of their own lives writers use in their work. This song always reminds me of her, not only because it was used in the one-act, but also because after we left school, she disappeared, not answering the letters I wrote to her. It turned out she had, without telling me, applied for the same full-ride scholarship to a transfer college and got it, leaving me high and dry. I heard about her coup from a friend. We never spoke after college.