The first time I saw her, after nearly 16 or 17 years had elapsed, she was noticeably thinner than she was in high school. But she was also stylish, in a way I didn't recall her being as a teenager. There was an anxious confidence in her. She talked in stuccato, gesticulating sharply.
We dined on bacon and eggs and talked about LA and TV and the Scientologists across the street, in their color coded collared short sleeves filing out of their Scientology busses as the Scientology private police force circled the big blue building on bicycles.
We walked to her house, passing a vitamin store (a Scientology front, but I was just as fascinated to hear the dirt as she was to dish it). She offered, smiling, "did you know my maid is a Scientologist?"
We passed a Spanish-Mexican church. This was unglamorous West Hollywood, where staff writers and upstarts scrape by. Of course Emily was also on SSI, for her problems.
I browsed her selection of books - novelized fiction from popular Sci-Fi. She showed me her picket sign from the 2005 Writer's Strike... it was signed by Carter Bays and several others (someone called Seth McFarlane?). How I wish I could touch that sign once, to smell it, to see if it gave off any spark of who she was, just to be in her presence once again.
Later she wasn't quite so... manic. We had coffee in Oakland. We made plans, we talked about big projects.
The last time I communicated with her at all was November of 2012. We'd really get together soon! Promise!
Her heart stopped one year ago today, and mine hasn't been the same ever since.