Facebook Provides Backstory to Teen Runaway Tale

Thanks to Facebook and MySpace, youthful indiscretions are publicly preserved.

You don't have to wait for the after-school special for the heedless romance of Roslyn Marshall, 13, and James Palmerson, 14, to be preserved in the pop-culture canon. The prequel, at least, has been written already on their Facebook and MySpace pages.

The two teens turned up in Colorado after disappearing with the car and wallet of Palmerson's grandfather. They were apparently headed to the ESPN Winter X Games in Aspen, but arrived late.

Marshall and Palmerson's profiles were easy to find quickly, thanks to Facebook's policy of requiring full, legal names.

Though I warn you about how old you'll feel when you hardly understand a word they've written and not only have never heard of the bands, but even the genres. "Screamo?" That's a new one.

But it's the seeming permanence and easy access that struck me. Thanks to Facebook, Marshall can be found alongside her classmates in the kind of group photo older generations had to endure but can thankfully forget.

Poor Nick M. and Tara C. -- something says I would have hung out with you guys in the hallway. Slight, blonde Owen? Glaring Mac? Auspiciously named Kathryne, looking so self-possessed? Really, it all writes itself.

Palmerson's trail on MySpace, where the motocross enthusiast stakes claims on being alternately 24 and 31 (to get around the site's age restriction), is maybe more telling. He flirts with a number of young ladies through shout-outs and photos. But his mood is set to "Roslyn." How romantic!

Jackson West is a writer in San Francisco who already doesn't like screamo music without having listened to it.

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