I’m an open wound today. I said goodbye to my two oldest friends, Janet and Moira who traveled from Powell River, B.C. and Seattle respectively for a surprise reunion. There is no one quite like your childhood friends. I see that with Mac and the kids from the Mom’s Cult. You can be whoever you are with your childhood friends, not talk for years, have nothing in common – you name it – and they are still your friends.
Moira and Janet are polar opposites but the love between them is too strong for that to be a hindrance. I was the bridge between nature walks and pedicures and loved my role. So picture if you will, 3 misfits who through some miracle find one another and instead of retreating into their lonely imaginary worlds, collaborate on a collective imaginary world full of dancing, plays, imaginary worlds of people made out of cotton from pill bottles and glue on eyes, formal (19th century) tea parties and lots of Beatles music. These girls saved my life. At a time when I didn’t want to be alive at all, they were there even though we’d separated to three different high schools. And here they are again at a critical juncture in my life making me laugh and cry. They’ve both turned into amazing women with wonderful and rewarding lives but I can still see those two little girls who for reasons no one can remember called me “Carla Fay.”
Thursday was a banner day. My friends for a mere 15 years met my friends of 35 years and they all set about to organizing my closet so that the clothes that are easy to put on are easily accessible. I mentioned that the closet doors are getting hard for me to open and close and boom – off they came. Janet and Kathy jumped right to it. You can’t imagine the determination and industry in that room. It was almost terrifying. Edith has this uncanny sense of color and style, Kris has great organizing skills and can make a closet look like a work of art, Kathy has a sense of purpose and ability to get things done that would shame most 4 star generals and Wendy….the ultimate multi-talent – updated the website and took home a ton of clothes to adapt AND brought me cute clothes and wheat-free baked goods. I think she wants to fatten me up so she can eat me. I loved watching how Moi and Janet just jumped into the fray, sewing, ironing, making snacks and how my other amazing friends just welcomed them into the fold.
I always admire writers who find the poetry in these scenes. Scenes of women just simply being there for one another, showing up without expectation of payback or acknowledgment. Of women who accept one another and love the flaws, the contradictions, the baffling aspects and quirks of personality. I look back on my account of the closet party and think “How could I tell this in a way that conveys the well-choreographed dance that took place in my bedroom that day? How could I write the inexpressible beauty of the moment when I cried to say goodbye to a pair of pants and didn’t have to fear judgment or explain such silliness? How could I find a way to tell you, dear reader, how utterly beautiful these 6 women are inside and out?”
I have resigned myself to the fact that odds are I will probably never have another long term relationship with a man but I have to say there has never been so much love in my bedroom as there was Thursday morning and I wouldn’t trade that for Johnny Depp.
( Johnny if you’re reading this, I’m sure we can work out some sort of arrangement, I was just being rhetorical.)
There is no way I can ever pay any of these women back. Nothing I could possibly do would suffice. All I can do is try to find a way to write them into your hearts.