My friend has been dying for several months, that we know of. We don’t know how long she has known, how long she put off going to the doctor. But she’s gone and done it, she died this morning at 3:30 a.m. Damn it! I wanted more time!
This woman, oh my goodness, this woman was amazing. She was funny, and brilliant, and generous. Kind. Helpful. Did I mention funny? Woman could make me laugh until my sides ached, and tears ran down the sides of my face. And SHE said she was pleased to be MY friend! Crazy woman! I was the lucky one, she was willing to be my friend.
At the moment I cannot tell if I’m in the eye of the storm, or if it is just coming on. Perhaps it is moving out. All I know is I have endured so much pain and stress in the last 18 months that while I feel her loss like a physical hole in the middle of my body, it just seems like a continuation of the ongoing suffering. I was hoping the storm was passing. I’m not sure it ever will.
The cyclone of guilt twisting my gut over all the evenings that I told her I couldn’t meet her at Barnes & Noble to talk about books and life because I had grading, or I had writing, a deadline approaching. That’s time I could have cherished in memory. The memory I have isn’t worth recalling, of grading 150 papers over Fahrenheit 451, or having to meet a writing deadline, because those really are DEADlines. But not dead like my friend is dead.
The thing is, I love storms. The smell of the earth receiving the rain, the sizzle of the lightning, and the way the hairs on my arms stand away from my skin. They make me feel alive.
Metaphorical storms I can live without. I promise. There’s a passel of new stuff coming over the horizon and moving closer every minute. Some of these things I asked for, others I was forced to take. How long can it last? Will the new things improve my life, as I hope, or will they merely weigh me further down?
I don’t know any of the answers, all I have are questions. As Nick Cave says, “…and we call upon the Author to explain.”