Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Leaving Home

Now, comes the time when I start talking about my life. The deeper stuff, the more painful stuff. Lessons that actually change people are not little. And for me to be the compassionate woman I am today, well, it was a long journey. I had a very,very happy childhood. Magical, really, the childhood people dream of. a beautiful house in the country with pets, and gardens, and passages, and books. But there are always say,three days, in your whole life that change your course utterly. Mine was a day when I was a senior in high school. I was sick that year. For the ENTIRE year. Lyme Disease. My mom had been diagnosed with cancer, but at that time, there was hope. For us kids anyway. Our parents, in retrospect, knew better. One day, my mother woke me up from my nap. She was absolutely ashen, but calm. And she told me I "needed to start packing." She didn't specify what. I didn't understand. So, while she went to pick up my sisters at school, I looked around....and thought about what I should pack. I decided on an overnight bag, with a small photo album, and only a few days worth of my clothes. I sat and waited. My mom came home and was upset. She had meant the whole house. I have no idea where my father was-I found out later he was unreachable in court. This was the house I grew up in, spent my whole life in. And we walked out with my cat, my dog, and overnight bags. My parents put everything in storage, which we ended up never retrieving. My last memory of my house was clutching my cat and looking over my shoulder at the house getting farther and farther away. After a moment, I looked forward. I would be lying if I said I didn't know life as I knew it was over. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012


On tuesday early, early in the morning....6 am early-I checked my facebook. It may have been tuesday-I can't remember. And knew something was wrong. I had chills as I scrolled-looking at memorial posts for a friend of mine. I had just spoken to him-he was the first birthday wish I had. He checked in regularly-I knew something was wrong, and I texted him everyday. He always got back to me. Always, and fast. Until wednesday. I think....last wednesday...he never ever, complained. He told me about his neighborhood in NYC, his friends who were so close to him, much closer than his parents. He told me to get a passport because I was the kind've girl who needed one for my adventures, and knew I was afraid of flying-which he started to remedy by telling me about his duct taped adventures in Thailand. I was shocked, but it worked. If Anthony-aka Dare- was ok, well, wouldn't I be? He was so funny, went to Columbia, loved clothes. I started texting him pics of dresses I liked immediately, and he was like-"yes" or "no". So funny. I do that. No one's ever done it for me. He was proud.  He made sure that I knew he was a safe place to be, even if he was a big, fighter guy. We laughed about a satire on  "booty dancing" that was one of the dirtiest, funniest, non-pc threads I have ever loved. Both text and Facebook. It went on for an entire day-and was made even funnier because I was sitting, working, and looked up and "Save the Last Dance" was on...the scene where Julia Stiles is being taught to grind. I started cracking up-because he was so smart with his humor, so on target. I joked that he needed to teach me to dance. He was going to, I totally swear. He was going to meet me, I swear. Just, not today. He wasn't good company. "But are you ok?" So like him, I've since found out from his old friends, his childhood friends. Apparently, I was inducted into a very special club. A funny, big-hearted club. And -yes-a club of really beautiful women. I'm not joking. You should see them .You should all talk to them,too. Amazing. And looking- I realized-if these women and men in his life, who were so there, on it, couldn't save him-no one could. Here's what I knew, and thought Dare did. Whenever someone asked him about Bacon-they were saying "I love you." Whenever someone teased him about his email habits and work and coffee, they were say "I love you".  Every text, every message, every phone call. I looked at the threads written, and realized he had talked of every single person. My heart breaks a little more with every, single brutal detail that comes out. I can't read anymore. I can't. But if he saw how people treated Bacon, he would know how much he will be missed. Because he was Ant's. I can't think of him as a news article. He is just too full of life for that. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Birthday girl

Today-it's my birthday. I made no plans except dinner with Meg. It's so funny to see where I am now-a little worried about where I'm going. When I was in first grade, I finished the entire Nancy Drew series. The WHOLE thing. All 63 books. The grown ups were impressed by my skills, but I loved her world. She was 18, had a car, a lawyer dad, and went around solving mysteries. She had two partners in crime, and a boyfriend. No mention of college. Or a job. But I never realized this at 6. She reminded me of my mom, who  knew how to dress for dinner, and knew how to be very ladylike. Perhaps she reminded me of me a little-since I was obsessed with information. Meg and I grew up in this old,old house that had more secrets than you can imagine. We found tunnels and secret rooms, turns out the house was listed as being in the Underground Railroad. So mysteries, secrets,stories, and history were all very, very real and human to me. We had the run of the place, and I remember riptailing down a huge hill to ride my bike through a stream to splash myself. Meg,too. We really had a great childhood.On our birthdays-Mom went all out. We had ponies, and clowns, and it was really funny-Meg and I were incapable of sharing friends. So-following the rules of invitation, I ended up with the boys in my party, and Meg the girls. This was a super small town, so we all knew each other so well, none of us objected, and we had one friend who was particularly good at shuttling between all the fun-Molly-who was officially Meg's friend. She brought us Strawberry Shortcake trays one time. Identical ones. So funny. Whenever we got gifts, it was always two identical things. So funny now, but when your six? We also have always had our own cakes and people sing separately. Last night, I hugged Meg, which I rarely do, and pinky swore she'd miss me. She asked where I was going. I told her we wouldn't be together forever, and we should enjoy our day. So tonight,we're having dinner, and I'm getting cupcakes-which will be different flavors. And we will toast each other. I love you, Meg. We still are partners in crime.