Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mars enters Pisces

A strong surge of nostalgia arrives.

I live a very different life than most. I work alone and I live alone, this gives me plenty of time to let my brain wander off into all sorts of dark and interesting corners. There’s no denying the truth in this existence, with lots of time stripping reality bare boned. Sometimes I’m an optimist, other times I’m a pessimist — but the one denominator I can always boil myself down to is that I’m a lazy shit.

I live to lay in bed, sleep in and watch TV. I dream of laying in bed for days, vegging out on trash TV and eating candy. Something about that vegetative state makes me feel like I am in tune with whom I really am.

My friend Erika, a total hippie chick and a Cancer, which means she knew how to wield anger effectively to make her points, always had the best explanations for everything. It was her belief that since crystals give us energy and that in every TV there are crystals, in the inner tube, it’s the power of the crystal that keeps pulling us to look at it and focus on it; therefore TV is good for you. The crystals revitalize you.

Her theories were great. Another one was about how we were both shitty swimmers because we are water signs. She passionately explained, “We understand its power is bigger than us and it’s like calling us home when we get into it.”

She died almost 8 years ago.

“She’ll always be young,” is something I always hear when I think of her, as that is how another friend of mine responded when I told her Erika was gone.

Our friendship was one of those sudden ones, instant karma for sure. We bonded on a road trip to New Orleans. I met her a few weeks prior at a party; she was starting massage school and I just got out of college. She called me up one afternoon and asked if I wanted to go to New Orleans. I said, “Yah!”

As we were packing the car at her apartment, she fit a lead pipe up her jacket sleeve, then slid it out and put in it the car, saying dead seriously, “For when we go down south, just in case. I’m from Brooklyn, no one is going to fuck with us.”

How could I not love someone like that? Right then and there, my friendship was a done deal.

We had a sisterly bond, total equals. Neither of us dominated the other and we knew how to be there for each other. One of the last times we hung out was before she left NYC for good. She was done traveling with the circus, working crew, and trying to deal with Lupus. In her hospital room, we ate special brownies she had stashed in her drawer and played Operation. We had so much fun laughing, being stupid and having the munchies.

We hung out everyday and it was always a roller coaster of events with her family, boyfriend, etc. and ultimately she moved to Atlanta shortly after she got out of the hospital. The very last time I saw her was when she came up for her grandmother's funeral. We were at my place and it was just after my first book, Angst, came out. It was a compilation of teen poetry from a teen website I was the editor of. She had read the whole book from cover to cover, my only friend who did. She told me she was proud of me, because I was the only friend of hers that actually did what she said she would set out to do. That was special, it meant a lot to me and made me think of myself differently after hearing those words.

I think about Erika now, if she got to grow up and what she would of accomplished. She was diagnosed a few months after graduating Swedish Institute of Massage and basically the disease rendered her degree useless, as it was her hands that were the first to go. No doubt, she would of continued in the healing arts, being a hippie chick and coming up with more irrefutable explanations for our shortcomings and vices.

Being that she was such that ethereal type, I didn’t so much mourn her after she died, but rather thought of our friendship going into another realm. After she died, I didn’t think death was the worst thing that could happen and that we were still connected, her energy would always be present. Plus, before she passed, we both joked about if it anything were to happen to us, we could visit the other, but not scare them. No turning on lights in a room. Today, I totally felt her and it didn’t freak me out, but made me sad.

Erica and I on our New Orleans road trip, at Graceland. (Me left, Erika right)