"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Sunday, May 25, 2014

For Barb

This is it, folks.  It's happening.  Just like I said it would and hoped it wouldn't. 


So, if you recall, back in December, I wrote a post for a good friend of mine, Bill.  He got a kick ass job in Ottawa and moved his stupid jerk face 5 hours away.  It was so sad and awful and I was fully convinced that it was the end of the friendship.  I have been (gladly) proven wrong, and we still chat, and even occasionally see each other, although not as often as I would like.  I saw him in April.  I will see him again in June. 

See?  Stupid jerk face.

My one consolation in Bill's move was that Barb, Bill's wife and my good friend was still here.  She was present and accounted for.  We hung out and texted.  We went for lunches and dinners.  We saw movies, and had occasional drinks.  We were close, and, in my opinion anyway, we got closer.  We've been friends for about 16 or 17 years.  We will be friends for many more. 

Except now, that friendship will be long distance.  Sigh. 

Barb is moving.  Has moved.  Damn it.  She's there.  Today.  In Ottawa. 

I knew it was coming.  She had a fricking countdown, for Christ sake.  Doesn't mean I acknowledged it or thought about it or prepared myself for it.  When I texted her today, to tell her that I missed her and that I hoped her drive was good (all the while showing off my pretty blue nails and rubbing it in), she reminded me that we had literally seen each other 16 hours before. 

She was right.  We spent much of yesterday together.  I have seen her at least once or twice a week for months and months.    And that is why I hate so much that she is gone. 

Barb and I met originally because she was the cool girl, the ONLY girl working in the comic shop with Geoff.  She and Geoff were friends first.  I remember the first couple of times we met.  We had very little in common.  She was going to a thing to play magic.  I was going because I had nothing better to do.  She could talk comics and games with the best of them.  I was looking for a bar.  But despite of that, I liked her.  Very much.  I wasn't intimidated by her.  I wanted to be friends.  Very badly, I wanted to get to know her.  To hang out, and gossip and mock everyone around us. 

Barb was in my wedding party, on Geoff's side.  She did my hair on my wedding day. 

I was more nervous to tell Barb that I was pregnant with Sebastian than I was to tell my own parents.  When she welled up and hugged me and was genuinely happy for me, I was thrilled.  I knew she wasn't going anywhere.

When she got married, I threw her what was probably the lamest shower ever.  It was me and her and 2 other friends.  Instead of being horrible, it was fantastic.  We drank and talked dirty and honest and laughed for hours and hours. 

Over the years, we would fall out of touch.  Temporarily.  But it happened.  And then suddenly I would realize I hadn't talked to her or seen her for months.  So, I would call or text and tell her to get her ass out to where ever it was that I was.  Very literally sometimes, that was the message.  Most times, she did.  She got her ass there.

We've seen concerts together.  Danced together.  Laughed hysterically together.  We have travelled.  Did you know that Barb makes the best ass-butter in the world?  It's true.  But only if you are special enough for her to go through the effort.  Apparently, I am worth it.  To her, anyway.

Our most recent trip together was Cuba, last November.  I remember the one afternoon.  Bill went back to their room for a nap.  Everyone else had something going on, it seemed like- shopping, eating, whatever.  So for a couple of hours, it was me and my Barbie girl, chilling under the burning sun.  We did the swim up bar more than once.  We talked.  And talked and talked.  I cried, a little.  Tough as nails Barb did a little bit too. (FYI, she is very seriously one of the toughest ladies I know.  I have seen her break, a couple of times.  I consider it a testament to what she thinks of me, that she let me see that. )  But what I remember most from that afternoon was that feeling of connection.  It had been there since the days of Magic and Gametronics, and fuck me, it's still there today. 

The other day, when she needed a hiding place for a few minutes, she came to me.  I'm sure part of it was because I am home all day, I was close by and she knows my door is always open.  But that's it right there.  She knows my door is always open.  She picked me, and she walked though.  I am forever grateful. 

She had incredibly soft hair.  Did you know that?  And beautiful nails.  The best laugh.  Eyes that just get you, right in the feels. 

She calls me Sister Wife (or SW for short).  I feel like one of the cool kids, because I got a nickname. 

She loves opera.  On Race Car Day, as I was cooking and prepping, she played her favourite pieces for me.   She told me about what they are about.  What it's like at an opera.  She didn't make me feel stupid because I didn't know.  She shared a passion of her life with me, because she believed my life would be better knowing about it.  She was right. 

If I am wearing a necklace that looks different and amazing, ask me about it.  There is a 90% chance that Barb made it for me.  And then gave it to me.   For free.  FREE.  Just cause. 

Barb steals all my friends.  I make a new friend.  I love them.  I introduce them to Barb.  Next thng I know, Barb is friends with them now, OUTSIDE of me!  Jeez!!  Honestly, it's because she's awesome.  Everyone fricking loves her.  Drives me bananacakes.

Every year, I try and pick a new craft or something to do to make money for Sebastian's tuition fund.  What all you don't know, is that Barb does it too.  The first year she showed up at my house with an envelope stuffed full of bills, I was flabbergasted.  I had no words.  I remember, after she left, sitting on my kitchen floor.  I counted the money.  It was a full month of tuition.  I put my head on my knees and sobbed.   I couldn't believe it.  Quietly.  Unassumingly.  $5 or $10 at a time, she had put my son through a month of school.  No one asked her too.  She just did it.

So, now.  Now, she's with Bill and she is 5 hours away.  I miss her, like I am going to miss her tomorrow and next week and next month and next year.  I almost texted her today, asking if she wanted to go to a movie next week.   Silly me. 

How do you go on?  When parts of you pick up and leave?  How do you smile and laugh and joke with them, happy for their success and their happiness (because I truly am) when all you want to do is say-

Hey Barb.  I miss your stupid face.  Get your ass over here. 

I love you, SW.  I am so happy for you.  Good luck.  Come back.  All the fucking time, come back.

Love, Anita

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