“Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.” – from Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher (More great Carrie quotes)
And now Debbie Reynolds has died. That is truly heartbreaking. At least she didn’t have to live with losing her daughter, I suppose. While I was with friends last night, we looked at a list of everyone we’ve lost this year. (Popsugar: Celebrities We Lost in 2016) Big names, names we loved and cherished. It is amazing how attached we become to these great people, even if we never actually knew them in the flesh. It speaks to the power of art and celebrity, of accomplishment and adoration. We were all joking that they knew something we didn’t. I suggested it was a form of the rapture coming to take them before dealing with whatever disaster is heading our way. (Hurricane Trump, for instance) If I think about it that way, it’s a little less depressing. Except for us. We’re screwed.
“If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.” – from Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Reconnecting with close, old friends is one of the unique pleasures of life. Even if we don’t see each other for months or years at a time we can ease back into effortless companionship. I have been incredibly lucky in my life with friends. I don’t collect mass quantities of them but I do collect quality, intense, deep relationships. There are at least a dozen “chosen family” in my life who I would trust with anything. It definitely made for a big wedding party. My friends have been there for me through all the trials and tribulations of my crazy little life. I don’t know what I would do without them.
The best thing about these friends is their extreme patience. I’m “backing away from Hell” at the moment, pulling myself away from the despair of the past few years. These friends don’t walk on eggshells. They don’t coddle, they don’t treat me any differently than they ever have before even with everything that’s happened. That’s not true of everyone. Some people aren’t quite sure how to talk to me right now, especially since I’ve been fairly isolated for the last 6 months. It’s so liberating, motivating, reinforcing, strengthening, to be around people that you love and who love you no matter what.
We had an amusing experience with an Uber driver last night. We were in Hoboken, not far outside the city, and called a car. When he got there, once we had gotten loaded in, he asked us where in Seacaucus we were headed. We all tilted our heads and glanced at each other. “Umm, we’re going to Queens?” someone said. “And Manhattan,” someone else added. “Oh, uh, well,” our driver mumbled, “my EZ pass doesn’t work right now. But I can get cash.” Before any of us could recover, he had left the driveway and was heading who knows where. After a minute he pulled into a gas station, left the car running, asked the attendant to put gas in, and got out to head to the ATM. “What the hell is going on?” one of the girls asked. Not only were we sitting in a running car being filled with gas, we were in the hands of a driver who clearly had no idea what was going on. We concluded that we would make sure that he wasn’t charging us for that time and debated whether we wanted to get a new car. We hadn’t made a decision when he came back, got in the car and said, “Do you just want me to bring you back to where I picked you up?” We were all super confused by now and this didn’t help. We must have communicated that yes, that was fine, are we being charged, no, great, why did you take this job, and what the hell. Back at our point of departure, we unloaded the car, gathered ourselves, called another car, and marveled at what had just happened. Unique. He was…unique.