Thursday, May 12, 2011

Dear Jenny

Well, here it is, once again on the eve of your anniversary. I'm sitting in my bed with three cats wearing some tattered pajama pants covered in snowflakes and leaping reindeer with a "Free Ireland" t-shirt on top. Its laundry night. But that's really just an excuse. I'm mis-matched in a lot of ways pretty much all the time lately.

And yes, you totally read that right. Three of them. I know how much you hated cats. But don't you judge me because you and Kyle owned one so you understand how these things can just happen to a person. One of them is really fat and loves attention from everyone. I think you'd like her. Oh! And by the way, Ella's still here. Remember when we first got her and she would bang her hamster ball against the wall until the lid came off and she could run free? Her personality hasn't changed at all.

Things are looking up around here and you know why? ITS ALMOST SUMMER. And I tell you, this winter outstayed its welcome worse than the never ending string of desperately hopeful boys that used to hang out in your practice room. It was snowy and cold and snowy and freezing then snowy again. But I got through it by the power of some really great people and cheap beer. (Learned from you).

In any case, there's something I want to talk to you about. A few months ago, I turned 30. Seriously. And so much has happened…..I've moved to a neighborhood full of artists and dive bars. I go to shows and listen to music you would hate. (Mostly). I'm flat broke but I still buy clothes instead of food sometimes (remember when you used to wake me up at like, 9 AM by jumping on the bed so we could go shopping then scrape up some leftover rice in the fridge for lunch? I bought the shoes too, by the way).

And lately, I've been having these moments……remember when we used to scheme? We'd sit in the living room watching terrible movies with David Duchovny in them and talk about the crazy shit we planned on for our futures? Like your plan to own a pet giraffe and live in a grain silo so you'd have a place to keep him when the weather was bad? Or how about the island we were going to buy and build a house called The Leper's Asylum both because we were crazy and also because we wanted people we didn't invite to stay away? I want you to know that you were correct. The tarmac for the private jet needs to be on the other side of the island from the swimming pool. It *would* be too loud otherwise and also might scare the tigers.

And then remember when we used to talk about how, no matter what happened with the rest of our lives, we were going to move into the same nursing home and be crazy old ladies hobbling around together with bright pink tennis balls on the bottoms of our walkers?

The more time goes by, the more it sinks in that this isn't ever going to happen. Many things aren't ever going to happen. Even the ridiculous shit that probably wasn't ever going to happen but maybe could have isn't ever going to happen.

And I really, really hate it when I hear the phrase "life is too short!". Because life is too fucking short. Your life was too short. And I wish more than anything else that you weren't an example in this way. I wish that, instead of thinking "Shit, I need to start living because my life could be over in an instant" I could think "Shit, I need to buy that plane ticket to visit Jenny. What do giraffes eat for snacks?" And I still feel so sad and sometimes I feel guilty and sometimes I'm angry with you for going away so soon after I got you back. But Jenny, I miss you and I love you and the best I can do when these days I have is to keep scheming and moving and learning and doing things most people are afraid to do. Because even Ella figured out early on that stuck in a hamster ball is not the way to be. And you never once lived your life that way either.

And tomorrow night, I will wear this ridiculous dress and heels that I've changed into just now and a bunch of people you've never met will toast to you. And I wish you could have met them, Jen. I really do. They would love you and I have no doubt you would love them. But this is the way it is and this is the way it will always be. I wish I could say for sure that I'll see you again but I don't really believe that I will. All I can do is keep some of you here and do the best I can to honor that bit and to hell with what normal people do with their lives. These are the risks we believed in taking. And its what will set us free.


1 comment:

  1. I love you, Maggie. Keep banging the hamster ball against the wall...and in your old age, you will find another kooky old lady with pink tennis balls on the bottom of her walker...because you attract those people. The people that live life to the fullest.