Come Together Pull Apart

Once again our lives slowly slide together and then come apart as if on a timed schedule and walking the same tight rope.  You and I went from talking every day, often multiple times a day in late July and early August, to hardly talking for these past three days because of visitors and engagements.  I hope I.M.’s visit was wonderful.  I hope you guys caught up and laughed a lot over silly shit.  Over here, a dear friend, has been visiting from Kenya with her two beautiful daughters and a good time was had by all.  (When we were not breaking up squabbles between her two girls and my niece.)  Oddly enough both you and I said goodbye to our visitors on the same day and it left both of us feeling a bit melancholy.

Marilyn is one of those people where whenever she’s around everything feels absolutely right.  She was my sister’s friend first but I just sort of hollowed out a hole for myself there.  She has this way of bringing a certain amount of magic to every activity.  She has lived probably nine lives in what I believe to be eight different countries (covering North America, Africa, Asia and Europe).  She is full of brilliant ideas, funny, thoughtful and has a billion amazing stories to tell.  During age 19 – 20, I pretty much exclusively hung out with she and my sister rather than my classmates my age.  They are five and eight years older than me, so you can imagine what that was like.  If you’ve ever watched the British show Absolutely Fabulous, imagine the two leads as younger, black women.  Edwina has a daughter named Saffy who is a total stick in the mud but the absolute voice of reason . . . obviously, that was me (the non drinker).  Marilyn asked me recently why I put up with their shenanigans.  Well because it was funny.   Sometimes, that is all the reason I need to stick around.

Now they’ve both got kids (and one of them is pregnant and about to pop) and we still laugh a lot and usually about the same stuff.  They just don’t party as hard or stay up as late.  Rest assure, I am still the butt of every joke (just in case you were worried).  Yesterday we took the girls to the pool at the gym.  I went down a high speed water slide complete with tunnel, which made me incredibly nauseous and spat me out into the water like a cannon ball.  As I popped up from the water looking super confused and disoriented, I just knew they were laughing at me.  And they were.   As was the life guard who tried to make me feel better by saying “That one’s a bit fast, isn’t it?”

Meanwhile good old Pregs McGhee (my loving nickname for my sister) was clutching her belly and Marilyn was doubled over with laughter.  Just like the good old days . . .

I spent the week getting to know her daughters who are both as quirky as they are stunningly gorgeous.  You haven’t lived until you’ve felt the humiliation of scolding a 3-year-old and 5-year-old in French only to have them laugh triumphantly at your poor accent.  Every night Marilyn and I would stay up late talking and catching up for the last ten years.  She keeps telling me I have to come visit them in Kenya before they relocate and I KNOW that I have to.  But I also have to come visit you!  How the hell will I afford this all?  It’s a tough life having friends in cool places eh?  C’est dommage!

–  Aja


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