Deeper than blood
What’s up, reader?
I’m back in Chicagoland. The flight itself was easy, it was the nearly 24 hours preceding said flight that were a struggle.
For one, United denied Abe boarding since he was nervous barking (saw that coming, and more about that later), and Sarah had to come get him.
Sarah took me to the airport. We decided, together, in the last days of my life in Arizona, that we wanted to have a peaceful divorce — inasmuch as possible, and that we want to always be friends because we do care about and love one another, always, and have simply grown in different directions. And reader, my heart is more at peace having had an opportunity to break bread with, and hug goodbye, the person who brought me to Arizona.
As for United: the flight out of Tucson was delayed from noon until 6 a.m. the following day. I slept in the airport and made friends with a woman who was trying to get back to Zambia, while responsible for her two brothers who spoke not one lick of English. “Welcome to America,” I smirked, as we settled into our couch beds in the “gallery” of Tucson International. She laughed, “Yeah. It’s great.”
Did you know Zambia is where Victoria Falls are? My geography is bad, and when I was trying to fall asleep on the couch bed in the airport, I was Googling the country. I was like “Shit, that looks beautiful. I want to go there, too.”
Alas, I am now happily in Chicagoland. And everything is going to be okay. More than okay, methinks.
Megan and I are building a roadtrip playlist. The playlist is as all-over-the-place as our more than quarter century of friendship.
We’ll be flying out to Tucson together in early March for Operation Get Abe. Once we have my barky dog, we’ll drive cross country to bring him to Chicago.
I’ve known Megan since I was 18.
We met on the shores of Lake Michigan, during our first week of college. We were coming out of a class together when she turned to me and said, “Can I ask you a personal question?” And I was a little reticent because I was 18 and full of secrets and reluctantly said “I guess.” Her “personal question” was “do you smoke weed?”
And with those words, a friendship was born.
And though we no longer need to bond over drugs and booze, we still know how to have a good time together. No one on the planet — no one — can make me laugh as hard as Megan. Honestly, I sometimes think she’s the only person on earth who gets my humor.
We are also both pretty well versed on a number of different subjects, so we seldom run out of things to discuss. Moreover, we have a quarter century of shared — often wild, hilarious, and ridiculous — experience. There are some friends who become like siblings, deeper than blood, and Megan is one.
Later I’m having dinner with Kristine and her family. Kristine is another “deeper than blood” ride-or-die.
And I know the expression is “thicker than water,” but I do not like that expression because it is stupid and so I will not use it.
This afternoon, Macbeth with my aunt and uncle. Tonight, dinner with a bff. Tomorrow off to my sister’s place. I feel safe, reader. The wagons have circled around me and I feel “safe” for the first time in years.
I really think I was having or on the precipice of having some kind of mental health crises. And I feel better today having ate, drank water, and slept properly last night thanks to a little much needed motherlove from my ma. I’m so very lucky, at 45, to still be able to have a ma to love on me.
And it’s cold here, fuckers. I woke up this morning in my childhood bedroom, face frozen, and later told mom I “slept like a Russian baby.” (A Russian friend once told me about Russians sometimes bundling their babies and having them sleep on balconies in the cold for deeper sleep — she might have been bullshitting me, but I’ve been using the “snuggled Russian baby” image to get myself to sleep ever since.
Speaking of Russia . . .
Nah. Fuck it.
Don’t want to spoil my good mood with that shit today.
My heart and solidarity is with Ukraine.
On Tuesday, one of my former students from the school called me.
This is a student I grew very close to in my short time at the Tucson school.
I love this kid so much and would have stolen him away to Chicago if he didn’t have a dad who loved him, which he does have.
And though he had a dad, he had other deep struggles that I could not know. I mean, I knew the broad outlines of his struggles, but how we feel our pain, how we act on our pain as humans is as varied as fingerprints. And this kid was hilarious. And this kid was creative. And when he wasn’t under the scrutiny of his peers, this child was a love.
And he called me on my phone.
And I missed the call, so I called him back even though he was in school.
And I got him on the phone. And I told him to promise to keep sending me rap lyrics, to keep writing them, and if, as he plans, he becomes a famous football player, he’ll remember his lil’ ol’ English teacher. He laughed.
And then though I knew it might embarrass him, I said, “I love you, little brother.” And without hesitation, he said, “I love you, too, Gruber.”
And that, folks, is what this life is all about.
To be love.
To go in love.
Be good & go in love, hooligans.