I am packing my books, pulling the dusty tomes down from a high shelf, when my dead friend’s poetry chapbook falls and hits me on the head. It is hot pink and stapled at the fold.
How I felt about her art always changed with how I felt about her, and our complicated friendship. It was:
Raw, vulnerable, essential…
Indulgent, sentimental, over-exposed.
Shifting all the time.
She made me angry and delighted. She was the one I called every day, with whom I shared a secret band name even though neither of us had any musical talent whatsoever. The one who got a matching tattoo. The one who was always spilling over at the edges. The one whose laugh was not very ladylike- almost exactly like mine. She made me feel less alone.
Dammit, I think, when I pick up the book. There goes my night. Now I’m gonna cry and hit the chocolate. I don’t have time for this. I’m moving, after all. Deadlines, kid on spring break, busybusybusy.
And then I slide down the wall, sit cross-legged on the carpet, and begin to read. How marvelous. To pause and have a visit with her tonight. When all I could think of was a to-do list.
I will meet you anywhere anytime, Jennifer Grant. I miss you every day, my friend.
I am grateful that the universe saw fit to drop her poetry on my head tonight.