L'Ailee and I so often have parallel things going on in our lives. A friend at her work has been scaling back and back and finally left for good today due to illness. In his case, it is early-onset Alzheimer's. We didn't know it could hit before age 40. She works at a gym, teaching martial arts. He was an instructor, too. He will be working part-time elsewhere, in a job he wouldn't have considered just a year ago. Healthwise, he did everything annoyingly right! He helped L'Ailee finally quit smoking, and eventually even talked her out of wearing nicotine patches and chewing the gum. He's only a few years older than us. L'Ailee doesn't want to talk about it. I can give only hugs and the lobster salad that she loves to eat and I hate to make and an ear when she's ready. Sometimes I want to force that girl to open up, but I know (now) that it never works. She'll talk when she wants. Tonight, she wanted to punch her speedbag until it broke off the chain and almost through the window. That probably said enough.
I know that some of my blog's readers are dealing with cancer, either in themselves or someone they love. Therefore, I don't want to alarm anyone unnecessarily. But my friend, who used to be my work friend, called me from several states away tonight. She and the family she created moved back to her hometown, close to her parents. She used to laugh and tell stories about the place that made it sound backwards as hell. She's not doing well. It's a hell of a horrible thing when a person goes through chemotherapy and has *all* the horrid side effects that can come with it, but cancer is still spreading inside of her. I know some people who have danced with cancer and won. They had surgery, they went through chemo, they came out the other side. It's treatable, damn it! But not always. Ten years ago, another friend of mine danced with cancer for the fourth time in her short life, and it finally claimed her at age 23. I'm far enough past that age now that it seems hopelessly, tragically young. I haven't seen 44 yet, unlike my friend who's struggling now. That seems too damned young, too. I hate committing these words to writing. But it's her doctor's words that count, really.
Things happen on their own time, the Gods' time, the Fates' time, whatever. They happen. It's always too soon for us. My father died of a heart attack when he was 38. My maternal grandfather said mean and horrible things about him to me. In a fit of childish rage, I asked my aunt why he was still alive and my father had to die so young. My aunt told me that God wanted good company around him, so sometimes he'd take people young while they were good and keep bad people around for a very long time so they'd have a chance to become good. She says now that she came up with that on the fly just to comfort me. It worked. I still think on it, though I don't believe in the male and monotheistic vision of God that she does anymore. We try to comfort ourselves and make things make sense.
All around us, things happen. In Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, the real power, is threatening even more death and chaos if protests continue.. Protests are continuing. I am amazed by their courage. I am amazed that Twitter and YouTube are helping to feed their spirits and get their message out, too. I never thought I'd find anything of real worth on Twitter, but I guess when you have something of real worth to share, you can bend anything to your service. I keep praying and hoping. And North Korea's crazy-ass government is threatening to test missiles by Hawaii. I keep praying and hoping about that, too. Japan's government told ours about it. They know what happened last time an Asian country decided to try something in Hawaii, and it wasn't even a state then. Now it's our president's back porch. I hope hope hope that whatever the rest of do, it won't all be demolished by people with too much power and not enough compassion.
I think on Dorothy Parker's words, yet again:
Eat, drink, and be merry
Make love the whole night through
For tomorrow, we may die!
But, alas, we never do.
I have cheerier links.
L'Ailee and I are very happy about this. Yes, we're actually happy about something. We hyphenated our very ethnically divergent last names three years ago, in the same order, as a show of solidarity when we were forcibly legally "divorced" by judges in Massachusetts. (We are now legal again.) We have been unable to get our hyphenated last names onto our passports. Now same-sex couples can use their married names on their passports, like mixed-sex couples. Pitiful little crumb, but a tasty one. We'll take it.
We get to go to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade this weekend! We missed the past few for various reasons, such as having to be present while couples we'd matched got married. It takes place on the Summer Solstice every year. I'll be having a quiet celebration with a circle on Saturday night, but this seems like a really good way to kick off summer. My friend Yemaya says it's a blast. We're going to skate at the Mermaid Parade Ball, too, since we've already been doing that lots on streets and sidewalks. We're missing the Sonoma road race, but that's fine--road races kinda bore us, and anyway, you can't get a Sprint mobile recap on the Mermaid Parade and Ball.
Ah, it's Father's Day, too, and we can't completely pretend it doesn't exist. The bisexual fathers in your life might be oh so pleased to know that an animal species has recently been discovered to have plenty of good bisexual dads within it. How about...cockroaches? Now I'll feel all guilty next time I get out the bug spray...for a second...
I guess because of the recession, record labels are issuing a *lot* of new product from artists that were popular in the 1990s. Maybe they think thirtysomethings are nostalgic; maybe they're nostalgic for our CD-buying habits! That said, I'm loving Sonic Youth's new one, "Sacred Trickster", and not just because of the title. It is sooo good and sooo short that I must play it twice in a row every time! This doesn't irritate anyone at all. ;-)
Finally, wasn't this post blessedly hockey-free? The Front Porch hasn't been that way for two months! However, I'm going to ruin that by sharing this. I about choked when I saw it, because I'd joked over at Pensburgh that someone might have to tell Sidney Crosby he can only get to first base with the Stanley Cup, what with all the kissing he was doing to it. So here he is sleeping (or passed out) with the Stanley Cup! I think it's almost as good as Kyle Busch's smashing of his guitar-trophy. L'Ailee sniped, "He looks like a college boy on MySpace." I can see that, but he's also the captain of my NHL team with the Cup, and, um, that's what counts.