Night Music

Listening to the soundscape of dripping water outside as the most ordinary of rains falls on the San Fernando Valley tonight. My kitty a warm cashew in her platform bed at my knee.

When nothing special is special is a luxurious space to be in. Kindness from a friend, then a neighbor helped me write a condolence letter at the unexpected death of another friend. I never wanted to write that particular letter. Never. But Cheryl died with the embrace of her dearest friend and I needed to thank that person who was able to say that hard, loving goodbye.

A good part of my book is about Cheryl and our teenaged friendship. Cheryl made kindness look easy. She was a cute girly-girl with a turned-up nose, who’d share her last cigarettes, loved going on drives and knew how to wedge a pack of matches into the 8-track player, so it would play as we sang along.

We’d drive out to Dead Man’s Curve to sit, smoke, and look at the city. I’d squint to imagine little Kodiak, population 8-thousand, was the big city I longed to live in. A city where anything I wanted to buy was in the stores, and nobody died when their boat went down. Cheryl dreamed of college. I don’t have a single photo of her, or of us together.

My keyboard’s become an unexpected Ouija board.

I’d gotten my first box of my book and sent a copy to Cheryl. As always, she said the perfect thing – “You said you were going to do it and you did. I’m so proud of you!”

I’m so lucky I wrote her a letter telling her I loved her and what her friendship had meant to me. Before I knew she was ill, as she never told me.

– Think I’ll just listen to the rain

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