Friday, November 28, 2008
Grandma: Hi Gracie, Honey.
Grace: Hi Grandma! It was so great to see you yesterday.
Grandma: Oh, Grace, honey, you too...Listen, I feel terrible for what I said to you yesterday. You know I think you look more beautiful than you've ever looked before. You needed to put on some weight.
Grace: Oh, Grandma! Please don't feel terrible. I didn't think twice about it! (actually I cried driving home. I'm vain like that.) I love you so much!
Grandma: I love you, too, Sweetheart. Grace?
Grace: Yeah, Grandma?
Grandma: I know you're very busy, but please, will you just call me a little more? I miss you so much.
Grace: I miss you, too Grandma.
Grace's Brother, Charlie Manson: Hey.
Grace: Oh... Hey, Charlie Manson. Umm... How are you?
Charlie Manson: Fine...So, what's up?
Grace: Well, since last we talked well over a year ago, I got the job I really wanted, I graduated from law school, I studied for the bar, took the bar, and passed the bar, started my job, got a condo, lost my condo, and moved.
Charlie Manson: Cool. So, I hear Grandma called you fat.
Grace: Uh. Yeah. That happened yesterday. Are you telling me you know that grandma called me fat, but you didn't know that I passed the bar?
Charlie Manson: I don't remember if I knew that or not. Listen, she's old. She's gonnna say fucked up things.
Grace: Charlie Manson, I don't care. Like, at all. It's not a big deal. What is a big deal is the fact that you and Ann Coulter can't be in the same room together.
Charlie Manson: Well, she's a bitch. Sorry you got called fat.
Grace: Hi Mom.
Mom: Hi sweetie. How're you coping?
Mom: You know, after the incident...
Grace: The incident?
Mom: With Grandma. You know... what she said?
Grace: Oh, you mean when she called me fat?
Mom: She did not call you FAT. She told you she was glad you had put on some weight.
Mom: Stop being so difficult. I know you're sensitive, but you are NOT FAT.
Grace: Mom, I seriously don't care. It's fine. Let's just pretend it never happened.
Mom: OK. Just don't go overreacting and throwing everything in your refrigerator away. You're not working in Hollywood anymore. You don't HAVE to be that skinny.
Grace: I won't. I know. I know. (Too late, so what, and yes I do) Mom, I gotta go. I'm meeting some friends.
Mom: No, you're not. You're staying home and avoiding people. Don't lie to me.
Grace: OK. Mom. I gotta go. I'm avoiding people.
Mom: Bye Sweetheart.
Grace: Bye Mom.
Mom: Oh, and Grace?
Grace: Yes, mom.
Mom: You're not fat.
Grace: Um. Thanks. Bye.
Grace's Sister, Ann Coulter: You must be HORRIFIED.
Ann Coulter: Grandma calling you fat!
Grace: Ann Coulter, I REALLY don't care. And by the way, she didn't call me fat. She merely noted that I had put on some weight, which I had, and that I looked great, which, I DO, DAMMIT.
Ann Coulter: Oh, she just threw in that last part because you looked like you were going to cry, and she was trying to backpedal. She thought you looked fat. She didn't want you to get upset.
Grace: Ann Coulter, I DID NOT. I am not that shallow. (yes I am) I was NOT upset!
Ann Coulter: Oh yes you were. I KNOW you.
Grace: Yes, Ann Coulter! You are right. I was upset. I was upset because holidays SUCK, and I have to go to each and every one of them, because if I don't, the rest of you assholes will kill each other. I was upset because Charlie Manson wasn't there, and it made Mom sad. I was upset, because I had spent the morning working in bond court and it made me sad that all of the families of these drug addicts were spending their Thanksgiving morning bonding out their loved ones who were arrested the night before. And it all seemed so hopeless. I was sad that on this day where we were supposed to be giving thanks for everything we have, I couldn't wrap my head around how incredibly unfair the world is. I was upset because dad didn't call to wish me Happy Thanksgiving. I was sad that I don't know how to relate to people anymore. And I was sad because I knew that this was just the beginning of a long holiday season of feeling horrible. So you're right. I was upset.
Ann Coulter: Oh Sweetie. (pause) We could go on a diet together!!!
Grace: Um. OK. Thanks, Ann Coulter. Love you. Gotta go. I'm tired.
Ann Coulter: Yeah, by the way, you REALLY should use that under eye cream I sent you. You looked tired. Bye. Love you.
Grace turns her phone off..
Grace's Phone: You have one new message. First new message...
Grace's Dad: Hi Sweetie. Sorry I didn't call you yesterday. I couldn't find the damn phone. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and I love you very much. And I talked to your mom. She told me to tell you that no matter what, you're not fat. Love you. Call me later.
Grace's Dog: You look like a man. A FAT man.
I can't wait for Christmas.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
You are the child who was always positive, fun, delightful to be around, willing to do and try anything. You are the child who brought great joy to me and your father. You are the child who accomplished great things. You have been throughout your life a great source of pride for me as your mother. You were, and continue to be, all these things. I am forever grateful that you are my daughter.
I probably haven't said any of this lately, and I just wanted to tell you.
I think she really wants me to come to Thanksgiving dinner.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
It's been a few months now. A few great months. No complaints. You've been steady, and precise, and reliable. Every time, you get me where I need to be. Right on schedule.
I want us always to be honest with each other, and so I have something I must tell you. Please just listen...
As much as I adore you , lately I've been thinking of...other forms of transportation. Like, transportation from my past. Yes. The redline. We both know I'm talking about the redline. It used to be just a vague sort of longing, but lately, especially as the weather has gotten colder, I don't know. It's been something else.
So this morning, my alarm went off. I awoke from a dream where I had come in third place on America's Next Top Model, but I wasn't upset about third place because everyone at the waterpark thought I should have won, and they TOLD me so.
My bed was all warm and snuggly. My dog was tucked in the crook of my knee with her cute head asleep on my ankle. I was rested, and warm, and content. Then, I showered, did my hair, and got dressed. Then, everything changed. I went to walk the dog, and holy crap, my Darling. It was fucking cold! My frame of mind changed. Fast. I was obsessed with how long it would take for me to walk to you. And then after we were done with each other, (sometimes it's just TOO fast, you know?) I would have to leave you, just to walk out in the cold again.
And yes, my mind went there for a moment.
I could just jump in the car. I could be at the nearest station in five minutes.
But no. That's stupid. Metra is there. It's reliable. It's safe. It takes care of me. It won't let me down.
And the Redline. It's dirty, it's dangerous, it has loud talkers, it makes me late, it never shows up when it's supposed to. Oh GOD, and yet I CRAVE ITS SWARTHY, RUGGED, DEVIL-MAY-CARE UNPREDICATBILITY. It drew me in. I was weak.
Before I could stop myself, I jumped in my car, raced down the street, and parked near the closest station. I wouldn't let myself think for too long about what I was doing. As if in a trance, I walked in the station, dropped a ten dollar bill in the machine, pushed "vend" and got my ticket.
I slipped the ticket into the turnstile, and ascended to the platform. And, as if on cue, the redline showed up.
Maybe it would be different this time. Maybe everyone is wrong... maybe the redline CAN change...we had some good times. Some...magical times, even.
You don't need to know the sordid details of the commute, my love. Suffice it to say, I was 25 minutes late for work and I had orange peel on my pantyhose.
I am so sorry. I should never have strayed. I recognize now what I've done.
I hope you can forgive me.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Every year, you are consistently on my "Why I Hate The Holidays" list.
Have any of you people ever had dogs as pets? You have? Ok good. That's a start. So, you know when someone knocks on your door or rings your doorbell? What does your dog do?
Your dog BARKS. AND BARKS. AND BARKS. AND BARKS!!!
And as much as we may love our dogs, we probably love our dogs the least when they are hysterically barking at nothing.
So what kind of psycho, crazy, mean-spirited, Santa-hating, asshole WOULD MAKE A HOLIDAY COMMERCIAL THAT CENTERS AROUND A FUCKING DOORBELL?
Every time that commercial comes on which is, like 40 times a day, my dog who, admittedly, is as dumb as a box of rocks, goes crazy.
I will never, EVER eat your candy. And I hope your Christmas sucks. Asshole.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Army Girl inspired her troops, inspired her colleagues, and loved every minute of her service in the Army.
Army Girl and her fellow soldiers put their lives on the line to protect our "freedom"
Army Girl got hurt while she was there, a couple of times kind of seriously. She never backed down, though. She's a bad ass.
Army Girl, to this day, loves the army more than anything. I've listened to her for hours telling story after story of her amazing experiences in the army. Not one of which, I might add, had anything to do with macking on chicks.
You see, Army Girl was kicked out of the Army for being gay. For no other reason than that. It's totally unfair. And it MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE. But I'm not going to say anything bad about the military today. Because Army Girl wouldn't like that.
Today, everyone should thank the veterans in their lives. And while you're at it, feel free to thank Army Girl, too.
I love you, Army Girl! Thanks for protecting America. Sorry America didn't protect you back.
Oh, and Army Girl? Please stop trying to get me to eat spam. It's never going to happen. Just accept it.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Um. I miss you. A lot.
Today was a great day. I went to the the Artful Blogger's and Daisy's ceremony where they, along with 1,700 other people were admitted to the Illinois Bar. I was really proud.
Today, after the swearing in ceremony, Artful and his sister-in-law and I went to a little restaurant over by his condo. They had burgers. I had chili with lots of tabasco sauce. I truly don't know what food tabasco sauce wouldn't taste good on. We spent a bit of time telling the Sister-in-law little details of how we met. She either was really interested, or is the most gracious person in the history of life. I suspect a bit of both.
You died face down on a bed of a heroin overdose.
After lunch, we walked home in the rain, because none of us brought umbrellas. Truth be told, I don't really care about getting wet from the rain. I always end up looking the same. Sis-in-law left, and then Artful and I grabbed a cab back to our respective lawyerly jobs. Artful, for the first time, as a real attorney.
I remember two years ago. It was early in the morning and I was running off to class. And J called me. It was 7:00 am for me, so it was 5:00 am for her. Therefore, I knew something was wrong when I answered the phone, but for some reason, I played dumb anyway.
J: Hey sweetie. What are you doing?
Grace: Um... trying to get out the door and get to class.
J: Can you stop... for a second. And sit down and talk to me?
Grace: Yes. OK. I'm sitting down and talking to you. What?
J: He's dead. They found him today.
Grace: Of course he's dead. He's a junkie. That's what junkies do, they DIE. How many senior citizen junkies do you know? None, right? Why? Because JUNKIES. DIE. YOUNG. That's just the way it is. Junkies die. Um. How did he die?
J: Sweetie. No one knows. It was heroin. He was at his place in the desert. Some guy called and reported it. Can you skip class today? Do you want to come to L.A.? We'll buy you a ticket, ok?
Grace: No, thanks. I have a presentation due on abuse of subpoenas. I'm not going.
When I got to work this afternoon after the swearing-in ceremony, I walked into my office and there was this huge box on my chair. It was clearly a flower box. Apparently, it had caused quite some speculation in the office.
I opened the box, and there were two dozen of the most beautiful light purple long stemmed roses I had ever seen that Artful had delivered. OK. I actually had never seen light purple roses ever before. But, I'm certain the ones I got today were the most beautiful in the world. And also a bottle of the most perfect perfume ever tucked into the box. He was the one who was sworn in today. He was the one who deserved the lavish praise. Yet, he sends ME flowers. Awesome, right?
You were always so direct with your words. The one time I asked you why, you told me. You told me that heroin filled a hole in your heart that no person has ever been able to fill. I often have to remind myself not to take that too personally.
I was giddy all afternoon. Thinking of the way my life had changed since my fateful last year of law school, when every event that defines who I am today occurred. The good: J and E's wedding where I was the maid of honor and you were a groomsman, my last year of law school, final exams, traveling with Lilly and Kori, graduation, getting the only job I ever wanted, studying for the bar, passing the bar, traveling with Lilly and Kori more, starting my job. The bad: That one night in July, and, of course, your death.
"Phone died. Good night...talk to you tomorrow." That was the last I ever heard from you.
For the most part, life in Chicago is good now. Even though I've been ridiculously sick for the last week, and apparently I am still not better, things are good. I miss my Los Angeles life and my Los Angeles friends, but I am embracing and loving the life I'm making here.
Tonight I went out with VCU Girl, Squid, and the Dirty Hippie- three people who are fairly new in my life but who I now don't think I could live without. We had fun. We were saying goodbye to VCU Girl who is heading back to Virginia after volunteering on the Obama campaign. Oh, yeah. Senator Obama from Illinois is going to be president. I totally told you! Anyway, it was fun. We took a ton of pictures. Then, Dirty Hippie and I split a cab home. After I changed my clothes and walked the dog, I flipped open my computer to check my email. And there was your name, in the subject line.
"It is two years today since I got the dreadful news about ***. I can't bear to say the actual words. Two years of missing him and of trying to make sense of it. Time does not heal all wounds - at least not a parent's loss of a child. I know I have to turn this around somehow and make some sense of it all or do something positive in my son's memory. I just don't know what that is right now..."
I admit it. I forgot the anniversary of your death. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. If it's any consolation to you, I spent the entire night puking. Don't get overly flattered, though, if dead people can even feel flattered. I don't think it was a result of my feelings of guilt. I think I'm just still sick. But I really do feel bad. And everyone in LA is gathering to celebrate your life and to party in your honor. I can't be there, because... well, I'm broke, and, as previously mentioned, sick.
Your poor parents. This must be so hard for them. I can't even imagine. How dark did your world get that you didn't think of them? Of your sister? Of any of us...
Whatever. That's not important anymore. You're dead now. You died face down on a bed of a heroin overdose in the middle of that sucky ass desert that you loved so much. Your dogs were adopted, and your condo was sold. The candy jar I gave you was certainly thrown into the trash, or perhaps given to Goodwill. Maybe it holds someone's loose change.
"Grace...you are so very...Grace. That's a good thing. By the way, you look sort of like a pretty alien." Thanks, I think. For that.
Maybe my forgetting the anniversary of your death isn't really that bad of a thing. I certainly would not nor could not ever forget you, so does it really matter that I didn't remember that one little thing, when I have everything else memorized? Or is this a sign? Is it just a prelude, to slowly and after many years, eventually forgetting the color of your eyes, or the sound of your laugh, or your sense of humor, or maybe even your name? I hope not.
But, who knows? I would have bet money that I would NEVER forget the significance of this day. But I did.
So, I guess all I can say is that today I remember the color of your eyes, the sound of your laugh, your awesome sense of humor, and of course, your name. I remember your kindness, and your strength, and your intelligence.
I also remember your dark side. Your sad side. Your weak side. Your tormented side. I hope you are at peace now. Wherever you are.
Sorry I forgot your death anniversary, but I could never forget your death. Or your life.
I wish I could have saved you.