I notice it most on the rare occasions where T and I are hanging out with a larger-than-normal group of people (and by our standards, “larger-than-normal” really just means it’s not just me and her romantically day-drinking Bloody Marys in the middle of a sunny weekday afternoon): someone will say something that is immediately found mildly scandalous by no one else but ourselves and, like some kind of invisible, inner magnetic reaction, our eyes will slowly shift focus and meet for the briefest of seconds. She’ll subtly twitch her lips, I’ll arch one of my bush-man eyebrows by half a centimeter. And in that second, we’ll have had an entire conversation that goes a little something like this:
Her: WHAT THE FUCK.
Her: That was some fucking bullshit.
Me: I know, I kind of want to say something but I feel like that would just start shit.
Her: Yeah, we probably shouldn’t. We don’t wanna burn any bridges.
Me: But, at the same time….LET ‘EM BUUUUURN!
Our friendship – and I think pretty much every best friendship – is full of these little moments of secret communication. From the various and multifaceted non-verbal cues that allow us to rail against the asshole clipping his toenails right across from us on the bus (WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? WHY?), to the uncountable inside jokes that probably make us kind of obnoxious and annoying (but ADORABLE!) to hang out with, T and I have come to speak almost exclusively in our own ever-evolving code. A code in which:
We refer to ourselves in the first-person plural.
We don’t want to burn any bridges. Are we hungry? (Yes. Yes we are.) How do we feel about this candle with the suspicious smell? Because we are one, you guys – our love has become full-blown Aristotle that one time when he said that shit about a single soul dwelling in two bodies, or whatever the crap. We can’t go more than a week without seeing each other because then we’re just walking around with this scary phantom-limb kind of feeling, and we absolutely take to heart (with violent, merciless tenacity) the sentiment that if you hurt one of us, you hurt both of us. Whatever happens to your boo, happens to you.
Well, it’s no secret that Jayne and I love to write. And that we love to write together, hence our little writing retreats to those dreamy small towns.
It’s once we’re back in the city that things get a little more difficult to orchestrate. There are errands, work schedules, and all kinds of other adult stuff to manage. We barely make time for our boba trips, you guys.
But on the rare occasion that we can make time to write together, it’s like magic.
First of all, there’s food involved (who’s surprised? Show of hands!), because we know that you can’t work on an empty stomach.
In this case, Jayne prepared a delightful breakfast, thoughtfully taking into account my Passover eating restrictions (alas, no French toast for me this time). I’d like to point out that Jayne is pretty much always aware of any dietary restrictions I have and makes sure to account for them, like a sweet grandmother doting on her spoiled, fat grandchild. Like, “Oh, no, he mustn’t have dairy, it upsets his little tummy.”
Anyway, no good writing happens without good fuel, so Jayne has that covered. Continue reading →
So, occasionally, when I’m walking down a street that smells like urine, or on a bus that smells like urine, or standing in line behind someone who smells like urine, I try to nurture whatever zen I have left that hasn’t been completely obliterated from years of tupperware-stored rage by imaging myself in my own life movie. A movie where I am a power-hungry collection development librarian who’s successfully using her position at the forefront of mass literacy to quietly and mercilessly eviscerate the 50 Shades of Greys, Twilights, and One-Eyed Dukes Are Wilds (yes, my friends, that is a real book) of the world. A movie where Jeffrey Eugenides, Jennifer Egan, and I frequent a local pub crawling with the literati to reminisce about our first National Book Award. A movie where my first sighting as a warlord is standing in a remote jungle in the Philippines next to a vast and ominous, dark red puddle – soundtracked, of course, by Okkervil River’s “Piratess” (because how perfect are the lyrics, “Oh, murderess in the wilderness with your victims all around you / Their combined love forms a pool your knife’s reflected in”?).
Ah, yes – the soundtrack. Now we’ve come to it. (“It?” you ask. Yes, it – the point of that elaborate first paragraph; the point, in fact, of this entire post! HUZZAH! WE ARE HERE!) It goes without saying that any movie, real or imagined, starring yours truly is going to have a soundtrack developed by none other than this music elitist herself. And it also goes without saying that no movie of my life would be complete without my better-looking half. So, humor me, friends – a movie with me and Boo, would probably go a little something like this:
1. Food me!
Anyone who knows us knows that Boo and I take our dining very, very seriously. The love there may not compare to the love we have for each other, but believe me, it is in the top 3 of our greatest loves of all time. It knows no bounds, no caloric limits, no fears of diabetes or elderly obesity. It has, and will continue to, conquer all. And with a love so passionate and pure, there is no song to celebrate that moment when you and food first lock eyes than this Marvin Gaye classic.
I think one of my all-time favorite things to do with my boo, more than eating burgers or marathoning movies, is daydreaming.
I think daily life has a good grasp on keeping us grounded in reality (read: crushing dreams) and judging by the number of memes about 20-somethings experiencing some kind of quarter-life crisis, I think we’re not the only ones who sometimes feel that way.
So whenever Jayne and I get together, it’s like therapy. We don’t just eat, listen to rock, and laugh–we encourage each other to imagine and dream. Much like a good book might do.
Yes, I just compared hanging out with my best friend to reading a book. And everyone who reads knows that’s a huge compliment.
Here’s what we’re dreaming about…
Where We’ll Go
There’s probably not enough vacation time in the world for all the trips we’ve got planned. And the fun thing about trip planning with Jayne (besides the fact that we see eye-to-eye on all the scrumptious things we want to try) is that there’s always writing involved.