Pat and I have been friends since college, when we met at an on-campus work study job. One overcast day, as we filed endless GRE scores in old school filing cabinets, the subject of a mutual acquaintance’s suicide came up. The young woman ended her life by running a car in her mother’s garage. Since, I was friendly with the girl before she switched to Pat’s high school, I had a clear impression of her. She was a dramatic, but incredibly popular person. So I asked Pat, “God, where were her friends?”
Pat replied, “Well, they certainly weren’t in her garage.” Shocked by her own candor, her eyes widened (was she formulating an apology?). Before she could comment, I laughed. And laughed a little bit more. The world is too terrible to do anything but laugh at times. Pat spoke a brutal truth that all young women can relate to: you can be surrounded by a giggling squad, but they may never know you. They may never be there when you need them most.
We became instant best buddies. Now and then we snuck off early from work to drink mudslide cocktails behind A mountain. We cheerfully barfed on each other’s shoes. Our afternoons were so hilarious that we would start a tidal wave with the amounts of milk eavestropping cereal eaters would snort out their noses. Truly, she is the most hilarious person I have ever met. She has more than mere wit, she has an uncanny knack for absurd observations and incongruous connections: Salvador Dali meets Mitch Hedberg with a dash of Eddie Izzard.
Overnights at Pat’s filled me with fresh, new blood. I lived at home until I married, so the idea of having a place to yourself–living independently–was supercool. Her home smells like a mixture of “somebody might have smoked here once, long ago” and books. Books! If you walked through her door, you would inhale and imagine you were in a well loved but overlooked bookstore. The only thing missing was a string of bells on her door handle! Funny, even today I leave her place with armfuls of books. Old habits die hard.
After graduation, Pat’s work relocated several times throughout the country. Ultimately, she said, “Screw this,” and returned to New Mexico. Once again, she lives in an awesome place–an authentic adobe home in a historic settlement just outside of city limits. As if that is not hip enough, her neighbors raise roosters. Roosters! Their hoarse “cock-a-doodle-doos” make my heart sing! Next to toads, roosters are favorite home-grown animal. My rooster-love arises from the countless pleasant evenings I’ve spent listening to them crow while sipping limed Corona on her back porch.
Aside from gobbling nachos and gabbing endlessly on her back porch, the two of us do the usual girl stuff–lunch, dinner, movies, and shop, shop, shop. In general, we get stares because we are too loud, too happy, and too silly. When we are not scandalizing various sales associates with our outrageous commentary or deafening fellow restaurant patrons, we cast runes, review tabloids, take long spontaneous drives, and discuss the evils of spiders. How lucky am I?!