“He’s a bastard,” L. says–like a good friend should.
J. nods and puts an arm around me. “You can do better. Who needs a guy who won’t kiss her?” She shakes her head.
I cry. Hiccup. Gulp. I wipe my tears with my fingers and smear my mascara.
Less than an hour has passed since my tactophobe boyfriend has ripped my ego out. J. sits at one end of the sofa, I sit on the other, and L. sits between us. I try to steady my breathing.
L. smiles. “Look! A ponytail!” When she looks at J. the ponytail is in my face, but she whips it around for J. to see. She’s been thrilled all day that her hair has finally grown long enough to put in a ponytail. “See!”
“L.,” J. whispers. “Marta is crying.”
“Yeah. But I’ve met my hair goal.”
I laugh. We all laugh. I don’t cry over him anymore.
L. used to call me in July to ask if I’d decided what to wear the first day of classes. “That’s at the end of August,” I’d say.
“I know. Haven’t you decided yet?”
At the end of the spring term in 1989, L. thought it would be a great joke to tell a rumor mongering friend that I was getting breast implants that summer. I couldn’t understand the looks I got when I returned to campus in the fall. What are they looking at? I’d wonder, thinking I’d spilled something on my shirt.
The day my mother died and we were at the airport (back in those days when friends could comfort you at the airport without a boarding pass), L. bought me a Snickers and a USA Today. “Read the business section,” she said. “You might meet a man on the plane.”
Plenty of stories are dark. Tense. Creepy. Don’t we want that comic relief? In movies that seems to be a requirement. Must have gay friend or hobbits to crack the jokes–and often the hero is bland beside them. In my fiction I have the smart mouthed friend. She says the things my heroine would not say. Sometimes I worry the sidekick is more interesting, but I need her there or the story would be relentless.
So today here is L. to prove that I do laugh. Reading back over a few posts I was beginning to forget.