I'm flying to Seattle on Tuesday because my friend Paula has breast cancer.
Why can't I crop a picture? Everyone else can crop pictures. It's a simple rectangle shape. What is wrong with me?
Anyway. I know I have told you who Paula is before, but if you are just tuning in, I'll recap.
Paula was my lesbian lover for years. Sadly I am now much shorter than she is.
Okay, really, I lived in Seattle from 1992–when everything was grunge–until 1997, and for most of that time I lived with and worked with Paula. Also too, when we were done with work, often we would go out drinking. So I lived with, worked with, and socialized with Paula for many years.
The part where we did not chop each other into mincey bits and bury each other in a field is somewhat of a miracle, as we are both testy people. I realize that technically it would be impossible for BOTH of us to have chopped each other up and have buried each other in a field, but we got on each other's nerves with all that togetherness. Is what I am saying.
Here is Paula at her 30th birthday party. And here are also my chins. You know how I talk about that boyfriend I had who got married seven minutes after we broke up? There he is in the background with the leather and the beer. D'oh!
However, we did NOT chop each other up into mincey bits, even though Paula constantly taped and watched repeats of:
A. Hart to Hart and
B. Scarecrow and Mrs. King.
And I know you kind of have to be on her side, because of the cancer and all, but you almost want to be on my side right now, don't you? I mean come on. Let's revisit Exhibits A and B. SCARECROW AND MRS. KING. And HART TO FREAKING HART. She'd make me watch these like they were good.
Paula and me at my 30th birthday party. I was into the black clothes a lot then. And the natural smiles.
I think what kept us from killing each other was we had a third roommate, our other friend Stacy, who is the mellowest person alive.
She was kind of the cushion. The sugar between the lemons. The Mrs. King between the scarecrows. I know that made no sense. I just kind of wanted to bring up Scarecrow and Mrs. ridiculous King again. I look good in this picture. I think I read somewhere that it's flattering to put one foot forward in photos and that is why we are all doing this here. I can make anyone do anything. I could totally do world domination if I felt like it.
Paula had her first mammogram this year, because she was too scared to get one before this. They wouldn't even let her get dressed, because they saw something right away. Before she left that first visit, she knew something was up.
She called me on New Year's Eve to tell me the news.
"Okay, so what do I need to do?" I asked. "Do you want to be left alone, or do you want me to come there?" Because if it were me, I'd want to be left alone. I like to hunker and isolate in times of trouble. I am like a cat or a unibomber.
"Oh, I'd love for you to come here," said Paula. "But the cost–"
"Oh shut up," I said helpfully. "Worry about your ding-dang boobage, and I'll worry about money."
(And by the way, it has not escaped my notice that everyone around me
seems to be getting cancer. That I am some kind of Typhoid Mary, Angela
Lansbury of cancer. Perhaps you'd be best served to not hang around me,
is what I mean. I could be radioactive.)
So I'm going there on Tuesday, the same day as her mastectomy. They caught this stupid thing early, and it's going to be okay, and she said, "Well, at least you'll be here to make me laugh."
Which of course has just clinched it. Now I won't make her laugh once. Because you know how that thing happens to me, that whenever someone says, "This is my friend June, she's really funny" I immediately get unfunny for the rest of the night. So now the whole week I am in Seattle I will be like Fun Bobby on Friends. Remember on Friends when they had a party, and they invited Fun Bobby, but his grandmother had just died, and he spent the whole party crying and being no fun? The whole time I'm in Seattle, now, it'll be like I'm that guy in the Pink Floyd movie.
When I tell people I'm doing this, I get a lot of, "You're a good friend." But no I'm not. I'm not a good friend. I'm a friend. Your friend gets sick and wants you to be there, you go there. That's what friends do.
So that's the story. She told me I could tell all of you. I was just planning to say I was going on a fun vacation to Seattle, but we decided to get you all involved. If you are the praying type, and you feel like praying for her, please do. If you are the sending-good-thoughts type, and want to do that, please do that instead. If you don't believe in Beatles, you just believe in me, Yoko and me, and that's reality, that's cool. I will keep you posted on how Paula is doing.
I do not know how often I will get to post. I do not know if I will be at the hospital the whole time, running down the hall like Shirley McClane, yelling, "GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT!" or if Paula will be back home and we will get to watch movies, or if she will even be up and around a little. I will just go with the flow. Unless she insists on watching a little Scarecrow and Mrs. King.
In that case I will just kick her sick ass to the moon.