quite like you again-
I'll never find someone
quite as touched as you..."-VAST
It is the day of the memorial. I sip a hot cup of Moroccan mint tea before making breakfast, trying not to think too much about the auspice of the day. With a mind that never seems to shut off, such a task is rather difficult.
There will be things said. Sweet things. Funny things. Poetry. I really have none of those. I can only offer the truth. Because of that, whether I get speak this becomes irrelevant. This is supposed to be a celebration, as the social construct of reality dictates. A dog and pony show for the living to feel they've done right by the dead. I place this here along the spider's web as my own little testimony, so those who happen by might take note. Whether or not I read it aloud at the memorial is a roll of the bones...
I might advise those of weak constitutions and conservative mores to perhaps go outside for some air, for I find I can only speak in truths; and the truth is rarely soft, flowery, clean, well-pressed or conservative...
For those who were not aware, or in denial, Rachel had what conventional society might term as problems. Me, being the honest friend that I was, and quite the bastard at times, really had no inhibition telling her she was fucking insane. She would laugh, sometimes even going as far as to say I might not be anywhere near as sane as I said I was. Sometimes, I would see a writing of hers where she would mention she was crazy and part of me worried her stating that was somehow my fault.
There was once she did feel quite suicidal, but had the presence of mind to check herself in. I was taken into her confidence over the incident. In fact, for a month after the fact, I made sure she got proper, and not toxic, doses of her medications. That time, outside of blood relatives, I was one of the few to visit her. When she got out, I took her out for a porterhouse. She would recall that as the time when I got her drunk on red meat.
She was someone I referred to as family by neither blood or marriage. We were that kind of close, and for me, that is a hard thing to admit to. There are only handful of individuals who I share that sort of intimacy with. I loved Rachel more than anything...only not like that. And once it was established the amore was not like that we had an amazing acquaintance.
Here was the friend who when I was searching for a girl was willing to drive me all over the city to find her. And when things went sour with the same girl, was willing to do any and everything in her power to make sure I was all right. We swapped jokes and books. There was this one chicken recipe, which I just loved, and though she told me the spices, I doubt I could duplicate it. During a bout of depression, I carted her up to my house in the mountains to give her a few days to decompress. When I got news my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and posted it online, I received some very compassionate responses from my friends. Rachel called me, saying this was not something to just fire off an online reply about. An hour later, I would come across an online posting of her grandmother being condemned to dementia. When I called Rachel to express my condolences and bitch her out for not telling me when she called she simply said;
"I wasn't calling to talk about my problems tonight."
I was the misanthrope she would delight in thrusting into social situations, just to see my reactions. She would laugh when I coiled up and growled at someone, and laughed even harder when I'd say something snide to her after the fact. But she also had an intuitive awareness of when I needed to be left alone, be it by friends or strangers.
She was the social butterfly. My ongoing joke with her was everyone knows and loves Rachel, because there was nowhere we could go where it didn't know at least five people. Chances were, she might have even dated one or two of them. She would tell me she was, at heart, as much of a recluse as me and I'd call her a filthy fucking liar. Sometimes the look she gave me, though, seemed to speak of at least wanting a little more solitude.
It's almost funny; many of my friends, Rachel especially, have referred to me as a storyteller. The perception being I am somehow gifted with words. And yet, when it comes to my beautiful friend, any time I try to speak of her, as with now, I find I am tongue-tied. All the tales, all the jokes, all the little things...for all the power I may or may not possess with language, I discover I cannot articulate. It seems so cliche', and ham-handed, but here and now, I realize I can only speak in truths:
I miss you, mon ami...