I dropped you off after a delicious evening
There was good food and wine,
But the deliciousness came from our talk
Fun talk, serious talk, honest talk.
Driving home, listening to “Tonic” on CBC Radio 2
A jazzy version of “West Side Story” is playing.
No, not the gulping, tear-flowing, hiccupping kind –
The throat so tight and the eyes burning kind.
It’s the “fight scene” part of the music
So representing what’s going inside of me.
My emotions are all over the map, fighting with each other
Yet I’m not sad, nor hurt and far from mad
I’m all of those and also glad.
You, my friend, had put a mirror in my face
And told me to take a good look
No, no, not in so many words
You pushed and you shoved and you pushed again
Not out of hate, out of love
Giving me shit for not committing to something
Telling me I’m brilliant and can do whatever I set my mind to
I look at you in disbelief and reply “oh please! in what way?”
You give me shit again! And again tell me I can (do anything)
I laugh and nod to placate you but also
Because deep-down I know you’re right
The song has changed to the velvet-voiced, Mel Tormé
Singing “Who Can Ask For Anything More?”
My mood has turned reflective
Who would have thought a friendship would bloom
In a woman’s-only gym, sweating to crappy dance music
A bunch of loud-mouthed Anglo broads taking up the corner
Of the mostly-French-frequented establishment
Convincing me to join you in that crazy Spinning class
Picking up our toddlers from the gym’s daycare
We’re not in the same tax bracket and it doesn’t matter
There are no feelings of “better than” or “not good enough”
Next thing I know, you are secretly invited to my 38th birthday
Where they put a “39” candle on my cake!
You fit right it and are nicknamed “Mouth” by my mother
It’s a sign that you are just like us
This is the real start to our regularly getting together
Outside of the gym for movies or lunch or dinner
We become a trio with Brenda, who is sadly no longer with us
We get together with husbands and kids
That said, we are happiest being just the two of us
Life happens: hearts broken, divorce, new loves,
Last-minute wedding invitations, death
We have times where we don’t see each other for months
But it matters not
We just pick up where we left off as if not a day has gone by
Though at times frustrated by your lack of ability to
Just pick up the damn phone and call
I’ve given in and accepted you for who you are as you have for me
I do know that if you do need someone for anything
I will be the first one you’ll call and I’ll be there for you
And when my turn comes
You will be there with a roast, a coffee cake, an Ativan
I don’t want to make the mistake I did with Brenda and Roxanne
They are no longer with us, it’s too late
So allow me to take this moment to tell you
While you are alive and kicking
Though, like me, you don’t come from an “I love you”
Kind of family, I’ll tell you anyway
I love you, my friend Patricia!
This will be us in many years!