Wednesday, January 14, 2009

your moment(s) of zen.

years ago, a lifetime maybe, i met a woman who became so special to me that just saying her name aloud makes the air more pleasant to be in. and it's not just me. everyone who meets her loves her.

she's kind and snarky and sweet and hilarious and pretty and can dance better than anyone else and is intelligent and adventurous. she tells the funniest stories about her family and they are so true they are heartbreaking even as you're trying not to pee your pants.

she is the best.

but, let me start at the beginning. we were on the border studying and working in a midwifery clinic. delivering babies, drinking our body weight in alcohol, and flirting with absolute disaster just about every minute we possibly could.

midwifery boot camp we called it because of the intensity of the work, the clients, just being there. it was like an oliver stone movie only instead of booze, boys, and blowing things up it was pregnant bellies, blood, and babies. well, and then the booze and the boys. but that's another story.

so anyhow, the first time i met her was when she came over to see the apartment i advertised to share. i had gotten to the city earlier than nearly everyone else i'd be working with and had secured an apartment. i had written a very detailed, witty, clever (i thought) ad and put it up in the clinic. anyone who read it and called would have already known what i was and was not looking for. i thought this would cut out the non-potentials and make the whole thing easier.

so i answer the door and let her in. she's looking around and i say

"so i guess you read my ad?"

"naw. i started too, but it was waaayy too long, too many words, too much detail. i just called the number at the bottom"


so i'm showing her the place and i had just made some noodles and i asked her if she was hungry.

she said she was so i got her a bowl and we settled on the bare wooden floors in an almost empty living room with 15 foot ceilings and big big windows.

while it wasn't the taj mahal, and i'm sure the building was falling down, and the landlords were crazy (as in seriously crazy), and the carpet in my bedroom was 50 years old if it was a day, and the neighborhood was suspect, and the dust, oh the dust of the desert was EVERYWHERE the apartment was DIRT CHEAP as in not even 500 a month for a huge two bedroom and the wood floors and the high ceilings, oh i loved that place.

anyhow, so we're settled in and eating and she's telling a story about when she first came back from nepal. and i notice that it's as if she waits *until* she's going to talk to take a bite of food.

then i notice that when she's not talking with food in her mouth she's eating with her mouth open. like fully and like it's the most natural thing in the world.

and then, then, then she lifted one side of her bottom up off of the floor and farted! on a bare wooden floor in an empty echoey room!

well right then and there i thought, good lord not only am i NOT going to live with this woman, even though we'd be studying and working together i doubt we would even EVER hang out together.

can i just say, i don't like bodily functions made public. funny, i can handle birth and all its messiness like nobody's business. i've stuck my hands into some nether regions of the body like it's nothing and not thought twice. i've wiped so many things off my shoe, my pants, my person in the process of birth and not batted an eye. i've encountered bodily fluids that have the color and smell and texture ONLY a human body could produce and push out. but give me a simple natural bodily function in public and i'm a goner. i'm offended and embarrased and just don't know how to handle myself.

basically because i am a snobby bitch like that.

so, i didn't offer her the apartment. and she didn't ask for it.

and less than a week later we were as thick as thieves and she was branded onto my heart forever. i couldn't remember my life without her in it. oh, i'm sure i lived a life before, but i couldn't for the life of me at the time think of how i could have managed to pull it off without her.

in some ways i was equally my very best self and my very worst self during that time and she was always right there. she was a truly loyal and supportive friend, yet completely and totally honest. one of the very best qualities to have in a friend. even when you have to hear what you'd rather not. and during that time i think i heard a lot more than i wanted. and i was and am a better person for it.

and she was fun with a capital F.

and while we haven't shared the same zip code ever again, in all these years with weddings and babies and life changes, and with time and distance and a few oceans between us i still hold her as near and dear to my heart as i did when i first met her.

well, not the first day i met her. ;)

but, you get the picture.

anyhow, it is in the spirit of the incomparable and fabulous NORA! (and her sweet husband vishnu) that i bring you the following video.

now, in full disclosure, it is about birth. in india. and there is birth in it. and it's 30 minutes long. and it's in 3 sections. so when you get to the end of one section, just go to the bottom where it says videos 1/2/3 and click to the next section.

nora, if you are reading this you are a blessing and a dear. and you are totally unhinged in the very best kind of way. and i love you.


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