Saturday, November 1, 2008

in lieu of a baby shower card...

there’s been this post in my head for months. it’s such a major post that i put it off and i put it off some more, because it’s so major, and so important that i fear not devoting enough energy to it. and i don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but since i’ve been in this whole school thing, my attention span has been less than stellar. my following up habits are nil. my dedication has been kidnapped. i’ve caused friends to doubt me, and other ones to give up on me altogether.

i’m hoping once i graduate this can change. of course, then i sometimes think that maybe there is no catching up. maybe i’ve taken on too many interests, made more deep connections with amazing people than one can possibly maintain. will i always be known as the crazy multi-tasker who can’t slow down long enough to be there? i hope not.

in the meantime, there is this year. this has been an exciting year, a busy year, a frustrating year, a sad year, a blissful year. this year has been all over the place. and yet, i have not. at least, where all over means 'back home'. in fact, were it not for the surprise weekend trip i took to my neice’s first birthday party back in may, the bulk of this year would be spent with nary a visit to good ol’ californ-eye-yay. homesick? terribly. but what makes being absent from california worse, is the fact that my dear friend kiyomi is pregnant.

she announced her pregnancy to me back in may, during my comet-like stay in cali. i saw her. she was pregnant. but….she could have been lying. since then i’ve seen some pictures of a cute little belly. but….she could have stuffed her clothes with pillows, like we used to do at wendy’s house, then ‘jump the pounds off’ on the trampoline. i wouldn't be any the wiser.

kiyomi, like so many of my peers, is really taking this leap, not just pretending, into territory unfamiliar to me, territory where i’m not headed. that’s what the bigger post was supposed to be about (i’m hoping i’ll get to it later). it’s all about my peers going through with traditional roles that i’ve been talking for over a decade about shunning. it’s just, now that they’re here, it’s trippy to watch it all go down like dominos.

but the awesome thing is, even though i’m not choosing this path for myself, and perhaps, because i’m not choosing this path for myself, i’m so frickin’ excited about each one of my friends who walks down that aisle or brings a baby into this world. it’s not my thing, but it sure is a lot of fun watching it happen and bathing in the glow of that radiant light that comes from it.

but the thing with kiyomi is this:the thing with kiyomi is that we’ve been friend since kindgarten. since i was four years old. time in and time out we played together. we built forts. we tortured her little sister (amazing she’s still throwing kiyomi a baby shower!). kiyomi was a sassy little girl. at one point she was banned from my home. so i went to hers a lot. we invented really crucial things together. like strings that turned your bedroom light off from the comfort of your bed. who didn’t need a LAZY LIGHT system? and then there was VAMPISM. together we decided to forever dress in black, worship martin gore, spell out anti-sun-worshipper messages in the grass outside our high school in acorns (yeah, our geeky male counterparts had dungeons and dragons, we had acorn public service announcements), and be KOOL. except it was kind of me imposing my obsessions on her and her doing what she did which was quietly nodding and backing me up, then thinking i was crazy, and running off to an island in the caribbean for peace corps and a really big tan.

all thoughout our childhood we were a big part in each other’s lives. even in fourth grade when we spent all of our energy hating each other. even in seventh grade when she lived in japan and we talked into cassette tapes about the profundities of our pre-teen lives, like the locker-cleaning fairy. god damn we were nerds! that’s right, we used to go up to the junior high school on weekend, since i lived down the street, and break into people lockers. i had swiped the master list of combinations, being a devoted member of the student senate (ooh…corruption!). and how did we use this knowledge? did we steal lunch money? snoop on the boys we had crushes on? well that one would be an automatic negative, since in all of our years kiyomi would NEVER admit to having an impure thought about ANYONE to me. until skip. skip, i love you.

oh, but back on track. we broke into the lockers to organize them. to ORGANIZE THEM. are you hearing me? we straightened the books and threw away the candy wrappers and left little notes signed, ‘the locker cleaning fairies’.

and then, one day, on our conquering of the west road trip, while driving somewhere in the middle of montana or some such rugged territory, post high-school graduation, i said something about how life would be at our school. our new school. UC Santa Cruz.

and then we were quiet. that quiet came with the realization that uc santa cruz wasn’t OUR new school. it was MY new school. hers was University of Oregon. then Japan. and then i went and moved to new york city.

that was the moment that we both realized, really felt that our built-in reality of taking each other’s constant presence for granted was over.

it would be this catching up on holidays and forever wishing we could stay in better touch.

it would be almost missing her entire pregnancy even though i’m thinking of her nearly every day.

so all summer i’ve pined for a visit with that round kiyomi. that rare kiyomi. that mother-to-be kiyomi, my life long friend. and it hasn’t happened. this weekend is her baby shower. she’ll be nearing her final days of pregnancy just as i’ll be nearing my final exams. the thought of missing her whole pregnancy when i’ve tried my damnedest not to miss a phase of her life—even flew down to dominica to visit her on a 15 x 10 mile island—has been killing me. so, other factors in homesickness out the window, obligations out the window, a few hundred bucks out the window, come hell or highwater, i’m gonna be there.

i’ll spend two days with my kioymi. it won’t be enough. my phone will be off because though it drives me crazy, it surely isn’t enough to catch up with everyone else. but i’m shoving my guilt to the back burner and being frivolous and san francisco here i come! rocky, pk, kiwi, twin sister, save me a cupcake!


Danielle said...

This is SO where I am right now. Never enough time, for enough people. Always with the guilt.

I'm so glad that you get to be there for your friend, and really? For yourself, too. I can't wait to hear about your trip! Be easy with yourself, have fun, and enjoy this time you've been able to eke out!

Amy ~ Just Being Aimlyss said...

Have fun! I hope they play lots of games!

kim said...

I'm crying here! There is something so special about having a friend you have had for that long. Someone who knows the inner workings of your family dynamics, and, of course, of you! Love that picture of you two!

Mieke said...

sweetest kitty,
I hope you are a having a great time in Cali at the baby shower.
Love your writing!

Sudz said...

Forget those guilty feelings. You are one of the most loving, caring (and unique)people on this earth. Do your thing and enjoy.
Aunt Sudz

kitty8joe said... guys are so sweet.