Two days after I got back from Bali, my best friend of 10+ years, Barrie, got married at city hall to a woman (ok, so I know I keep mentioning best friends. I have a lot of best friends. I'm one of those assholes who really loves my people and refer to all of them as my best friend but like, they actually are all my best friends, so if you're planning on continuing to read this blog you're going to have to fucking deal with it). I love her wife, Anne, and when they first started dating I was so happy with how happy Barrie was that she actually asked me at one point to stop telling her how much I liked it. This is cute baby Barrie turning 21 in a basement in Scotland.
Barrie has always been a huge bitch so obviously I was attracted to her from day one, before we even spoke. I went outside of the residence halls I had been put in at St. Andrews to have a cigarette at the beginning of our first year. I was wholly unconvinced by this 3 streets in a town by the North Sea in Scotland thing and I was being a dick about it. We had some steps that led up to the entrance where people would smoke, or congregate, or as was the case this particular day with Barrie: call to complain to her dad about St. Andrews. I quietly smoked my cigarette, hanging on every word. She hated it too. She might commiserate with me. She only bloody well did. We complained so much that year. She was complaining about how small the town was, she didn't know what on earth she was doing there, there was nothing to do, she was PISSED to say the least. She closed her flip phone or her brick of a Nokia or whatever phone we had in 2005. Remember these?
I listened intently to the conversation and I said to myself, alright, this girl is my people. And she's been my people ever since. We ended up having a GREAT time at St. Andrews together, complaining like the little entitled assholes we were. We (begrudgingly) had a lot of fun, probably too much fun, just like 24/7 fun. I made her join the theatre society with me because I was too scared to do it myself, she did. We made countless dinners in our little house. I went to visit her in Amsterdam, she came to visit me in London. She moved to New York after our second year, I went to Paris and back to St. Andrews. We ended up back in NY together eventually. We had some rough patches, like any female friendship with complicated women do. We got through them, with some scars, but we still loved each other. Neither one of us is easy, and we're completely and utterly and unbelievably different. Like, maybe we shouldn't have fallen so deeply in friendship love as we did, but we did. Opposites attract in friendship too. I digress.
Her aunt posted this photo when I came out of surgery, of us in 2008, I think. Her family had a text thread going about my health throughout the whole thing. Her family is incredible and I love them so. I could write a whole post just about the weird-ass photos and videos her dad sent me when I was in hospital alone. I probably will (sorry Beau) .
So two days later, I'm in New York and Barrie is suddenly getting married and there is even a hashtag (WHAT I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS) and it's #justbarried and I'm finding it ALL A LITTLE HARD TO SWALLOW because I have no time to make a big deal out of it (which she would outwardly hate but secretly love) or write a speech or do anything at all really and I'm throwing up all over town. LIterally all over New York. I might make a Sex and the City type tour one day of all the places I upchucked in NYC. Do you think I could charge money for that? Leave me a comment if you would pay money for that. So on that same Tuesday I arrive back to NYC and go into work, I say: 'Barrie I'm very sick but let's go buy your wedding dress tonight because I mean that's the least I can help you do since in true Barrie style you've gone and surprised us all again and you're just casually getting married at city hall at 830 on a Wednesday morning. Totally normal. Totally chill. Keep the fun coming I love knowing you, never a dull moment.' I didn't make it to City Hall the next morning, but I got to help her choose her outfit and eat pizza with her the night before and my roommate Keenan and I blessed her and Anne with sage in our apartment in Greenpoint. Pizza which I then later -- you guessed it -- vomited. Let's not forget the point here people.
Days pass and I keep getting worse. My eyes are starting to turn yellow and I'm fatigued. Barrie is a no bullshit, straight-shooting, tells it like it is, pragmatist. I like to read my horoscope, see Shamans, read tarot cards and talk a lot about feelings and life and talk for hours without every really getting to the point. She likes a good soul rap too and is up there with the best of them but when there's a solution to a problem, Barrie will go with the solution. In this situation by Friday night Barrie was exasperated with me. I refused to go to the doctor because I 'had' to go to work. Insane. My only defense here is that I had never been sick in my life, and I really thought it would go away. I honestly thought it was exhaustion and jet-lag. So she came over Saturday morning and dragged my ass to Urgent Care and sat with me in the waiting room and stayed with me and then came back with me to my apartment. The blood tests showed nothing. I think she was worried. You'd have to ask her to confirm.
All week, I'm talking about this wedding I'm throwing at work. They all think I'm nuts. I somehow lucked out with the only above ground pool in NYC, with a roommate I love and another one I am getting to know and also love, and we're gung-ho on throwing this wedding reception. Our other best friend, Tara, (yes, another one) comes up from DC for the affair. Wait til I get started on her. The pages I could fill. It's going to be a casual affair, but I want to do at least try to do it right. I feel like I'm sending my sister off into womanhood and I'm feeling pretty crap for the occasion. We go to see Trainwreck Saturday night at Union Square. Nobody is understanding how sick I feel or acting the way I want (don't you hate it when that happens?), but then again how could they, when I'm downplaying it so much and just wanting to get on with it. Whilst we're waiting for the movie, I see a guy I had been set up on a blind date with in 2014 and I didn't feel like talking to him with my demon-yellow eyes (new shade for fall, like Michelle's mustard from SOTU but muskier). He's with another girl, Aviva, who I also know and who turned out to be one of my many, many angels in hospital. I didn't say hi. I'd be seeing a lot of Aviva in the weeks to come but right then she was just an acquaintance hanging out with a guy who didn't want to date me.
I make it through the film. They say "Should we go out?" I say "Hell no, I'm going home". I spend another night puking. I mean you're reading this and saying, how stupid is this girl? I don't know man, denial ain't just a river in Egypt, as Rahm Emanuel likes to 'joke'. Apparently the original quote is attributed to Mark Twain. I couldn't find footage of either of them saying it, unfortunately, so here is a photo of a tender moment between Rahm and Barack.
STAY TUNED FOR PART II