Part of my feeling harried and hard done, by these last couple of weeks, is a result of too little contact with my Constant. It’s her birthday today, but Mary is most of a world away from home (Samoa and the Solomon Islands, for a month, for work). It’s more than missing her; it’s a low-grade grief.
Mary and I have been best friends since we were fourteen years old and, except for the odd year here and there, we’ve lived right round the corner from each other. We’ve shared recipes, clothes, books, apartments, clubs, teachers, students and a small business. I mean, my dog likes her better than me!
Ironic, to name her my Constant: Mary changes quicker than anyone else I know. Her hair grows so fast and spirals in so many different directions that she looks like a different person every time I see her. She redecorates every few months. Her work is thin on routine and heavy on innovation. Add to all this restless exuberance a tendency to lose things, to leave things behind wherever she visits, and we have here a woman who remakes her world like the rest of us eat breakfast.
And yet she is steady, loyal and fierce. If I am mired in my life, she wallows with me for a bit, then puts her shoulder to my wheel. If I am floating with joy, she leaps to catch my string and enjoy the ride. Her exasperation reminds me what we’re up against. Her bravery and brilliance remind me what’s possible.
Hurry home, girl. We need to have cake!