This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Squishy, Squooshy Love



Is it possible to fall in love with your friends? If so, then I'm in love with two of mine: Gina, and Matty.

I met Gina in graduate school. We were two single, single women in our mid/late thirties going to school in a small town full of married-youngs, this program stocked with talented twentysomethings. Each of us felt like an outsider. We were relatively traveled and worldly, for Americans, though I can't hold a candle in that regard. But that's not the whole story; we're both eccentric (I hear) and passionate about our writing. But in some ways we're very different; Gina is the funniest person I know. For instance, when driving she swears spontaneously, elegantly, a woman genius reincarnated from a sailor, while I only swear when I'm so angry I can't put together a sentence. Gina's driven, while I'm I guess lazy. And she's able to spontaneously and verbally articulate those things that come to me later, when I'm re-creating a conversation and wishing I'd said this and that, because in real life (and I may not give this impression, but it's true), I'm incredibly shy. Gina is a star, and I'm a dreamy idealist. Gina is brutally blunt and not afraid of conflict. I'm a smoother-over. Each of us, though, strives to say what we mean, and each of us feels deeply and passionately about the things we love. I can talk on the phone for hours with Gina, and I don't feel awkward while doing it (I'm not good on the phone, though I love getting phone calls!). If I could claim anyone for a sister, I would claim Gina.

Matty makes me see sunshine on even the cloudiest of days. Our friendship is just in its beginnings, but I feel that we've known each other for a very long time. I met him here, on Blogger, and then we met in person, and he's so beautifully honest about everything. He, too, is self-conscious (more light-heartedly than I am), sensitive, and observant. But more, here's a story: when I was maybe eight, my parents were good friends with another married couple. They were hosting a Japanese exchange student named Keiko. She was seventeen-ish, I guess, and she was cool in a way that went much deeper than language, since I didn't speak Japanese and her English was limited. Sometimes my parents would have Keiko babysit us, and while I don't think she was a babysitter, meaning she wasn't strict or parental or maternal, my brother and I always went to bed willingly when Keiko seemed weary, while with our other babysitters we'd turn into nagging, cajoling brats, pushing to stay up as late as we could. This willingness, because even though Keiko was older and in a position of "authority," she treated us with the kind of respect that children are not used to, and we loved her in ways we never loved our other babysitters. And when she went back to Japan, she wrote me weekly for two years, long letters on Hello Kitty stationery, and at the time I was so honored that someone who was like seventeen would keep in touch with me, an eight-year-old girl. I can't think of a clearer way to express this right now, but this story touches on how I feel about Matty -- it's roundabout, in other words, but it just begins to explain some things that I can't put into words because the story isn't literal; it's a feeling I have about him, a Hello Kitty feeling.

In an odd way, it's nicer to be in this kind of love than it is to be in romantic love. Because romantic love is exclusive, while friend-love wants what's in your own best interests, and it's more mutual, and it's less uneasy. It's the love that loves best. Which is not to say I wouldn't die to fall in love with someone I could sleep with, too. But if I ever meet this guy, he better understand that I'm also in love with my friends and that my feelings for him, for each of them, will be unique, and that I need to love as much as I can in order to feel complete.

49 Comments:

Blogger purplesimon said...

Just: lovely.

Here's what I think –

Ginab gives out so much, it's almost beyond belief that there are that many hours in the day in which good deeds can be done.

Just started reading Matty's blog last week and impressed so far. He reminds me (please don't be offended, Matty) of a certain character called Michael in Armisted Maupin's Tales of the City series. I love that series of books.

And, it's through the gorgeous Ginab and the beautiful Ing that I find myself coming back on a daily basis, just to see what's changed.

So, thanks to you all for the inspiration, for the comments, emails, etc. Long may it continue. Love comes in many forms, Ing; good friends don't come along often. Keep yours precious.

purplesimon out...

1:55 AM

 
Blogger Captain Carl said...

Arrrr......warms me cockles......surely your a true friend ing......the Capt has a hard time on the phone too.......your so sweet, ay could just eat you darlin..........

7:54 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Oh to be loved. to love the love that loves to love the love that loves.

Remember the dysfunctional slutt, shy cowgirl. Remember her always. We know what not to become and that's enough of a compass. We need room in our pockets yet for hands because without hands we've fewer backs to talk behind over the telephone.

as sisters will do
love,
-g+bb (a.k.a. 'point-and-speak')

PS: off to therapy! yee-ha

10:03 AM

 
Blogger ticharu said...

That was well articulated. I'm right there. Romantic love, even with your wife kinda just wears off after a few years and after that, by God, you'd better be friends cuz that's the kind of love that endures. It allows for a level of clear headed thinking that isn't there when you got the amorous drug stimulating the nether regions like a hound dog barkin' and carrying on late into the night every night... ah, those were the days! *wags his tail*

10:58 AM

 
Blogger ing said...

Purps:

Ginab doesn't sleep. She's one of those people who I guess can get by without it. I wish I could do that! I like to stay up late, late, late, and to sleep late in the morning. Benjamin Franklin would spank me for this.

____________

Cappy:

Aww! You're sweet too, sweetness! And also salty.

____________

Gina:

I will never, ever forget the dysfunctional slut. You had me laughing all the way through Detroit. The river flowing through Toronto was enough of a compass for me. And room in my pockets -- if Matty would stop trying to make me eat dessert, maybe I could keep some room. But it sure is nice, dessert, isn't it?

______________

Ticharu:

Oh, that dog just won't shut up! He's driving me crazy!

I've never been married, but I hope that if someday I am, well, I hope that I end up with a friend. Bonus if it's someone who'll travel the world with me.

12:18 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Funny thing, back from T. I was babbling about how I would have no idea what to do with a person long term. I said I'd probably stay awake for three years minimum. My T had no doubts that I would, too.

Work to do.

-g+bb

12:26 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Might as well stay awake, so as not to miss a moment?

12:30 PM

 
Blogger kellywalters said...

I am in love with my dog.. we are getting married tommorow.

12:38 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Roxi:

Congrats! I hope this isn't the same dog that pooped on a certain flyer. . . Though I guess that's better then messing right on the chapel floor.

12:41 PM

 
Blogger crabcake said...

"Friend Love". Nice. And you are dead-on, kiddo. I have two very dear friends and it is ....bigger and more comfortable than romantic love.

I haven't really posted with Ginab but I have a feeling she's my kind of gal. But Matty, I do love Matty. He's so honest and open about things. How can you not?

1:24 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Erm, hello sister!

I had you laughing all the way through Windsor and that was Lake Ontario (not a river) :-).

-g+bb

2:20 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

O, my memory, o my sense of direction, o my constant lost-ness! But I do remember, quite clearly, your driver's tongue!

2:25 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

Crabby:

How can you not love either one? Indeed!

2:26 PM

 
Blogger Bloodgood said...

Great story about your Baby sitter. My baby sitter stories are all very stereo typical. We lived in a small town and they were all good looking, and thats where the lusting began.
It is indeed nice to have great friends too.
Thats a bummer about your weather today.
P.S. I think I might go to the sasquatch festival.
Beck is headlining Sunday.

6:15 PM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

My folks had a friend who watched the boys one weekend (Roscoe was in this mess) he bought us a case of beer and then drank nearly a bottle of Scotch while talking long distance on my folks tab to his girlfriend. Kinda not as mushy as your story but still kinda cute... eh? Can I get a cute?

8:31 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

Ing -- A Hello Kitty Kind of Love...

If there were one thing I wish I could change about myself it would be to have the ability to just sometimes lose it and cry. I often feel things would be easier for me. But, it was the way I was raised. I wasn't allowed to cry so I don't know how, really.

But, your posting.

It made me feel so good I cried.

I know I've only had the joy of knowing you a short time, but I know I've found a soulmate of a friend who I love and cheerish dearly.

It's funny. I was just telling a co-worker that I've been missing you kind of like I miss my boyfriend (when/if I have one) ...always wanna be seein' ya!

You are the one full of light.

And, don't forget -- as soon as I catch up on my rent. ...we gotta get our tats!

MAHOGANY - Friday!!!! Whoooo HOOOO!!!!

10:50 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

bloodgood:

I had one way cool babysitter, a hot little thing who wore lots of makeup and had perfectly feathered hair -- she'd drive us around in her truck to visit her friends, people who seemed so grown-up because they had their own apartments and wore satin seventies-shirts and had drug posters on their walls (though I don't remember anyone doing drugs in our presence). We weren't supposed to tell about these visits, and we didn't -- all my parents knew was that we really liked her (though in retrospect I think they must have suspected but thought, what the hell, the kids are having fun). And since we loved having her, she was hired whenever they went away for a weekend trip. Meaning her friends came over and partied. Yay!

Then there was my friend Tara's older brother -- HUNKY and blonde and very fun. He must have loved children. I remember jumping all over the poor guy, trying to get him to carry me around and stuff. Did he have any idea about my lust?

Also, there was this redheaded hillbilly neighbor kid. He was short and wiry, and he always wore a sheepskin-lined jean jacket. NOT hunky in the least. He chewed Skol, and he was extremely boring and crabby, too. His driveway, across the street, was very steep. He drove a yellow 'Stang. One day he forgot to set his emergency brake and the car ran over our mailbox (my mother and I were secretly delighted -- long story, which I'll share at some other time, the story of our ill-fated mailbox).

That festival looks great -- I hope you're seeing Iron & Wine and Sufjan Stevens on Saturday. And of course, Beck on Sunday. Please, bloodgood, keep your wife away from my Beck. I don't want her to steal him away from me.

____________

Josh:

Awwwwww! You know how cute that is, you do! Just cuter than a cute little bean, that's how cute!

_____________

Matty:

I have to be honest, I was just a weensy bit scared of the tats, but now I'm certain it's the right thing to do. We are going to be the wonder twin powers and we will activate! But we've got to do some research -- there are several Hello Kitties to choose from. Yay! I can't wait!

Ms. Ross is going to be so happy to see you, and so will I! You're so fun to be around! And you have great taste in music! And, I tried to read Gutterboys at work today. I didn't get very far, but a couple of guys came in looking for Capote & J.T. Leroy. I got them interested in Alvin's stuff, and in Michelle Tea (have you read her?).

Gina, any chance you can fly out on Friday to catch a movie? If you did, I might just die of happiness: me, + you, + Matty, + the Mahogany dress = heaven.

11:56 PM

 
Blogger Pixie Sprinkle said...

ahhh...but would your friends share their blue underwear with you??

2:18 AM

 
Blogger davi said...

chopped liver, i presume.

3:01 AM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

Thanks for the cute. My day is blessed.

6:42 AM

 
Blogger matty said...

I LOVE Michelle Tea! She worked with Clint Catalyst in pulling together the anthology, "Pills Thrills, Chills, and Heartache" --- Clint is my LA love's best friend. He also wrote Cotton Mouth Kisses. What I would like to find are the IHOP Papers by Ali Liebegott!

I do love Gutterboys, tho. I just think it would make for such a great screenplay.

I think I know the very Hello Kitty I want! I think!

And, yes, get Gina to join us for the MAHOGANY celebration of bad cinema!!!

...and, if I had blue underwear, I would loan it to you. However, I only wear black or white -- and most are those 2ixst cup support thingys. Probably would look funny on you. But, you're more than welcome to 'em!

6:44 AM

 
Blogger DorianGray1854 said...

Hi,
"I went to my mama: I said, Mama please." "What do you do when your true love leaves."
She said, "the hardest thing in the world to do; is to find someone who believes in you."

7:31 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Hmm, normally I had Trudy Lewandowski to contend with, as in on a daily-nanny-basis, but sometimes we had Sandy (me and my sis) to watch us on those odd Friday nights. Sandy had thick blonde hair parted on the side (I think a killer was fond of her side-parting, but oh well). Sandy had a boy friend who'd call to check on her and she never stayed on the phone long. She'd politely say "goodnight" or "thanks for calling", hang up the phone, and return to the den where she'd sit in my mother's recliner and I remember that detail because I couldn't get over it: Sandy is sitting in mom's recliner. Anyway, she sat in the recliner and we interrogated her: "what's his name?" "is he new?" "How far does he live from here?" "does he have a car?"

One time Sandy had a broken leg, and she wore a new fangled, experimental cast: velcro, weights. The weights looked like bullets or suppositories. She sat in the recliner, carefully, and we fetched a pillow for her foot and I couldn't get over the pain that must have been shooting up her leg and crossing her chest. I was so little (how little were you) I was so little that I thought if Sandy kept the "bullet-supp" out of it's tight compartment for too long, and just to show me, up close and personal, what the thing looked, smelled, and felt like, why she'd blow up and I'd be responsible for her death and the loss of the recliner. Everything would go up in it, I'd imagined, poof!, except for me and my sis. We'd stand in our nightgowns.

I had a lot of those instant death dream scenarios. The "bullets" smelled nothing like suppositories.

9:00 AM

 
Blogger ing said...

captain carla:

More, they would wash it first. That's as real as it gets, Carla baby.

____________

davi:

'Scuse me, but are those Funyuns you're eating? Damn!

_____________

josh:

No, you been baptized -- this is ing you're talking to, here.

______________

Matty:

Yay! I'd like to do Valencia for one of our book group meetings -- maybe after Deborah Eisenberg?

I like wearing boy's undies, but I'm afraid the cup would create a false impression. You can borrow my Cosabella lowriders any time! I don't have black or white or orange, for that matter. But you're welcome to them.

______________

dorian:

Make a sad, make a sad, make a sad sad song. . .

______________

ginab:

I just love that name, Trudy Lewandowski. Can we change Sandy's name?

When you were little, I was weensy -- for the longest time I was the smallest girl in the class. I, too, would have been awed by that cast and the pain that must have gone along with it.

9:48 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Trudy Lewandowski
Trudy Lewandowski
Trudy Lewandowski
Trudy Lewandowski
Trudy Lewandowski
Trudy Lewandowski
Lewandowski Trudy
Lewandowski Trudy
Lewandowski Trudy
Lewandowski Trudy
Lewandowski Trudy
Lewandowski Trudy

Lady TL, lady LT
lunatic batty
me lady tea
tea me lady
goddamn

12:02 PM

 
Blogger Bloodgood said...

I love baby sitter stories!! Thats to funny!
Im definetly excited about Iron & Wine, have you heard the Flaming Lips cover they do? Waiting for Superman. Its awesome, and so different than the original.
I have only heard 2 Sufjan Stevens songs but I liked both alot. I cant wait.

As for the Beck thing, Ill try but its the only other picture of a man that my wife has besides me. She has told me over and over if Beck came calling she would dump me in a flash. That hurts.

1:08 PM

 
Blogger sage said...

interesting to read all this from a distant... the stories of friendship and babysitters. I'm envious of you all seeing Iron and Wine and Sufjan Stevens

7:33 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

do they still make funyons???? I used to love those!

9:21 PM

 
Blogger Labbie said...

*Pause to reflect on the definition of love*

This is touching in so many ways... So much so that I can't really describe the smile on my face right now. It's good to have friends like that, huh? Yeah... Thanks for sharing this with us.

*Now back to my regularly scheduled hard-ass*

1:18 AM

 
Blogger wallycrawler said...

It's always nice to read or hear a good sappy story before I go to work in the morning .At least I feel better for a short time . As soon as I'm on the floor at work , reality slaps me right in the face . "Most people are morons " !

It's good to have "REAL FRIENDS" ! I have great friends and family .

Some people aren't so blessed and they take it out on others .

3:58 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Hold on a gd muther-f-ing minute...

ING, you are not getting a tattoo. No way. NO.

I'm serious.

You want crap cheap thoughtless painful art, adorn a wall with cutouts from Rolling Stone I did that at age 14, splattered my walls with the Rolling Stones, the Who, Fleetwood Mac, and Van (yep) Halen, and at age 14 had it been a trend I would have gone under the ink-needle. Imagine the doodle. Mick Jagger? Hello-Kitty-poo-bah? A flower? Ahh, a dove? "I Luv the Rolling Bones"? or "I Luv Ghandi"? "Pete ROCKS" or a white-winged dove.

Have I told you the story about the saddest drag queen performance? happened to the tune of "White-winged Dove". Pa-fucking-thetic.

One more time: Hold on a gd muther-f-ing minute...

ING, you are not getting a tattoo. No way. NO.

I'm serious.

8:38 AM

 
Blogger JackJumpedOverTheMoon said...

ing,

Love is a wonderful thing! Hey, if you claim Gina as your sister, then I guess I can claim you as an aunt. (Gina already having claimed herself my internet mother! :) ) What an internet family we'll have! Hahaha.

Have I mentioned I love your profile picture? That's such a fun shirt, and combined with the angle it was taken at, it makes you seem like a very fun person to be around. I'd invite you and Gina to our St. Paddies day party, but I think it's a bit far to come for a piss-up! :p

***HUG***

Jack

GINA!!! I have several tattoos, they are kind of like chosen moles or freckles. (In colour and interesting shapes.) ing, sit on a design for 6 months before you do your first tattoo. (This will ensure you like it.)

9:54 PM

 
Blogger matty said...

ing -- I don't know. do you think gina is thinking that the tats are a bad idea? i mean, i could be misreading what she's saying, but i don't think she wants you to get a tat of hello kitty.

...of course if she moved here she could really hold sway and prevent it.

(hee hee)

Gina -- come to SF! Just think --- if you were here right now you could be joining us to see MAHOGANY on the big screen! ...then we could all go for some tats after!

11:46 PM

 
Blogger ing said...

ginab:

Be true to your dee, Lew: endow me with skis.

_________

bloodgood:

No, I haven't heard the cover -- sounds awesome! Sufjan's a little strange. There's something kind of cult-ish about his band and their uniforms. I like the music, but I think I'm a little bit afraid of the whole thing. I saw him here at the Great American Music Hall. My date got us seats right next to the stage; smooth!

When my ex- made out his will, he left me to Beck. He understood that if Beck asked me to marry him, I was gone. And he didn't fight it. There's no point, bloodgood.

______________

sage:

Me too, envious. I haven't seen a good show for a while now. I'd do just about anything to see Bonnie Prince Billie. . .

_______________

matty:

I guess they do make Funyuns. Davi, there, practically lives on 'em. See his pic?

I like Funyuns too, but Davi doesn't share his Funyuns. He's a coveter of the yun that is fun.

_______________

labbie:

Thanks! I have great friends, and they're always on my mind. Which is why lately I've been so happy.

But you know, your schedule would make me happy, too. I'd love to have some hard ass on a regular basis.

_______________

Wally:

Yikes, those are some eeeevil eyes, man!

Most people are not morons, as far as I'm concerned. But I have a great job and some really smart coworkers. It's the Funyuns. Brain food.

_________________

ginab:

Aww, c'mon! Why not? Just a weensy little Hello Kitty? It's not going to show unless I mean it to. . . Pleeeeeeeease?

_______________

Jack:

I've always wanted a neice with tattoos! Yay! I'm going to spoil you rotten!

Dang, wish I could come to your Saint Patty's party. I need a party. And lots of pinches.

I'll get a Hello Kitty pillow for my chair, and I'll use it for six months. . . how's that?

______________

Matty:

Ginab's comment seems to be about tattoos. I'm having trouble hearing her over the sound of the approaching needle. . .

12:57 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

I was thinking: I do sound wise, like a mother, then Jack reminded me: I am virtually a mother. My kid is the smartest young woman on the planet. Out of this world, she'd have nary a marking.

No tattoos, Ing. Matty it's stupid. Like heart-shaped icons in blogs, stupid.

I am trying to learn all kinds of things right now, why in all its drama being the most present question. I'm still wearing my coat, unreal as everything seems to me. A pile of work to get lost in. Just doesn't seem right or real, not a thing to be honest. You're not doing what you're doing.

-g+bb

6:00 AM

 
Blogger Bloodgood said...

I think you should go with one of hello kitty's friends for your tattoo. Then you will have more to talk about when people see it. People know hello kitty but do they know who Badtz-Maru is?

P.s. You can have Beck!! He is a pain in my butt because I can not dance like him and the wife holds me to such high standards.

12:42 PM

 
Blogger PDD said...

I noticed in your favorite books section you have included S.C.U.M Manifesto by Valarie Solanis. Yes. I have that book too. I laughed a lot and found it a hoot.

12:55 PM

 
Blogger Labbie said...

Girl-on-girl love... That's just a beautiful thing.

Yes, I went there.

Why? Because I'm a guy. We're basic like that. Ask us what's good, we'll tell you it's a girl. Ask us what's better, we'll tell you it's too girls.

Now, if in lieu of Matty you'd mentioned yet another girl, well, my mind would have just burst into overdrive.

7:09 PM

 
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7:10 PM

 
Blogger josh williams said...

Ok, I stand corrected. Where is ya? I'm about to go on a shoten' spree if I don't see you comment somewhere's. Missing ing miss ing person? Its been more than twenty four hours, probably~` JWW

8:03 PM

 
Blogger lryicsgrl said...

What a beautiful tribute to Gina and Matty!!
Touching and funny.
You're a gifted writer, but when the subject matter is dear to your heart, it flows like a river....

Thanks for sharing!

xx
Sue

8:38 PM

 
Blogger Bloodgood said...

Lilly Taylor is awesome in I SHOT ANDY Warhol. I love her!!!!!

9:00 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Oh, Hello labbie you would be but a dick.

10:05 PM

 
Blogger Pixie Sprinkle said...

Ing I can cuss when i am steering a ship. AND i am gay!! please love me!!

1:14 AM

 
Blogger Polyman2 said...

a friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotton the words.

9:45 AM

 
Blogger Captain Carl said...

Arrr....that be sweet of ya poly....now come check out me reality show......

8:01 PM

 
Blogger ginab said...

Hello? I'm echoing. with love and peace and in harmony, I'm echoing.

12:26 AM

 
Blogger ginab said...

One Stick (What's Worse?).

It's late, and otherwise...but yeesh. I wanted to copy your lyrics, as Led Zep's front man would call lift your lyrics off of Ticharu's site, but I'd have had to copy his whole dang (dangit! site.

Sister, sister...I couldn't do that. I'm a little empty, simple, plain in my words. Opposition. I search for the O, look for the O, in everything I read. The tensions, the turns in your "lyrics" serve poetry dove.

O-yes.
-g+bb

12:42 AM

 
Blogger matty said...

I loved what Polyman wrote!!!

ing -- am I still your friend after getting us lost and taking us to Colma --- the place of the SF dead?!?!? See ya at the Glam!

2:41 PM

 

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