Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Er, Fuck You, 2010.

This has been the worst year of my life.  It started out bad, it got worse the longer it went on, and now it's wrapping up in such a horrible way that I never would have been able to fathom it was possible.

I want this year to be over, I want to stop feeling like this, I want to stop working myself into the ground and having absolutely nothing to show for it...and I sure as hell want nothing to do with talking about Kara in the past tense.

When I'm upset or angry or sad, I write.  J.K. Rowling once said, "Sometimes I know what I believe because of what I have written."  I can't think of a better way to explain why I try to type out my emotions.  It's as if I lack the capacity to make sense of them otherwise.

I wrote two blog entries for Kara on Sunday, the day I got the phone call, with every intention of posting one or both before I left for the funeral.  But a trite memorial, no matter how heartfelt, is still a trite memorial.  How do you sum up anyone's whole life anyway?  Or what they meant to you?  Or the gap in your own life that they've left behind?

Instead, I thought I'd put up something that I posted on MySpace long ago, which was written at a happy time in my life (I write when I'm happy too).  Most of what I wrote about Kara was written during happier times, probably because our friendship was a happy one.  We always laughed more than we fought, and that we fought at all was a testament to how close we were.

You don't have to read it.  I'm leaving for Topeka, Kansas, early Thursday morning to go to the funeral and if I have time tomorrow, I may post more.  If not, it's okay.  I'm really just doing this for myself anyway.  And only because I want to.  And because Kara would have laughed at me if I'd gotten too sentimental.  Or too down.  Or too wrapped up self-pity.  "Buck up!" she would always tell me.  "And go pour yourself a drink!"  She said it more times than I can count and over things that seemed so tragic at the time...  Now I'd give anything for her to be here to tell me that again...

From the spring of 2004, on a trip to London.  The story is entitled, "I took a picture of her butt hanging out of the car!"

We stayed in a crappy (but cheap) hotel that Jamie found for us. We got up every morning around 7:30 or 8:00 and went non-stop until we crashed in bed at 10:30 or 11:00. We were often so delirious by the end of the day that we could barely control ourselves. I never remember laughing so much in my whole life.

As an example of the seriousness of our exhaustion, I bring up the example of a dream I had. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking that I had heard the alarm go off. Since I was the first up every morning, I went ahead and went to the bathroom and contemplated getting ready. Because neither Kara nor Jamie were moving, I decided to crawl back in bed. Once nestled back in my cocoon, I remembered that I had been dreaming before I woke up. As the details came back to me, I started laughing hysterically. I had dreamed that we were being attacked by a bad man. Peter Pan tried to come to our rescue and Jamie, attempting to stab the enemy, accidentally punctured poor Peter, and he deflated like a balloon, zipping around our heads as he shrank smaller and smaller. The more I thought of it, the funnier it became. I laid in bed and laughed for almost an hour before finally getting up and looking at my watch. Sadly, it was only 4:30 in the morning, and I had wasted a good hour of sleep time.

Jamie and Kara said that they didn't hear me giggling in the night, but for the rest of the week, all anyone had to say was, "Jamie killed Peter Pan!" and I would keel over. I still consider it one of the funniest images I've ever been exposed to, and it was all a creation of my messed-up brain. There were other times that we were awoken, however. Like the first night when the heater didn't work and Jamie asked the man at the front desk to come fix it. He turned on the light, waking up Kara and I from a dead sleep, and freaking us out since we had no idea who this dude was. It didn't help that the place was run by unhelpful Arabs who only watched the news in a language we couldn't understand and who were less than willing to help us out with things like giving us a line out to call home. Another time, Kara was cold and turned over only to see me right up in her face, sound asleep. I was always stealing the covers. It was just so damned cold.

But aside from all that, I need to write down the events of March 8, 2004, because that was one of the most exciting days of my life. It was Kara's 22nd birthday, International Women's Day, and, as we would later learn, the second anniversary of the Queen Mum's death. Jamie didn't want to pay the price of a train ticket, but Kara and I were determined to go to Windsor. So we left her for the day (for the first and only time), taking the train to Slough and then riding off to Windsor. When we got there, we were told to look up at the flag flying on the castle. It was not the Union Jack, meaning that the Queen was on the grounds. Kara and I were thrilled silly just to know that we were gracing the same ground as royalty.

We were there early in the morning and, as I said before, it was fucking cold. So we were pretty much by ourselves as we wandered the grounds. We went into the church and were quickly tracked down by a bobby, who told us that we needed to stand off to the side for a moment. Thinking that we had done something wrong, we did as told. We waited for about 5 minutes and he came back to get us. He told us that everything was OK, but we needed to leave. Seriously freaked, we skedaddled.

Once outside, a man who was delivering milk asked us if we knew what was going on. We said no, and he told us that the Queen was coming down. At first we didn't believe him, but he told us to stay put and have our cameras ready. Intrigued, we stuck around.

A few minutes later, a green car came rolling down the drive and as I looked to see who was in it, I noticed, with a shock, that Queen Elizabeth II was behind the wheel of the car (!). I stood there, paralyzed, as Kara tried to tell me that that couldn't be the Queen. I panicked, wondering if my photo opportunity had passed me by. But it didn't seem right that I could just snap her picture. I mean, it was just me, Kara, the Queen, and a couple of bobbies. How weird is that? I got my camera out and managed to snap two pictures before she disappeared into the building. Kara looked questioningly at the bobby who had told us to leave the church, and he nodded affirmatively: that was the Queen, alright.

We were beyond happy at that point, and trying to play it cool at the same time. We went back into the church, using a different entrance, and were again the only ones in the building. The section that linked the two parts of the church together was roped off, so we knew that Her Majesty was somewhere in the area we had just vacated. In some places, you could peek over the wall that divided the two sides, and as we did, we saw the top of her head, along with two companions. Seeing where she was standing, my brain clicked, and I remembered that spot to be the final resting place of the Queen Mum. I looked at Kara in awe and told her that. She told me that she was sure this was the anniversary of her death.

After peeping for a few more seconds, a couple came into the church and beelined to us, seeing what was what. Seeing that we were drawing unnecessary attention, one of the staff members asked us to leave. Once outside, the original bobby told us that she would be coming out momentarily, if we wanted to take more pictures. By the time the Queen emerged again, there were about 30 people waiting for her. She graciously gave us a wave and I took picture after picture. It wasn't as special as the first time, though. The second time, I was mainly seeing her through the lens of my camera, and the crowd was so large that we were much further back. We were all happy, though. The Queen didn't drive this time. She got in the back of the car, and quite ungracefully, I might say. As Kara proudly proclaimed, "I took a picture of her butt hanging out of the car!"

(At some point later, someone - I can't remember whom - said to me, "Well, anyone can see the queen!  That's not that special."  Whoever you are, shut the fuck up.  It was awesome!)


Becky Heineke October 19, 2010 at 11:22 PM  

P.S. I just noticed that a) Jake is now spending all of his time hanging out with random women in Hollywood and b) WDW now has a forum.

SERIOUSLY?! I get no breaks in life...

joelliea October 20, 2010 at 7:32 AM  

Anger, is the 2nd stage of grief. You have 3 more to go, and you're healing. Death always feels surreal, as I'm also terrible at condolence words. No one can replace your lost best friend. But do look around, we're here, whenever you need any comfort.

And somehow I can't stop thinking of "Moonlight Mile".

Sasha,  October 20, 2010 at 8:46 AM  

My thoughts are with you PG and I hope you can cope (better than I did when my granny died couple weeks ago ... I still start to cry when I read someone died as the pain comes back to me.) and heal.

LOL about the picture with Queens butt of the car... it's a hilarious picture actually. And it ruins all the royalty about her ROFL.

Sasha,  October 20, 2010 at 8:46 AM  

oh yeah and seeing the headlining again: DEFINETALY FUCK FUCK FUCK YOU 2010!!!

Anonymous,  October 20, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

yep this has been quite a year for me too!

I'm sorry about your loss PG. It does help to let it out and writing is a good way to do that.


Vanessa October 20, 2010 at 11:31 AM  

Thanks PG, for sharing a part of your life with us and know that we all feel for you right now in this time. Even though I never knew Kara, just reading what you wrote about her, you did a good thing here & I really appreciated reading that great & funny story from your trip together. It made me laugh out loud, especially the part about Jamie killing Peter Pan. I'm sure Kara would be really proud of you for "bucking up" & doing what helps you the best. Writing. It truly is you.

Again, thanks for the excellent post & take care. We will be here when you get back. ((hugs))

Vanessa October 20, 2010 at 12:37 PM  

@Sasha, I am so sorry Sasha to hear that you lost your beloved granny recently, I hope you are doing OK.

Take care & hugs from me to you too!

Sasha,  October 20, 2010 at 12:59 PM  

Thank you @Vanessa, it's okay - most of the time. As a buddhist I believe in rebirth and connectivity - so I will see her again once it is the right time and place and the lesson is learned.

Mys T's October 20, 2010 at 6:14 PM  

I used to have good even years, and bad odd years. So (un)technically this year was supposed to be good, but it isn't trending that way.

I put it down to global karma. The way I see it, it's a chaotic time in the world of 'bigger issues' and it's cancelling out the small good we do in our individual lives. Gotta rationalise it somehow.

Chin up PG.

Becky Heineke October 20, 2010 at 8:36 PM  

Thank you, everyone. :) It's really comforting to hear from you guys...although I'm sorry that 2010 hasn't been kind to a lot of us. I agree with vanzmotorbike that it seems like the whole world has gone to hell. Ugh.

I'd also like to send my condolences to Sasha. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma.

Before I start making myself cry again, I want to say that I'm glad the story went over well. :) That whole trip to London was a crazy time. The Peter Pan thing (still!) cracks me up, too, Vanessa! And dear God, that picture of Queen Elizabeth climbing into the back of that car...what the hell was she doing going in head first? I'd always call Kara on her birthday and we'd rehash this story (which, as time went on, became us "meeting" the Queen...eh, a little exaggeration ever hurt anyone :)).

I'm leaving early tomorrow and I'll be back Sunday. Thanks for sticking around, too, as I have multiple meltdowns in rapid succession around here... I will actually try to regain a sense of normalcy soon. :)

Becky Heineke October 20, 2010 at 8:37 PM  

Edit: That should be "never hurt anyone." Clearly. Oh, typos... :)

Vanessa October 20, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

Yeah, I can TOTALLY relate to 2010 being a really fucked up year too. Although I will say this, discovering ISJ & PG made the year well worth going through everything else. I hope that makes sense.

Looks like Gylls has been wreaking havoc all over the country all of a sudden, reappearing back in NYC tonight for a Q&A after a prescreening of LAOD. So, I'm sure there will be lots of Gyllencrap to play with & discuss while you are gone. Take care PG, we will be here when you get back. ((Big hugs to you))

KD,  October 20, 2010 at 9:50 PM  

I am so terribly sorry PG. Life has an awful and cruel way of taking back for all the good times one receives.

While grief and heartbreak are universal, no two experiences are ever the same. I hope, however, that you are able to find condolence in knowing that (and I'm sure) you made Kara's life so much better by being her friend and reflect back on how many riches she brought to your life.

Please take all the time you need to heal and please talk to someone when you are feeling upset. Whether it be through writing to the readers here or writing to Kara who is still here in presence...

Hang on.

And as Edward Murrow would say, Good night and good luck.

Anonymous,  October 21, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

My condolences PG, I know what it feels like to lose someone close and I hate to see others go through that pain, but I promise it does get easier with time. Lets hope 2011 makes up for all the shit this year!

Sam October 22, 2010 at 2:07 AM  

I just want to say, in all the sorrow... that every single picture i have ever seen of Kara- and over time there has been a few- she has the most amazing wonderful smile on her face... Because of that, i always imagined her to be a very happy go lucky person. Every single photo...

Sasha,  October 22, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

Thank you so much PG ...

Assortlist September 19, 2018 at 2:13 AM  
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