This is Cooling
I've been here. Here since March, when winter ended. Still breathing, in and out. Cold air, then warmer, hot, now cooling. This is cooling. The trick, as Janice Galloway wrote, is to keep breathing.
I'm visiting LA for the weekend, staying with someone I've been close to since we were twelve years old. Her cat keeps rubbing up against my bare shoulder in the cool of the morning. His name is Pants and he's hungry for breakfast, as I am. He's letting us know, but I am not saying anything. I am hungrier for words than food.
It's Sunday morning and my friend is still asleep. I've been awake for hours. I need less sleep these days; she needs more. I'm sitting on a daybed by the window with the long gossamer curtains that filter the light better than the filter of all the cigarettes everyone smokes here in LA. She smokes American Spirits. The air in here is easy and breezy. Cool in her studio apartment. Fans are blowing and oscillating. There is art everywhere in here. She embodies art. Marilyn smiles at me from the wall; Lucille stares wide-eyed. Jackie-O looks down at me regally and Audrey is Holly Golightly. I would like some breakfast.
I read Janice Galloway's first novel back in 2001 when I studied abroad at St. Andrews University in Scotland the second semester of my junior year. I'd been breathing my whole life, but I didn't know the trick.
"What will I do while I'm lasting, Marianne? What will I do?
The day Marianne left, I found a note pinned to the kitchen wall. It was there when I came back from the airport without her along with some books of poems, addresses, a foreign phone number, money, and a bottle of gin. The gin and the money went long since. The note is still there.
THINGS YOU CAN DO IN THE EVENING
listen to the radio
have a bath
listen to records
write letters or visit
go for a walk
go out for a meal
phone someone nice
My friend knows that the trick is to keep breathing. She just texted me, now that I'm back home across the country.
The meme says:
- Drink your coffee
- Stay focused and positive
- Don't freak out
- Remember, stabbing people is wrong!
- Are you wearing pants?
I miss my friend. I miss LA. But THIS is cooling.