[Guest Blogger: "Cat" from Soul Survive]
When I found out I would be a guest blogger, I felt honored -- like I was being asked to be a guest columnist for the New York Times. I immediately, as is my custom, went into over-thinking mode: What should I write about? How long should it be? Should it be something about me or something about Serina? I was not only representing myself, but had to maintain the integrity of Laughter, Love, and Madness. I wanted an angle. So, for some reason I began thinking about degrees of separation. Which references not only yet another movie I have never seen, but basically deals with the principle that we are all linked together somehow through our relationships with other people.
I began to think: If Serina and I had never met, what possible link would there have been between us?
I met Serina a bit over three years ago. I had just come to the firm and was settling in. I was quiet and innocent then. I drink and curse more now, so I don’t know what that says. But anyway, I digress… One day she sent me an email inviting me to lunch. We had not talked much up to that point, but I thought she seemed cool (key word: seemed). I’m sure I wrote back, as is my custom, that I did not want to intrude. But she was having none of that and said that there was no reason I should feel that way. And off to lunch we went. Skipping off into the sunset, I’m sure, because I could still skip back then.
And so although there have been ups and downs, we have prevailed as friends and are still driving each other mad. Deliriously so. I hope in more of a good way than bad. I insult her, she laughs. I still don’t want to intrude. She keeps inviting me. Working there would feel empty without her.
In high school I did not have many friends as I was apart of the original Geek Squad. However, we knew nothing about computers and had no cool Geek-mobile to ride in. One of my closest friends was uber skinny, funny, and one of the kindest persons I have ever come across. Although I was quiet and she was more outgoing, we had a few major things in common. Neither of our families had a lot of money and we each had a sibling we adored who had a disability of some kind. Even though she was in our group, she was always fighting (and losing) the battle to become one of the popular girls. The ones with new outfits every week, boyfriends, cars, and endless party invitations. But even as she tried to become one of them, she never forgot about us. I hated their cruelty. She was kind and seemingly oblivious to it all.
“So what they drove off without me after band practice? Surely they must have just forgotten…”
But she was my friend and more beautiful in my eyes than any of them could ever hope to be. She offered me rides in the old clunker she used to ride around in and worked downtown after school in a garment plant where she was paid less than what most kids were even earning at McDonald’s.
It’s hard to become popular when you can’t afford the privilege fee.
Her name was Sabrina. Although I told my mother this, she always called her Serina. I never bothered to correct her anymore after the first couple of times.
Sabrina and I lost touch after high school. We wrote a couple of letters and spoke a couple of times during college, but that was the extent of it. Actually, the last time I remember speaking with her on the phone, she was on her way out of her dorm room to take one of her spare blankets to a girl who was new to the dorm who did not have much of anything. Because that was Sabrina.
So six years passed. I left college and moved to Jackson and was in my third (and current job). In October 2005, Serina gave birth to Princess H at one of the nearby hospitals and I went to visit. I had been there a while and who should walk in the room but…Sabrina! She was a nurse now and, apparently, one of Serina’s! I was shocked and it was only later that we reunited when I was leaving the hospital. We thought we recognized each other but had not been certain.
She was married, in school, and most of all happy. And that’s really all I needed to know. I was proud of her. And I hope she was able to feel that in my hugs and smiles.
So the two “Serina’s” met. Two people I consider great friends of mine, great people in general. And I did not even have to lift a finger to make it happen! Cause I am great like that.
And lest my current friend “Serina” not realize it, I hope you know I am proud of you and I admire you. I think you are a wonderful wife, mother, and friend. In essence, you are a good boy, Charlie Brown. (I will, however, deny I said any of this come Monday morning.)
Thank you for inviting me to lunch.