Leah was one of the very first people to happen upon this little website outside of my family and friends. She has always been my biggest fan, even more than Janie ever was and IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY WE ARE DIVORCED THEN THERE IS A GOOD ONE OF THE MANY REASONS (Janie would like me to tell you this is a terrible, terrible lie and IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY WE ARE DIVORCED THEN THERE IS A GOOD ONE OF MANY REASONS). But I digress.
Leah always says that she decided that she was going to make me like her, suggesting that maybe I didn’t at first and this is not true. I just didn’t care. HAHA…just kidding (maybe).
Here’s the thing. Leah is, hands-down, of the the wisest, kindest and most gentle of people in the world. She will tell you, as she has told me, that she can be a real bitch sometimes. Here’s what I think of that. You know how there are people in the world who will say shit like: “I’m one of the nicest people you will ever meet” or “I’m one of the most understanding people you will ever meet” or “I never lie” or “I will do the dishes when I get home”. I never believe them. If that shit comes out of your mouth it’s an automatic doubt. I just don’t think you have to sell that if it’s real. You just are and that’s enough. So when Leah tells me she is a real bitch I just think – Oh. NO. WRONG.
While Leah and I have bantered for some time, back and forth and back and forth because there are few other people who excel so well at the sport of name-calling in the same way we do, it did take a while before I learned what kind of friend I truly had in her. She was the first person I had ever told that I thought about ending my relationship with Janie and each time she was calm, considerate, gentle and asked all the right questions. In the years since we have really started talking and bonding, we have discussed all our ups and downs, shared secrets we haven’t with most anyone else and then, in between, said a bunch of shit that didn’t make any sense just because it was funny. AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I LOVE HER. All my best relationships are ones where the majority of conversations are either deep and intensely emotional or absolutely nonsensical and if you can’t handle that pendulum swing, then I’m sorry. Get out.
I can’t even remember how I ended up planning my trip out to visit Leah but I think it went something like: I AM COMING TO SEE YOU IN APRIL AND YOU WILL NEED TO LET ME SLEEP IN YOUR HOUSE BECAUSE I CANNOT AFFORD A HOTEL. She threatened to make me sleep in her driveway but then conceded that I could probably sleep somewhere in her basement where she would chain me up to keep me from leaving. Then we immediately started making plans for all the fun things we were going to do while I was there. We made so many plans that, had we managed to remember all of them, I’d have needed to stay there for about fourteen years. But it’s okay because we didn’t remember any at all and, instead, slept a lot, which we both needed because SHIT IS GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET FOR US BOTH and it requires a lot of shuteye and then a lot of texting that goes like this:
I just peed in your bed.
NO YOU DID NOT.
No. I didn’t. I’m tired.
Who is this?
I don’t even know anymore!
WHY ARE YOU IN MY BED? WHY AM I SLEEPING IN MY CAR?
Because I said so.
DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
Can you come in and make me a sandwich?
Be right there as soon as I get these squirrels out of my hair.
Basically, what I’m trying to tell you is that on April 25th, after about four years of anticipatory giggling, Leah came screeching into the driveway of my hotel in Atlanta after driving 5 hours in the middle of the night so she could be there early enough to help me return my rental car in the morning. I’m saying that BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THERE WAS NO OTHER, MORE SINISTER REASON FOR THIS LATE-NIGHT DRIVE. Certainly not because she was escaping the scene of a crime. Her tires literally squealed as she made the turn at 230am and I can’t be sure but I think she didn’t remember to put the car in park before she tried to get out and it’s possible she almost drove through the front of the hotel. She did stop, however, and with her raps blaring she hopped out and gave a hoot and I ran to give her a long tight hug. Longer. Tighter. Yes. Like that.
Then I invited her up to my hotel room.
Yeah. You heard me.
Don’t worry, you guys. NO FUNNY BUSINESS because a) it’s not like that b) IT’S NOT LIKE THAT and c) I’ve learned my lesson about mixing best friends with love affairs and NO THANK YOU, NEVER AGAIN.
We were both pretty exhausted and went straight to bed, but not before she warned me that she grinds her teeth (“ME TOO! I have a mouth guard. It’s super sexy!”) and snores (“Me too! I have sleep apnea maybe! It’s super sexy!”) and talks in her sleep (“Me too! Janie and Carrie keep making fun of me for saying ‘scrambled eggs and peanut butter, look but don’t touch!’ It’s super sexy!”). And with that I drifted off to sleep until I was woken up by the most intense teeth grinding I have EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE followed closely by her sleep screaming “JANIE! Linsey did *mumblemumble*” which was the third most terrifying thing that has ever woken me from sleep, behind a mysterious woman’s voice announcing “8 HOURS LEFT!” which turned out to be a warning that our smoke alarm battery was low and that one time Janie made a sound like a very loud rooster because she was dreaming of screaming at someone that they were a fucker.
The next morning we had breakfast and Leah made fun of what I ate. Then she took me on the scenic route to the airport, and by scenic route I mean she showed me the worst possible parts of the city and some hookers. After we dropped the rental car we took off for her house in South Carolina and on the way we talked and talked and talked about what I cannot even remember.
THE NEXT DAY SHE TRIED TO KILL ME. The first of many times, actually. She said we were going to pick her sister up from the train station but instead what we did was drive across some train tracks to an abandoned parking lot where she pulled over and stopped the car. I was certain that this is exactly what my parents were talking about when they kept telling me “YOU DON’T KNOW THESE PEOPLE AREN’T MURDERERS!” and for a moment I thought to myself…I should have listened to my mother. But, you guys, here’s the thing. I SAY THAT ALL THE TIME AND I NEVER DO. And I’m still alive. And she didn’t kill me after all. But maybe only because I shot her first.
(to be continued…)