“I Love Lucy”
I never saw myself as an “Ethel” until I met a “Lucy.” This woman outdid my whit, took way more dares and for lack of a better phrase, seemed to always end up in a pickle. Of course these pickles didn’t get resolved in a half an hour like we always wished they would, but my Lucy always seemed to put a smile on my face and a laughter pain in my belly.
One female spirit slpit between two bodies, twins, or as we fondly called ourselves: Bibops. In My Big Fat Greek Wedding (one of our very favorite movies), there is a scene as follows:
Aunt Voula: [to Ian’s parents] Now, you are family. Okay. All my life, I had a lump at the back of my neck, right here. Always, a lump. Then I started menopause and the lump got bigger from the “hormonees.” It started to grow. So I go to the doctor, and he did the bio… the b… the… the bios… the… b… the “bobopsy.” Inside the lump he found teeth and a spinal cord. Yes. Inside the lump was my twin.
From this, we got Bibops, two twins, one growing inside the other. We finished each others sentences and thoughts. We never ended a sentence with “you know what I mean?” We communicated at times almost telepathically. It was scary sometimes, seriously. A moment of tragedy or crisis, we would pick up the phone to call the other bibpos and low and behold that person was already on the phone saying “what is wrong…” People would always ask where the other person was if they weren’t attached to the others hip. People would ask me about stuff that was going on in her life, like it was my life they were talking about and vise-avers. We worked together at an inpatient psychiatric unit, were together 24/7. Most nights she left my house at midnight, called me on the way home and talked until we couldn’t keep our eyes open anymore, only to see each other 7 hours later at work.
There was however an issue. These “good ol’ days” had some requirements that needed to be met. One was that she was single, heart broken, or just sleeping with someone. If she was not one of these things, things were different. I was able to integrate her into my life with my partner, in fact sometimes allowing her phone calls or texts to interfere with my relationship, leaving him to ask things like “Didn’t you just leave her house an hour ago?” It was all worth it to me. My heart had the capacity to hold both of these special people. In fact i loved it that way because I knew that things could change at the drop of a hat.
She had been in a relationship before that was kinda secretive. She was dating someone that we worked with and it was on the Down Low, so they spent a lot of their time alone or with his friends. After a couple years of taking the back seat and feeling guilty for ever saying that that is how I was feeling, she met someone new. I remember feeling excited because someone new meant things might be different. And it was for a short while. When “Lucy” has a partner, unfortunately, she literally ditches most things in her life. I am pretty sure that it is all out of fear of pissing that person off, not wanting them to feel left out, or that simply the other person is just too valuable to loose. All of a sudden picking up her girlfriends dry cleaning is more important than performing the cigarette ritual that commenced daily after work.
It was tolerable until things took a very huge turn for the worse. “Lucy’s” girlfriend put together that she was seeing another person, a man (the one from work) and that she was pregnant. It was all intuition she said, that one morning while she was blow-drying her hair she suddenly dropped the hairdryer and knew. It was mayhem; “Lucy” was kicked out of their house (yes they already lived together and were engaged…ever hear the joke about a lesbians second date? if not google it…) This is when the bibops situation intensified. Inseparable once again.
I dreaded the inevitable. They would eventually get back together. I knew it, bibops intuition. I cherished the time that we had together until the Friday afternoon when I got the text “Can you talk?” Of course I could, so I called. Out came the end of our relationship as we would know it. “I am with ______, she is not doing well, I’m afraid she is suicidal so I am taking her to a hotel and getting her in the pool where I know that she will feel better.” That weekend my phone was silent. There were no texts, calls or emails. No funny “Lucy and Ethel” videos that we would send each other in our own bibpos language that was virtually unable to be translated by anyone but us.
The end of this story comes at least a year later, but for you, I will sum it up with “it was never the same.” She was upset that I was having feelings of abandonment and not feeling important like I once did. She was upset that I was not happy for her and her girlfriend, and to be honest I was not happy for her. She returned to a violent relationship both emotionally and a few times physically. It was predictable progression of things. An argument followed by some understanding, less phone calls, less texts, eventually all communication came to a halt. There was a palatable emotional distance.At times, at work, a mere glance in my direction and sometimes nothing.
Slowly after some months, and only after the man that she had dated (the one we worked with) found himself in some hot water at work, did the communication ramp up. It was however centered totally on what was going on with him. There were very few “How are you doing’s” and some sick part of me was enjoying the connection. Some of our language returned, some of our invisible nuances. She started coming into the room where I worked to gossip. I remember thinking to myself “maybe this is the beginning of us again…” To no avail, one not so perfect interaction at work landed us on two islands on opposite sides of the world. Fuck…
It was heartbreaking all over again and all I wanted to do was to tell her how horrible of a person she was. I still hold back from saying that to her. There have been numerous text messages that I compose and delete under the guidance of my partner, who seems to know better than me that it is not a good idea to unleash holy hell on her. I know that it is not how I feel about her. I am still hurt. I am sad that we had ended, that my soul connection was lost. I have made my amends and taken responsibility for my part in it all, but for some very predictable reasons (that only I probably know) she is not able to do the same.
Companionship that I thought was forever was only temporary. Our episode lasted longer than half or an hour but it was never long enough to laugh about getting away with keeping fish in the bathtub, working at a candy factory, doing a “Lady Overseas Aid raffle for a T.V. or going back a century in time, making homemade bread with home churned butter. I guess nothing is forever no matter how forever it feels.
I am not a negative person, nor believe in finality, but this experience of letting someone into my inner chamber was not the eternal love that I thought would always exist. I am still not sure what lessons this relationship is to teach me. I still watch “I Love Lucy” and want to take pictures of the screen and send them to her, but I don’t. I wonder all the time what she is up to and if she is happy. I wonder what she has had to sacrifice for the love of her partner. I pray that she still has a voice in her own life and that she is enjoying every moment, loving herself.
There is a certain type of companionship that I have found far less heartbreaking and much more comfortable. I still have faith in friendships and relationships, as I have yet to traveled to the opposite island as my partner. But for now, as far as safe and sound, companionship is better suited for furry and feathered friends. Here are a few of mine.