“you and me” (in parallel universes)

I read once about this philosopher from the 1800s named William James, and he came up with this theory about “the multiverse”.  Basically, in the multiverse, there’s a set of multiple universes comprising just about everything that can possibly exist at the same time.

So…the entirety of space, time, matter and energy is all happening at once in different timelines.  Parallel universes.  Sorta like the final season of LOST.

Get it?

Ok! So, let’s pretend the multiverse is real.

Well then, maybe somewhere in those infinite universes is one, or several, where you love me.  Maybe I’m not just your friend.  Maybe we hold hands when we walk out in public.  And maybe, we still say “I love you” before we hang up the phone.

Maybe in one of these universes, we’ve been married for 10 years.  We have a daughter, she’s 5.  And a son who’s 2.  Maybe I cook dinner for you every night.  I pick up your dry cleaning.  You wear a suit, and you go to work.  We send people Christmas cards that have our pictures on them.  We smile.  We introduce one another to people as “my husband” and “my wife”…we go to bed together every night, in our house.  The one I decorated.  I think it’s too traditional.  You are upset with me because you think that it’s too contemporary.  But as I look over at you, laying there, looking at me, we share a small peck on the lips and “good night.” Maybe that’s us.

Or maybe, in another universe, we have a torrid love affair.  You spend the night in my bed almost every night.  We spend entire days together, entire nights, our fingers are intertwined, our legs are tangled up, and there is no space between us when we lay beside each other.  We are so consumed by one another that it’s like a thirst that can’t be quenched, a fire that can’t be quelled.  We live with and in each other.  Endlessly.  And no one knows us.   At least not the real us.  We don’t know how we survive.  No one does.  All that matters is you and me, together. Maybe that’s us, too.

Maybe in another universe, I’m living in Japan.  I’m a corporate attorney for the Lexus division of the Toyota Motor Corp.  Maybe I wear a skirt suit every day, and stilettos.  Maybe my hair dries straight, and I’m skinny.  I speak Japanese fluently and I see you twice a year when I visit “home.”  Maybe you live in Los Angeles.  Maybe you aimlessly date.  You haven’t found the “one”.  You’re discontent.  Maybe I am, too.  But I don’t admit it.  Maybe I call you when I get off the bullet train.  Or maybe I sit on my pallet bed and we Skype, as I hold a cup of green tea in my hands.  We laugh.  We never flirt.  We’re friends.  We encourage each other.  Listen to frustrations.  Give advice.  You visit me.  You try to convince me to move back home.  I laugh it off knowing I’d never be happy in LA.  You miss having me as a friend in the same city.  But I know it would never make a difference where I was.  We’d still be the same. Hey, maybe that’s really us.

Or…maybe in another universe, we’re 25.  We take a vacation to Europe.  We pose for pictures on the beach.  I’m in a neon bathing suit, you’re wearing swim trunks.  We’re so tan.  There’s sand–glistening like gold–on my shoulders and my hair is dripping wet.  We kiss as you hold up the camera to capture it.  Our friends think we’re great together.  But we realize we’re better apart.  And maybe we break up, maybe we stay friends, and maybe we attend one another’s weddings.  Or maybe we just pretend we are acquaintances.  And that’s ok.  Because we aren’t co-dependent.  We don’t talk every day.  We don’t ever admit that we miss each other. Sure, we remember the past…but we don’t live in it.  And maybe that’s cool, cuz it’s healthy.  Maybe, that could be us.

Or maybe, I’m 37.  And we make a mistake.  One crazy, random, strange hookup and I find myself having your baby.   You’re shocked.  We’re confused.  We don’t know what to do.  But still, you manage to be there…in that room, as I scream in pain.  Bittersweet.  ‘Cuz I had to do this.  I mean, maybe I’ll never have another chance to be a “Mom”.  And though you don’t want to be my husband, maybe you’ll be her Dad, anyway.  You bring a teddy bear, a giant one.  There are flowers.  Impeccable flower arrangements.  You hold my hand. You kiss my forehead.  I cry.   I’ve always wanted her.  But not like this.  And there you are.  With me.  But we’re not together.  Is that us?

Image

Maybe I’m 19 and you’re 20.  You love me.  You do nice things for me.  You send me care packages at school.  You fly out to see me.  We kiss.  We cuddle.  We go to fancy dinners.  You buy me gifts.  I am undecided about you.  You’re too nice.  And frankly, I’m not sure if you’re the type of guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.  I begin to resent you.   You’re too sweet.  You’re too good to me.  And, I’m just not used to it.  I begin to think I really don’t deserve you.  It’s so sad.  I know.  I break up with you.  You never really recover.  Although I can’t do better than you, I’m relieved to be single, to be on the search for someone else.  Someone who’ll roughen me up a little.  And maybe he and I won’t have as many things in common; maybe he won’t know my heart like you do. Maybe he and I will never talk like you and I did.  But maybe that’s what I need.  And so I break your heart.  Maybe that’s me (and you).

Or maybe we’re 70.  And we have five grandchildren.  We sit on our swing and have tea in the mornings.  I enjoy gardening.  You read newspapers and invest in the stock market.  We wear walking shoes and go to farmers’ markets.  We’ve had a happy life.  We never run out of things to say to each other.  You’re my best friend and I’m yours.  I put my head on your shoulder as we watch the sunset together.  Though you hold my wrinkled hand, it’s still beautiful to you because you’ve held it for 50 years.  And there’s nothing more that we could ever want.  The thought that one of us could ever live in this universe without the other is unimaginable. That’s us.

Maybe in another universe, you really loved me the way I wished you would.  Just not in this one.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

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bff

Thank you for being my best friend.

No, really.  I know I say it all the time but I really truly don’t know what I would do without you.  The 500 iMessages/day, the morning conference calls, the good night messages, sharing dreams (luscious ones or scary ones), having the same alma mater, exchanging frustrations over our identical career choices, Sunday mornings– in bed– watching the same show or movie when we’re hundreds of miles away…these are what make up my life.

You make me feel like I’m not alone.  You make me feel like I have something to look forward to when we celebrate Thanksgiving 2015 together.  You’re my family.  The family I chose. The family I will have some day.  Through you, I realize that I have a true friend.  One who won’t leave me out of her wedding party…no matter how much of a monster her mother in law is.  One who’ll tell me she’s pregnant as soon as she pees on a stick, or even better, the minute she realizes she’s late.  One who I’d gladly wake up at 5 a.m. for, get on a plane for, cross the Bay Bridge for, so I could be in the same city as her, sitting on an Ikea couch, watching the Golden Girls at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning.   These things seem lame, stupid, inconsequential…but not to us, not to you, and only cuz we know how much they mean to one another.

Other people, they change cities, careers, schools, friends, lifestyles, hair color, last names, and they move on and move apart.  We just laugh at ourselves and remember where we come from, even down to the street corner…and how a change in zip code will never equal a change in heart.

It’s magical, having a best friend, not just one for photo opps on Saturday nights when the music is blaring and the champagne is pouring, but one who sits on the couch with you on a Sunday morning, who shares lazy Sundays where the only thing you can manage doing is eating and working out, maybe grocery shopping, too.  Few are the friends who really stick with you through the thick and thin (literally and figuratively), the pounds, the jobs, the boys, the crushes, the crashes, and the happy, fleeting moments of euphoria…as well as the months of sadness.  Ones who won’t judge you for crying over the same thing, seven months after you should have stopped.

More than anything, I am grateful for the magic of smiling, even when I’m feeling sad, scared, or overwhelmed.  Just dialing your number puts me in a different place.  I love the stupid things we laugh about…and how they suspend time, and snap us out of reality.

I don’t know how I could ever live without your advice…bull sh*t spared, the stuff you teach me and tell me to do that I wish you would sometimes just do for yourself.  It is really the best therapy that money can’t buy.

And when all is said and done…I love that we share a history of achieving, accomplishing, moving onward and forward…which is why, right now, we realize that we can spend a couple of extra hours in bed…because isn’t that our version of Disneyland anyway?  And hell, the world can wait.  Really.  It can.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

Been thinking about…Girlfriends.

Today, I want to share the story of two girls.  One is Farrah* a life-long friend of mine.  Her heart is generous.  She’s sweet.  Special in all the ways you want a friend to be.  Thoughtful.  Funny.  Lighthearted.  She lets you be yourself.

The other is Harriet*.  I don’t know Harriet all *too* well but she is polished, older, very well put together.  Polite.  Calculated.  Seems very kind and concerned.  (Operative word: Seems.)

Farrah and Harriet became fast friends.  They traveled together.  They spent many afternoon teas together.  They shopped together.  They attended seminars together.  They were interwoven in one another’s lives the way good friends are.  Sure, they didn’t share history, but they certainly shared the present…and as one would hope, a future.

Harriet sorta kinda disappeared.  Not entirely.  But the way your insides sense someone has.  One day, she wrote an email to Farrah sharing the wondrous news of her engagement.   Hallelujah. Happy, happy, joy, joy…Harriet, in her late 30’s, had scored the one thing she always wished for: a diamond solitaire on her finger.

Farrah, never having been aware of Harriet having a boyfriend, much less a fiancé, responded, as any good friend would do, congratulating her, genuinely, wholeheartedly, but with slight reservation.

Days passed, weeks passed, months passed.  Farrah and Harriet re-connected here and there.  But something was off.  Farrah was pained by the distance and superficial avoidance.  Farrah reached out to her good friend (the Leegal Deeva) who put her resources to the test and in two minutes flat gave the news to Farrah of a) wedding date; b) groom-name; c) groom’s occupation; d) where the happy couple would be living…and e) [AS A BONUS] what China pattern Harriet had registered for.

Needless to say, Farrah was disappointed, disenchanted, sad.  Less than six weeks to a wedding and Farrah had not received any invitations…not to a bridal shower, a bachelorette, and certainly not a wedding.

Sadness ensued.  Insult.  Pain.  Confrontations came.  Harriet’s reasoning for the distance and strain were as follows: “It took you too long to respond to my engagement announcement email”…”I texted you over the summer to wish you a safe trip, you didn’t write back.”  Bee. Ess.

Leegal Deeva dug and dug…discovering that Harriet’s beau had dated a friend of Farrah’s…long, long ago.  No biggie.  But Harriet had pushed Farrah, pushed away the friend (Facebook deletion was involved)…yet, no true explanations were given.  Nothing believable anyway.

And there you have it.  Leegal Deeva wonders…is this how women are? Is this the type of insecurity that seeps deep through our souls that causes us to write off, ignore, push away, and toss good friends who’ve been there for you in your search, who’ve suffered through the yearnings, the romantic pursuits?  Is this how women are? Is this what we do? Do we toss competition to the curb? Really?

I’m certainly not immune to irrational behavior.  At the ripe, old age of 21, I refused to become too closely connected to an innocent, amazing, woman who simply, physically, reminded me of a girl that had dated a guy that I’d liked.  Crazy.  I know.  But, I was 21.  Within a few months, I gave in to that amazing girl who ended up being a good friend for many years!  Reminders were forgotten, ignored, whatever.  Truly.  As for Harriet, at 38? Certainly she could have acted more maturely. Or at least, more reasonably.

Let’s be fair, though.  Harriet has tried.  Exhibit A: a Christmas card was sent to Farrah…signed solely by Harriet, with a return address indicating it came from Harriet’s parents’ home (not Harriet’s marital home).  And later, EXHIBIT B: an email forward and a brief note stating that she remembered Farrah and missed her.  Six months post-wedding.  SIX MONTHS.

In examining this odd behavior, the awkward note, the reaching out…Leegal Deeva can’t help but think that all the much ado about a wedding has died down.  Newlywed life has lost its novelties.  Romance has dwindled and Harriet is reaching out to good, old, solid, loving, kind-hearted Farrah…

Why?  Have you no shame, Harriet?

We get it.  We get that friends grow apart.  People move away.  Reasons turn into inconveniences.   But none of that had happened here.  The drift was attributable to insecurity, a deficit in confidence, a crack in self-esteem, fear…irrational fear(s).

And what does one do to combat this break?  Do you forgive (obviously never forgetting)? Do you try?  Do you respond?  Do you engage, kindly?  Do you put your heart out on the line, knowing quite well, that it could get crushed (in that delicate way only friends can crush it…by dropping it, like you do a hot dish, coming out of the oven…and see the mess as being too much to clean up…and the meal impossible to salvage)?

What does one do? Having seen Farrah struggle with whether to embrace Harriet once again, to trust her, to care…I hurt.  I say, “Don’t give explanations.  Don’t dig too deep.  Be courteous and kind.  But don’t let you guard down.”

Is that a way to live? Among friends? Do you lift that friend out of your friendship circle and place her deliberately in your box of acquaintances?

And why? Why are women so weak and insecure? Why do we fleet and float with the tide of men coming in and out of our lives? Are we that fragile? Is our confidence that weak?

It’s tough being a girl, sometimes.  It’s even harder being a girl-friend.  And needless to say…good girlfriends are hard to come by.

*Names were changed to protect the identity of those involved.

Unevenly Interwoven

14 years later and I still have a “my entire body is going numb and I can’t think straight for the life of me” reaction to seeing you with another girl.  Not that she’s the one…your one.  But it hurts.  It hurts like a bruise hurts when you touch it again.  Radiating pain.  Not like the fresh sting of an initial blow.  But a dull pain you try to curse away as it takes over your entire body…from your head, to your fingertips, all the way to your weak knees and electric toes.

It’s sad, isn’t it? When the one you want doesn’t want you.

How do you reconcile the feelings? The longing.  The moments of pure rationalization when you’re on top of the world, knowing your life is about to take off and you’ll be happy… someday…soon.  But waiting for that happiness can become your lifestyle.  Just waiting for it all to start, to get better, to take off, to have meaning, to give you the sparkle in your eye and the bounce in your step you know you crave, desire…you know you deserve.

And that’s where I am.  Where I have been.  Sure, I have had moments of happiness.  Ok, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and a couple months at a time.  But they were fleeting.  Never final.  Never lasting.  And the questions start…they taunt me.  My poor little, overwhelmed brain, the one that can’t let me sleep, can’t allow me to focus…bubbling over with thoughts like…”Do I expect too much?”…”Are other people just satisfied by simple things?” …”Should I be more like them?”…”Am I too picky?”…”Do I want or expect to much?”…”Are my dreams and desires unrealistic?”

I can’t help it.  There’s the “put yourself out there”…stop waiting, start living concept that I try to embrace.  But it means nothing.  It means nothing when all I want is a pillow to put my head on.  A hand to hold.  A body to lay next to.  A little girl whose hair I can brush, who I can sing to, play with, and teach.  Someone who I can spend my days with…and consider my greatest accomplishment.

Our history is interwoven in knots and snags and uneven bumps and lumps that are rough and awkward to the touch.  Yet looking back on it, it appears painless.  Whole.  Perfect.  Certainly the opposite of what my instinctive reactions were as I lived it.  What about our future? Will it be yet another uneven weave?  Will it be painful? Will it be beautiful? Will it be a masterpiece worthy of exposing to the world?

enlightened loneliness

enlightened loneliness

I’m all for evolution of self…knowing yourself better, improving, realizing why you do what you do…it helps you understand yourself, help yourself, heal yourself, control yourself (and your emotions).  But what happens when you become so enlightened that you find yourself in a bubble, a bubble that no one else can pierce…?  What happens when you find yourself surrounded by less and less fun, chill, unenlightened, “regular” people?  What happens then?

I am judgmental.  Severely judgmental.  One of my areas of acute judgment is when I judge people by the company they keep.  I can’t help but wonder what binds them. What do they see in one another?  What makes them want to continue to spend time together?

And…I pride myself in the quality of friendships I possess.  There is nothing in life I value more than communication, deep conversations, analysis, sharing…vulnerability, secrets, ideas, philosophies, seeking understanding, coming to realizations.  I love it, love it, love it.  I suppose the more you engage in that, the more enlightened you become.  The more you learn.  The more you grow.  The more you understand.  The depth of your mind, thoughts and soul can be limitless.

But do you also become lonelier? Do you find yourself less and less satisfied by the company of regular folks? Every day folks? The ones who don’t have the luxury of thinking, wallowing, analyzing, obsessing…  Mind you, it’s not because they don’t want to or don’t know how.  But truly, they are too busy living, day to day, paying their bills, making it from event to event, waking up, drinking coffee, showering, lathering, rinsing, repeating, getting in the car, parking, working, leaving, picking up the dry cleaning, grocery shopping, vacuuming, putting the dishes away, numbing their minds with a few hours of brainless television before the wake up to do it all over again.

I love enlightened people.  I do.  I admire them.  I do.  I respect them.  Truly.  But when does the desire for enlightenment and the sinking hole of enlightenment envelope you so tightly that you become isolated from regular people, regular experiences, and mediocre connections?  Life is short, which is why we must understand all we can in an efficient use of time.  But life is also too short to spend alone…

And so, my enlightened realization as of late is as follows: There’s nothing sadder than sacrificing company for enlightenment.  After all, it’s lonely at thetop.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.