Good morning. It’s 9:38 a.m. Milwaukee Standard Time on Monday, February 22, 2021.
I got high and watched Mars Attacks! last night, which was both a great decision for my waking self and a terrible decision for my sleeping self, since it inspired an inescapable nightmare that seemed to go on for hours.
I woke up in a post-nightmare daze to another white-gray sky of another Monday morning in winter in a pandemic. The above TikTok by Elijah Word (an unclockable lip sync of comedian Marvin Howard’s original audio) was the serotonin jolt I needed.
Like many others, I’m trying to ride out the tail end of this pandemic winter without totally losing my mind. I’m lucky to be able to work from home, and to have a supportive partner and a cat to keep the lonesomeness at bay.
Seeing friends over Zoom and Facetime simply isn’t cutting it anymore. This morning, I woke up and impulsively looked at airfare prices for the first time in a year. Bad idea. A $70 round trip flight to Denver beckons to me like the witch from Snow White. I know I shouldn’t eat the apple, but imagine how good it would feel to bite into that shiny red skin, the juicy crunch that follows. How good would it feel to feel anything at all?
Not being with my friends for so long has left a crater in my chest that I know will take a long, long time to refill. But when God closes a door, They open a window. A lot of the time, that window looks in on the Miami living room (or kitchen) where the same four vivacious women live.
Susan Harris’s iconic sitcom The Golden Girls reminds us that our friends are our chosen family. It’s a message perfectly complemented by the show’s theme song. Andrew Gold originally wrote Thank You For Being A Friend in 1978, vocalist Cindy Fee gave the song a much-needed zhuzhing up, and The Golden Girls premiered on September 14, 1985.
There’s an exchange at the end of the first Golden Girls episode that I carry around with me in the little locket of my heart (with credit to Daniel M. Lavery’s definitive ode to the show last year):
BLANCHE: At first I wanted to give up, to die, truly. Only time I ever felt worse was when George died. But then I had the kids with me and I pulled through it. This time, I thought, ‘This is my last chance, my last hope for happiness.’ I just thought I’d never feel good again.
SOPHIA: How long is this story? I’m 80. I have to plan.
BLANCHE: This morning I woke up and I was in the shower, shampooing my hair, and I heard humming. I thought there was someone in there with me. No, it was me. I was humming. And humming means I’m feeling good. And then I realized I was feeling good because of you. You made the difference. You’re my family, and you make me happy to be alive.
ROSE: Let’s drive to Coconut Grove for lunch.
ROSE: My treat. We have to celebrate.
SOPHIA: What, that she came out of her room?
ROSE: That we’re together.
DOROTHY: And that no matter what happens, even if we all get married, we’ll stick together.
ROSE: Then we’ll need a much bigger house.
DOROTHY: Sure, Rose. After lunch, you can pick up the lumber.
Thank you for being a friend. I hope you have a good week.