Fire in the Sky
Kitty says I don’t know a thing about grammar. She called and we talked last night and I don’t know what she means about that because I really do know my grammar I even know how to spell it which is more than most people can say I’ll have her know she can kiss my face she is in medicine anyway what does she know about grammar.
Kitty’s kids have gone to New Brunswick with their dad for the week and so she’s painting the cabinets in her kitchen and throwing away her family’s favorite clothes in an effort to ship shape their handsome house and teach their kids the lessons of self sacrifice and love. She is even throwing her husband Sam’s clothes away, too. Kitty better watch out.
Her daughter Sky is named Sky, and Kitty’s not even a hippie. It just happened that way. I think it was because Sam wanted to say, “And on the 277th day, Sam made Sky.” Sam has a God complex.
Sky is three, and is the spit-fire, shark attack sour patch kid (I stole basically all that from Kitty) while their other daughter Margot, seven, is a princess. Margot calls me by my whole name, K. Jackson, and one time she was walking by and grinned at me with saucer eyes like a big Cheshire Cat and now I can’t stop thinking about Margot and her creepy little mischief. Sometimes I wake up at night, thinking of that face. Fear of Sky, on the other hand, consists of daydreams of her as a giant on one too many pixie stix, her flaming red hair swatting her ruddy red face as she runs at hyper-speed, trampling villages and reaching for airplanes, squealing and giggling and openly mocking the disciplinary pops on her rear by mooning her parents and running away. Thank god she wants to be a super hero.
Kitty and I went to college together, finding out only after sitting beside one another in our freshman French class that we were cabin mates at Camp SeaSong in the 7th grade. I pretended to remember, and let Kitty have her story, and we became fast friends, though I always wondered what would be the impetus behind tricking someone into thinking they had known you before. It was only at her wedding when I saw the picture of Kitty, her friend Carol and me in front of a cabin at camp together that I believed her. Kitty’s not that good at photoshop anyway.
Speaking of Kitty’s wedding, it was beautiful and lovely and warm and fun and I was a total ass. For Kitty and Sam’s rehearsal dinner, I gave a speech calling Sam out on all the reasons why I wasn’t sure he was a great fit for Kitty at the beginning of their relationship. It was an off the cuff number. I was sure the speech would be funny and dramatic, as the point of it was to growl at Sam protectively a little bit and then end with a sweeping, “but you turned out great and we love you,” type of thing. I ended up croaking in the middle, not in the death kind of way though, and forgetting to highlight the love part at the end. I was too eager, too forceful, and I was shaking and laughing and it looked a little like I was Johnny at the end of The Shining. Or at least I’d like to think so. When I finished talking I sort of drunkenly walked off the stage greeting people like I was the bride and sneezing from time to time so I could pretend I wasn’t crying. Sam came over and hugged me and told me I’d done a really good job and he appreciated it and I cried some more. And when we were taking pictures outside on the steps of the church in our green and white dresses and Kitty was so beautiful and elegant like a real-live Grace Kelly, all I can remember is the way I was tripping and falling all over myself, wise-cracking and trying to get her other friends to like me at 140 decibels and counting. “Look at me! Look at me!” I cried.
Luckily Kitty has forgiven me. She comes to visit me every now and then, and now that I am living with my parents TEMPORARILY she plans trips with her kids and we play. She’s pretty laid back, that Kit. When she found out I was diagnosed with bipolar, she said, calmly, “Yeah, I always knew you were crazy.” Sam’s really cool, too, and I swear I’m not just saying that because of the rehearsal dinner speech. He’s a surfing, lifeguarding, triathaloning educator with three crazy girls and a great sense of humor. He takes the best pictures. He makes the best food. He creates the best universes. And I swear I’m not saying this because of the rehearsal dinner speech.