“You’re pissing on the grand plan.” Ally said.
“What grand plan would that be?” I asked, rubbing sunscreen on her back. We’d just finished eating burnt hog dogs, that we agreed to call charred. She left me to tend the grill while she went inside to make her special blend of happy juice. It was a mistake. I forgot that I was supposed to be grilling and took a short nap instead.
I wanted to avoid a serious conversation about what she’d done, but could feel the discussion coming. The look on her face and the purposefulness of her steps told me that the invite to come over for a cookout, sunbathing and drinking happy juice by the pool was not all for fun.
“The grand plan, Kitten is that we grow up, and we realize that life is about compromise and sometimes we have to suffer through our compromises. Life is suffering,” She said
“My life is not suffering. If that’s the grand plan, I’m not playing,” I said.
She chuckled. “You don’t have a choice,”
"I think I do,” I said.
She stared at me for a long while. I stared back, we held our respective positions like prized fighters in a ring. Ally and I have proven over our long friendship that we can disagree with each other and still maintain a solid friendship built on respect and loyalty.
“You think I’m weak for not going through with the divorce, don’t you?”
“I don’t think anything. I just don’t understand your decision,” I said. “I don’t understand why you feel that you need to suffer through an abusive relationship and justify your suffering as the “debt” that you owe for your life. What the fuck kind of logic is that?” I asked touching the latest bruise. I could still see the imprint of a finger on her arm where he grabbed her.
“I saw judgment all over your face when I told you that I was calling off the divorce,”
I paused. I’ve been told that I should never play poker. I wear my thoughts on my face like a laced curtain. Every emotion etches patterns into my features - lingers long enough to expose me before finding a safe place to hide.
“You saw confusion,” I said. “At the end of the day, the decisions that you make about your life are yours,"
“Look around you, Kit, what you want, doesn’t exist. Your head is always in the clouds, despite all the shit that happened to you in the last few years. You still believe in love and passion and dreams and all that nonsense,”
“I would rather live and die an explorer of love and passion and dreams than someone who has accepted suffering as a birth-right,” I said.
“What about what happened to you with Thorr and Caesar and Thomas and CX?”
“I found the silver lining in all of it,”
“Life is not a joke,” She said.
“Life is full of humor, Ally. You just have to find the punch line,”
What is the grand plan? I don’t know. I do know that I see too many people like Ally who no longer dream nor do they pursue the life they wanted to live or the kind of man they wanted to marry or that happiness is a reasonable expectation.
I figured that if I were given a life that I didn’t ask for, I should take all the pleasures that I can - drink from it like a bee sucks the nectar from a flower to make honey. It’s not as if we don’t know our destination.
I live to laugh and fuck and will hold tightly the innocence with which I was born, and protect as if my life depends on it, the imagination that makes me believe in impossible things. I cannot be convinced to accept despondency and misery as the penance that I should pay for my life.
She didn’t say anything for a long time. “When I was a kid, I had a super-woman costume. I used to wear it all the time even when it wasn’t Halloween. I really believed that I could fly. What do you think would happen to us if we go out in public in a cape at our age?”
“We’d be put on medication and would probably be sent to a mental institution. The story would be that we've lost touch with reality when in truth it's reality that has lost touch with us,” I said.
Do you know how silly that was?”
“You weren’t silly. You had imagination. The tragedy is that you no longer believe in your greatness. You've got to bring that little girl back to life,” I said.
She smiled, "She's long gone, Kit,"
"Then who filed for divorce?" I asked.
"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."